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Punctuation marks in topic names.

Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3210
    
    5
Ok, the sutiation is pretty simple:

I posted a topic which originally had "?!!" in the end.

In a moment I saw my thread was edited, so only "?" left.

The question is: where is the rule where I can not use "?!!" punctuation ?

If there is no such rule I wish the topic name used original punctuation, because it expresses my deep frustration with delays of beta results publishing (i.e. author's style).

Thank you,
MZ


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61103
    
  66

In order to help SEO and searching, topic names are heavily moderated. Also, extraneous punctuation can lead to "punctuation wars". One user uses "?!!!" to get more attention, so the next uses "?!!!?!!!", and the next uses "?!!!%%$$#*&^%$^%$^%$^%", the next starts using ASCII-art, and it all ends with Global Thermo-nuclear war!

There's no specific rule, but part of "being nice" is making sure that subjects are readable and searchable. Please help the Ranch achieve good SEO and Google ranking by using good, descriptive subjects and avoiding excess punctuation.

If you want to vent frustration, you've got plenty of opportunity to express that within the topic body!


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Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18765
    
  40

Mikalai Zaikin wrote:
The question is: where is the rule where I can not use "?!!" punctuation ?


Not every moderation is about rules. Sometimes it is just to help you get an answer better. If it is about rules then every topic would be in leet speak, be marked as urgent, and pretty much be annoying to most of the professional engineers here at the ranch.

Henry


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61103
    
  66

Another good example is typos. Frequently a subject will contain a typo such as "servelts". Someone searching for "servlets" isn't going to find the entry. By fixing the typos, everyone is helped, including the original author of the post.

Remember, the "be nice" rule is to help everyone here.
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3210
    
    5
Hello Bear !

Thank you for your reply.

Bear Bibeault wrote:In order to help SEO and searching, topic names are heavily moderated. Also, extraneous punctuation can lead to "punctuation wars". One user uses "?!!!" to get more attention, so the next uses "?!!!?!!!", and the next uses "?!!!%%$$#*&^%$^%$^%$^%", the next starts using ASCII-art, and it all ends with Global Thermo-nuclear war!


1) Please note, I used "?!!", not even "?!!!" as you wrote above, and ofcourse not "?!!!?!!!". Triple punctuation is a valid English grammar construction, it used everywhere in informal writing, and CodeRanch do use informal English writing.
2) There are many other threads in CodeRanch which use triple punctuation in the topic names - it is considered valid.
3) I also against using such constructions "?!!!%%$$#*&^%$^%$^%$^%", your example is not applicable to my case, it's exaggeration.

Bear Bibeault wrote:
There's no specific rule, but part of "being nice" is making sure that subjects are readable and searchable. Please help the Ranch achieve good SEO and Google ranking by using good, descriptive subjects and avoiding excess punctuation.


I have not made my thread name unreadable or unsearcheable. You understand dufference between "[URGENT] help asap p1z", or "HOW CAN I DO XXXXX" and my case was absolutely different. Be nice to visitors is not be nice to Google. And I am not quite sure, how the single thread name with "?!!" will break SEO rating or whatever of CodeRanch.

Bear Bibeault wrote:
If you want to vent frustration, you've got plenty of opportunity to express that within the topic body!


So, using multiple punctuation in message body is Ok, but in hread name is not OK ? Is it also Google indexing rule ?

I understand that you don't plan to change your point, and I am neither. I would love to listen opinion of other officials from CodeRanch, considering my particular case (not some abstract): why can not I use '?!!' in topic name?

Best regards,
MZ
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3210
    
    5
Henry Wong wrote:
Mikalai Zaikin wrote:
The question is: where is the rule where I can not use "?!!" punctuation ?

Not every moderation is about rules. Sometimes it is just to help you get an answer better.


I am not sure that that change helped to get better answer (FYI: talking only about my particular case).

Henry Wong wrote:
If it is about rules then every topic would be in leet speak, be marked as urgent, and pretty much be annoying to most of the professional engineers here at the ranch.


I did not use any annoying formatting or wordings, the triple punctuation is a valid English grammar construction (like in many other languages).
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3210
    
    5
Bear Bibeault wrote:Another good example is typos. Frequently a subject will contain a typo such as "servelts". Someone searching for "servlets" isn't going to find the entry. By fixing the typos, everyone is helped, including the original author of the post.


I understand that you might thought that it was a typo, but in the first post I mentioned - the "?!!" punctuation was author's style, it was NOT a typo, and I asked to revert it back since it was placed there deliberately.

Bear Bibeault wrote:
Remember, the "be nice" rule is to help everyone here.


I fully agree with "be nice" rule, but so far I see your point (again, not clearly understood how it helps) the edit of my topic name was done for better CEO indexing in Google.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20543
    ∞

If I remember correctly ...

There was a time when that sort of punctuation use was getting out of hand and it annoyed several of the staff. Since the staff have access to the source code for the forum software, they tweaked it so that that sort of thing cannot be done.

I remember expressing to them that there are times that I make a statement, but I find my statement to be question worthy, so I finish with a period and then two question marks. ??

They accommodated that.

I can see their point. And even though I think there are a dozen dev projects that are a higher priority, this is an all volunteer site.

So the change was done.

I'm fine with it.

There are many things that are acceptable in the world of informal english that i don't like. And there are many things I do like.

If you would like to see this change, your only option is to make a request. The more persuasive you are, the more likely it could happen. I suggest that you embrace that there can be horrible abuse and that you support this algorithm. And then focus on the change being to allow the amount of punctuation in a row to be slightly greater than the existing limits.

For me, I think the existing limits are fine and dev time would be better spent on other stuff.



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Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3210
    
    5
Paul,

Thank you for commenting.


There was a time when that sort of punctuation use was getting out of hand and it annoyed several of the staff. Since the staff have access to the source code for the forum software, they tweaked it so that that sort of thing cannot be done.


I believe the editing of topic title was made manually (edit timestamp is 1 minute after post timestamp). I saw some stop messages here which said not to use "p l s" instead of "please", and so on - that's perfectly OK. I would not use it or tried to somehow hack the stop filter. In my case CodeRanch personnel decided to "adjust" my writing because it "was not nice" (to readers, or to Google, still unclear) according to their subjective perception.

Thank you,
Mikalai
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Mikalai Zaikin wrote:In my case CodeRanch personnel decided to "adjust" my writing because it "was not nice" (to readers, or to Google, still unclear) according to their subjective perception.


Yep, that is exactly what happened. We don't like excessive punctuation and it is subjective. Personally, I don't like exclamation marks at all. Not even 1, in a subject line. There is really no need for it. You weren't singled out, we just can't be everywhere at once. So if we edit yours and not someone else's', well, we just miss some stuff. We're human.


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Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3210
    
    5
Gregg Bolinger wrote:
Mikalai Zaikin wrote:In my case CodeRanch personnel decided to "adjust" my writing because it "was not nice" (to readers, or to Google, still unclear) according to their subjective perception.


Yep, that is exactly what happened. We don't like excessive punctuation and it is subjective. Personally, I don't like exclamation marks at all. Not even 1, in a subject line. There is really no need for it. You weren't singled out, we just can't be everywhere at once. So if we edit yours and not someone else's', well, we just miss some stuff. We're human.


Great explanation !

So I have now quite a few of them:
  • I "was not nice"
  • It was just a "typo"
  • Bad Google SEO indexing
  • [most likely] We don't like it

  • While I disagree with my case, I must obey to authorities.
    paul wheaton
    Trailboss

    Joined: Dec 14, 1998
    Posts: 20543
        ∞

    Here are some more reasons to add to your list:

    - because of the phase of the moon

    - because I like pie

    - because ice cream has no bones

    - because objects are closer than they appear

    - because I'm pretty sure that exclamation point was looking at me funny

    - because I'm pretty

    - because the exclamation point kept saying "bang"

     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Punctuation marks in topic names.