Writing Comments

I thought I would ask readers who post comments to make their writing transparent and easy to read. Nearly everyone who writes here expresses himself or herself in good grammatical English. I have occasionally moderated readers for rudeness or worse, and I believe in the lightest and most tolerant and moderate “censorship”. I have already written on “trolling”, and I won’t repeat myself here. Nearly all my readers are not moderated and are trusted to write constructively and with the whole “community” at heart.

I warmly recommend that texts should be in relatively short paragraphs. A long text with very long paragraphs can strike the reader as a mass of text, and can thus be discouraging to read. Some very great authors write with very long sentences and paragraphs. Long sentences with too many subordinate clauses are difficult to write and “pull off”, and can tend to be “run-on”. This is often what I find translating from French, especially when the author is trying to impress his readers. A technical manual isn’t a piece of literature, just something to make sure the factory worker operates the machine properly. This blog is a little more literary than that, but my technical translating work does influence me in the way I write. Keep things concise and simple. The style might seem to be terse and less “learned”, but it will be much easier to read. This is all the more the case when a text contains a rich and instructive content.

I also ask that between paragraphs, you hit the enter key twice. WordPress will automatically separate the paragraphs like in a formatted Word document text. Otherwise, the text appears like an opaque block, even though there are paragraphs, simply because there is no space between them. I often edit comments in this way whilst endeavouring to respect the author’s style and content.

Another thing to be recommended is to write the comment in a MS Word (or similar word processor) document without formatting. For example in this way, you don’t get breaks in lines, sentences and paragraphs. Proof reading is made easier and the result is more attractive to the reader.

You can use html code to italicise texts or put them in bold type. The respective codes are:

<em>text</em>

and

<strong>text</strong>

This greatly enhances the appearance of a comment.

Thank you.

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