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There ought to be a rule against...

Junilu Lacar
Bartender

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 5018
    
    8

Is it just me or do messages like "What r u doing b4...?" really you off? What is so hard about spelling out words like "are" and "you" and "before"? Is it too much to ask posters to not make it so hard for other folks to read their messages? So far, I pretty much ignore any posts that have these "cute" abbreviations but still, there ought to be a rule on JavaRanch against this...I don't know. What do you guys think?
Junilu
[This message has been edited by JUNILU LACAR (edited June 01, 2001).]


Junilu - [How to Ask Questions] [How to Answer Questions]
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Well, we do have that rule requiring that posts be in English. I suppose we could just interpret that a little more strictly. I too find this sort of language annoying, though in general I usually just ignore it. Of course, that often means that I just ignore the whole post, for better or worse.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
vaibhav punekar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2001
Posts: 134
Hi
I appeciate the issue raised by Junilu.I have also faced difficulties in understanding the "code words".Many who practice such shortcuts say that this is an "internet language".Of course sometimes it is acceptable upto certain extent but it should not get converted into an alltogether different "alien language"which is not recognizable by all.
I ve fould many short forms on this site only.BTW,IMHO,RHE,GoF,etc.So excessive use of such language should be avoided.That is what I think.Some may not be agreeing to it.But I think it will be friendlier for the novices.Anybody should not feel alien here.


VAIBHAV <BR>SCJP
Dave Vick
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
How about a list of standard/accepted abbreviations? I admit to using them sometimes. Most usually I'll use hth (happy to help, or hope that helps), although I try to shy away from 'b4' and the others like that. Because of the openess of the ranch and geographic diversity of the contributors it might make it easier if there were a standard set of them. Sometimes I have trouble figuring out what a cryptic abbreviation means - and I grew up with english! I can imagine how someone feels that uses english as a second language.
Just my $.02
Dave
[This message has been edited by Dave Vick (edited June 04, 2001).]


Dave
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I'm with Junilu. I also find the "can u pls hlp" style of abbreviation extremely grating, and will rarely, if ever, offer help to someone who phrases a question in such a style.
I strongly believe we should use "textbook" English here wherever possible. We have users from all over the world, why make things hard for anyone just through laziness?


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Dave Vick
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
If we're on this subject how about a related one...subject lines for posts.
The ever popular 'please help me', or the equally unenlightening 'need help'. Those drive me even more crazy than the abbreviations. Not only is it hard for people to decide what posts they want to look up but it makes it hard for someone to be able to look up previous answers by scanning the subject line.
Granted in some cases it is hard to pick a subject when the poster may not even know where to begin but they should be able to come up with something - even a generic 'applet won't compile' is better then 'please help me'.
Again, that's just my opinion.
Dave
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Well, we do have a short list in the FAQ, which also links to a much longer list here. Hmmm, I forgot all about these sorts of abbreviations when I made my comment above - I think of these as "acceptable", while "what r u doing b4..." I just think of as bad English. Which may just be an indication that I come from a different internet subculture, and perhaps it would be best to minimize all such jargon. Certainly, most of the abbreviations listed at Chartropolis are obscure enough that I don't think they're really appropriate in normal conversation here - but a few (the ones we listed in our FAQ, mostly) are in fairly regular use here.
I know that I started using "RHE" simply because I was tired of seeing how often people referred to the book as if Simon Roberts was the only author. Plus I'm inherently lazy, and considering how often we refer to that book here, it seemed an appropriate thing to abbreviate. Same with M&R for Mughal & Rasmussen (poor Rasmussen is usually forgotten), though I see we forgot to include that one in our FAQ. Likewise the JLS should be listed.

[This message has been edited by Jim Yingst (edited June 04, 2001).]
Junilu Lacar
Bartender

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 5018
    
    8

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Well, we do have a short list in the FAQ... include that one in our FAQ. Likewise the JLS should be listed.

Do you think "GoF" should also be added to the list? It's used fairly often in some forums.
How about including a friendly reminder to limit the use of abbreviations to the ones listed in the FAQ and avoiding arcane and "lazy" abbreviations like plz, pls, hlp, u, r, ur, b4, -tive, +tive, since they make it harder to read messages.
Junilu
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
As for abbreviations, take a look at some our forums:
XML, XSL, DOM and SAX
Process: UP, RUP, DRUP, XP, etc.

Or this message:
�I heard <�> that dRUP comes from the DSDM approach with RUP� - makes perfect sense, BTW
�You are a programmer, if any three letters make sense for you�

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
vaibhav punekar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2001
Posts: 134
Junilu,
I think "plz,pls,hlp,ur" are at times acceptable but frequency should be less.We understand that in this internet world we try to convey as much as possible with as less words as possible.
In this scenario,the above abbreviations are reasonably fair.Because those are understood by the majority of people.But the one mentioned by Mapraputa Is tricy one.It seems like the one who posted wants to test the basic necessity of the programmer that is "Aptitude".I think itwill be difficult to moderate but can't we monitor the users who use such language frequently.They can be given a hint towards it.They are so used to it that they even do not bother.
Another reason for using such abbeviations can be that everybody wants to be in the "no. of postings race".Sometimes I find it partial.Many people read "somebody reached 2000" and gets motivated and posts messages with such abbreviations.I apologise if I am offending somebody But to be frank I don't believe in "unnecessarily hyped no. of postings" stuff.
Joel Cochran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 23, 2001
Posts: 301
I too get grated by a lot of these abbreviations (not including any acronyms) but I've always shrugged them off as the by-product of a degree in English. I actually find them more difficult to read and it would certainly take me a lot longer to type this way.
My biggest concern with using this type of 'internet language' is it seems unfair to those whose primary language is not english. I know a little French, and if I had to try and phonetically guess the author's intent of a message written in such a manner in French I would be totally lost. It is simply harder to communicate effectively this way, which of course means that by writing messages like this the author is limiting the number of useful responses.
Since JavaRanch is such an internationally open society, I don't think we can limit this conduct. On the same token however I would hope that we could inspire everyone to use "real" words in the spirit of effective exchange of ideas. The Internet is our medium, let's use it well.
------------------
I'm a soldier in the NetScape Wars...
Joel
[This message has been edited by Joel Cochran (edited June 05, 2001).]


Wait a minute, I'm trying to think of something clever to say...<p>Joel
Mike Curwen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 3695

I think what it comes down to is this:

If someone posts a hideously hard to read message, full of b4->before, u->you, etc, etc... Then that person will not get a response, and the gene pool is cleaned (so to speak).

Aren't I rude?

p.s. Acronyms are totally acceptable.. in fact when someone once wrote out "Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol" I had to think for a few seconds "what the heck is that?". Sometimes an acronym is easier.
Paul Ralph
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2000
Posts: 312
Many people read "somebody reached 2000" and gets motivated and posts messages with such abbreviations

Why??? As far as I know, none of the 1000+ poster use abbreviations in the way complained about in this thread. It seems a poor shortcut to get a post done faster, if that's what you are implying.
Paul R
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Out of interest, I have one of the highest post counts here (third after Paul Wheaton and Ajith Kallambella, not that I'm counting ...) and I find that far more time is spent thinking than typing when posting here.
Needless abbreviations simply do not work. Along with bad spelling, unclear structure, untested code examples, URL links which don't go to the right place, and leaving out important information, they just make it much harder for readers to understand the message. If only a few people can understand a message, even fewer will even think about answering it, and probably none at all will bother replying.
If you really want an answer to a question, or if you want someone to be able to use an answer you give them, the upshot is simple. It is your responsibility to make your message as clear, straightforward, accurate and understandable as possible. This means think, check, and edit until it is the best you can do.
Saving half a second by typing 'u' instead of 'you' helps none of these things.
Rochelle Hoffman
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 07, 2001
Posts: 13
The one place on the Ranch where overuse of abbreviations (pls, hlp, u, ...) is common, and seems to be such a bad idea is in the Jobs Offered forum.
If I happened to be a potential employer reading through the replies to my job posting and saw them filled with all of these abbreviations, I would just ignore these replies outright. The writers might be wonderful coders, but I think in even an informal recruiting environment such as the Ranch that *some* formality of business communication would be appropriate.
I wouldn't apply for a job in which the recruiter wrote the job posting full of cute abbreviations, and I certainly wouldn't expect that a recruiter would reply to me if I wrote to them in that fashion.
Peter Gragert
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2001
Posts: 424
I hate most and I love some.
Suggestion: Just the same as with the smilies?
Abbreviation Legend?
vaibhav punekar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2001
Posts: 134
I am sorry Paul.But I did not mean that.I know none of the one who has reached such heights did use such abbreviations but I meant that somebody who gets motivated might be prompted to use such language.It might not be 100% probability.But it can be one of the reasons.I appologise if I hurt anybody's sentiments. I am sorry Frank.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I don't see the advantage of using abbreviations to increase post counts. All you have to do is got to meaningless drivel and post in one of the threads there.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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Sahir Shibley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 08, 2000
Posts: 275

IMHO abbrevs are an abomination. Thr shd be a law against it.
bill wade
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 1
Greetings,
Language is our primary medium, the internet is only secondary and English is the 'Language' used at this site. Any derivation from standard form in any language leads eventually to a slippery slope effect where it can be and is argued that a small change is inconsequential yet the next argument after that one small change has been accepted will be yet again another small inconsequential alteration. Slang is a bad thing in most cases with any language. Slang tends to 'deconstruct' a language one small subtle piece at a time. This should be of concern to anyone with understanding. With all the talk of 'professionalism' on this board I would expect it should be a common denominator to refrain from any practices that endanger our primary medium of communication. And that's my five dollars worth.
cordially
bill
John Bateman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2000
Posts: 320
Originally posted by Rochelle Hoffman:
The one place on the Ranch where overuse of abbreviations (pls, hlp, u, ...) is common, and seems to be such a bad idea is in the Jobs Offered forum.
If I happened to be a potential employer reading through the replies to my job posting and saw them filled with all of these abbreviations <..snip...>

I have to admit that in my opinion people who use 'too' many non acceptable abbreviations tend to give me the view that they are lazy and unprofessional.
(Ex: u r rite I am !going to spend the $ 2day.) What the hell is that?!? "You are right, I am not going to spend the cash today.)
Who wants to have hire a programmer who then sends a bunch of emails to a client written in "3l33t15m" . (Elitism).

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Ashish Hareet
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2001
Posts: 375
You lot should do something about it . There are umpteen number of posts here that i could probably understand if they were written in good old english . You lot got folks from everywhere & many would miss out on the benifits the ranch has to offer. There ought to be a standard . Do Something !!!
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
I can understand the "common" abbreviations like pls, hlp, btw, imho, b4, ur, etc.... The ones that bother me are the ones that appear made up on the spot by the poster! Off the top of my head I can remember seeing these two abbreviations in posts recently: hv, and bz. What are hv and bz? I inferred from context that hv = 'have' and bz = 'because', but I can't be sure. Just removing vowels from a word does not mean it's an abbreviation that everyone will understand! I've seen others but those two stick out.
Okay I've vented and I feel better now.
hag1 (have a good one),
Jason
 
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