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Author Topic: Quoting Guidelines  (Read 34744 times)
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« Topic Start: May 18, 2007, 03:15:56 pm »

Quoting, and quoting correctly, is considered very important here at the Cauldron to help others follow the flow of conversation through a thread.  There has been much confusion in the past over exactly what the staff expect of posters as regards quoting. Hopefully this guideline, in combination with the May 2007 removal of certain features in the SMF software that made it too easy to forget to quote from our message board, will clarify how to quote properly.

Under most circumstances, the proper way to start a reply is to click on the "Reply/Quote" button on the specific post you are replying to, this will but a copy of the message being replyed to in special quote bbcode in your reply (or into the Quick Reply area if you use Quick Reply).  Quoted text that is not relevant to your reply may and should be removed, just be sure to leave the opening and closing special quote bbcode intact.  If you are making a general reply, though, you may remove the quote bbcode and the quoted text entirely.  Here are examples of general replies that do not need a quote:

  • "Thanks, guys" or similar posts that are clearly aimed at everyone who's responded.

  • New stories in a general news thread, new jokes in a post a joke thread, or similar.

  • Replies to the general shape of the thread, where there's something you want to say about the topic but there's genuinely nothing you can quote that your reply would make sense in response to.  (You may want to start out the post with a statement indicating this, to be sure those not following along closely understand what you're doing.) Note that replies to the first message of the thread are not replies to the general shape of the thread and must quote a few sentences of that first message in the thread.

If in any doubt about whether or not a message needs a quote, include a small quote.


Many people think is it silly to have to quote the message they just read as they believe that it should be obvious to later readers what message they are replying to. Unfortunately, what seems "obvious" to the the poster is not necessarily "obvious" to someone reading the thread at a different time.  For example, if someone who read part of the thread a day ago comes back into the thread and the first new message they see they is your post, without rereading the rest of the thread would they be able to tell what you were talking about without a quote? In most situations, the answer is "no", because they won't necessarily have the context of the post you're replying to immediately at hand.  (Even if it's the one right before yours, or the first one in the thread.)  That's part of why we require so much quoting.  (The other part is that if one wants to go back and trace the context of the conversation through the thread, it can be time-consuming and confusing without the link-backs the special quote bbcode the Reply/Quote button inserts provides. These linkbacks are especially important to the staff when moderating problem situations.)

The hosts and staff are aware that our quoting rules are significantly different from the way other message boards do things.  Nevertheless, they have decided that this is what we need posters to do in order for our particular forum to function properly. Please do not complain that our quoting rules are different than other boards. When you are posting at The Cauldron, you need to do it The Cauldron way, and that way is not going to change just because "everyone else" does it differently.

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