View Full Version : Nt/no body - is this frowned upon?
06-02-2003, 01:12 AM
I've never seen this before on the boards, and now two (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=187842) posts (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=187807) do it on the same day. It's the nt/no body deal, letting the subject do all the work. Personally, I find it godawful annoying, so I was just wondering if there's an official policy on it. Is it OK or discouraged?
06-02-2003, 04:42 AM
I can't say if it's discouraged or not, but I'll second "godawful annoying." It really is.
06-02-2003, 04:46 AM
I find it confusing. I don't think it'll be really frowned upon -- and now I realise what's up, I could get used to it -- but, yeah. Consider me a third for "annoying".
06-02-2003, 05:11 AM
It must be SOP at some other board or boards. But not here, we're smarter than that... right?
06-02-2003, 05:22 AM
Don't know if it's a matter of "smarter", even in jest, dantheman. I thought, on seeing the posts, that someone was having us on, playing a game. I see now that, yeah -- it's possibly SOP from elsewhere.
But I'm so used to actual messages being posted on a message board -- guess I've been spoiled by the practices around here, huh? :)
06-02-2003, 07:19 AM
It's SOP for a great many other boards.
And, for no great reason, I do find it annoying beyond words.
06-02-2003, 07:42 AM
A person asking a question on this Board should not try to use this Board as a substitute for Google - which is exactly what someone is doing when then fire off a thread with the "nt/no body". They are trying to get a very quick-fix answer, with no elaboration, no extended definition, and no attempt at a community-level involvement of showing conversational tact.
This Board is not and should never be a substitute for Google. This Board should be a place where there is a community aspect included in the interpersonal relations of its Members, and as such just blurting out a "no body" type query should result in either a "no answer" reply post, or a direction to go elsewhere.
Of course, there are several here who are fervently trying to build up an enormous post count without actually checking their facts, returning to the thread, or really caring if they actually know the answer; we can leave it to them to respond to these sorts of things.
06-02-2003, 08:08 AM
Hell, why not make it a rule? NO posting only a thread title. If you can't be bothered to type out an expansion of your question, don't bother posting, either.
Can you tell it annoys me too?
C K Dexter Haven
06-02-2003, 08:52 AM
We're willing to listen to discussion, I suppose, but my initial reaction is: who the heck really cares?
It doesn't happen often, and the question doesn't always fit the title line, but if someone does that, so what? Are y'all really saying you'd rather have a question in the title, and then the body of the text of the OP just repeats that question? Wouldn't you feel like you had double-vision?
06-02-2003, 09:05 AM
Aww, hell. I was doing so well, everyone was agreeing with me and generally having a heck of a time, and then the first guy who has the power to do something about it walks in and says he doesn't care. Crud.
All kidding aside, it's not that big a deal. I do find it strangely (and enormously) annoying. I think it points to laziness in the same way that leetspeek does, and I also agree with Anthracite. It's just wrong.
No, it doesn't happen often (but yes, I would prefer the question repeated in the body, at the very least) and no, it usually does no harm. However, I feel we shouldn't encourage bad habits and this nt business certainly does that, since it encourages the aforementioned lazies to compress their post enough that it will fit the subject line, sometimes (often?) losing content in the process.
But this is all mundane concerns. We have to look at the Big Picture as well. Out there, in the world, people are getting to know the various Nets for the first time, every single day. Some of them realize that the little box labelled Subject is just a headline, whereas others believe they should cram as much of the message in there as possible, and that information in the subject need not be repeated in the body. This is of course a Scourge and an Abomination and needs to be stamped out, and I call upon you, venerable C K Dexter Haven, to do your part in the sanctification and purification of the online world.
Yep, I'm taking this way too seriously. What I was really looking for was an answer whether or not we're allowed to correct people who do this. Nothing offensive, just a "please post your entire message in the body" or something like that. My fingers itched when I discovered the two posts referenced in my original post, but I didn't want to do it before knowing the board's official stance on this matter.
06-02-2003, 11:06 AM
I don't see what the big problem is. A lot of questions do lend themselves to being compressed to one line:
How do I use in bold in my posts?
Is the name Barney short for anything?
Why is a US gallon 3.785 liters and a UK gallon 4.564 liters?
Poll for guys: Do you like long hair on women?
According to the Internet, Cicero once said "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." And Polonius said, "Brevity is the soul of wit." I personally find it annoying when people don't take the time to try and shorten their posts when possible. Often, it's the people with the page-long posts that are the lazy ones, IMHO.
However, despite all that, I don't think declaring no text helps at all on this message board, because you have to open a thread to respond to it anyway. So people who can answer questions like the ones I gave above will open the thread, and people who can't, won't, regardless of whether they know there's any body text.
06-02-2003, 11:30 AM
Well, in some fora, all the post titles get displayed as a tree view. In these cases, it can be useful to fit your whole question (or a response) into one line, since it means one less page to load.
Of course, we don't do that here, and in any case we certainly encourage a reasonable amount of depth to anything posted here, and in any case, I vastly prefer single-paged fora to those that try to "optimize" by making you click and wait repeatedly (though vBulletin could use a bit more branch presentation) - so in the long run, the no-text questions don't gain you anything, and may cost you a bunch of people asking for clarification, in the usual SDMB tradition. I wouldn't want to encourage it, but it's not a huge problem for a first post.
06-02-2003, 05:05 PM
It's a heck of a lot better than a subject that reads in its entirety "Question".
C K Dexter Haven
06-02-2003, 05:26 PM
I din't mean to splash cold water on your parade, Price. If folks feel strongly about it, we'll consider it. If those folks who feel strongly about it would send some cold cash, it might help our thought-processes.
06-02-2003, 10:34 PM
Just to be contrary, or maybe to jump on CK Dex's bandwagon ;), I much prefer (nm) to either of:
1) Having a totally meaningless Subject or text, such as mentioned before 'Question' or 'Well?', just for the sake of having both; or
2) Having the same question word for word in both the Subject and text.
It's so rare here, it should be filed under the occasional smilie only posts or one word smart alec responses.
06-02-2003, 11:37 PM
This also annoys me; like the OP couldn't be bothered to at least expand a bit on why he's asking the question. I'll admit that sometimes the question is self-explanatory enough to fit on the subject line in its entirety. In such cases, the least the OP could do is to sheepishly admit that that is the case.
06-03-2003, 09:57 PM
Count me in with HarrySpencer.
For whatever reason, seeing the title and the body of the post be identical drives me bonkers. nt is much superior. And it's nice and short.
Or as Dorothy Parker said, "Brevity is the soul of Lingerie, as the Petticoat said to the Chemise."
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