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Re: Subject headers are the solution [was: Fire Hydrant for the Flames]

From:Peter Clark <pc451@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 13, 2002, 16:19
Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday 13 March 2002 09:40 am, Dirk Elzinga wrote:
> Hey. > > There seems to be a feeling that "on-topic" messages are getting > drowned out by "off-topic" messages. Once upon a time we had a set of > somewhat standardized subject line tags which were to clearly > indicate the kind of message which followed -- things like CHAT, > THEORY, USAGE, etc. No one seems to be using these anymore. Also, as > threads drift from the descriptions provided in the subject line, the > subject headings don't always change to reflect the drift. I think > that if we were to be more diligent in using appropriate subject > headers, a lot of the burden in sifting the list content would be > eased, allowing those who want to get right to the grammatical nuts > and bolts of other's projects to do so, and those who want to discuss > the private habits of left-handed bearded gay Luxembourgians to do so > as well. I certainly don't want to squash discussion of ostensibly > "off-topic" threads, but I'm also not interested in reading them; my > time is limited, and I think I've already missed some good stuff > because it wasn't labelled appropriately.
Well, as Jim Grossman suggested, my suggestion is a bit regimented. (Was that Freudian term "anal retentive," Jim? :) But, on the other hand, I don't think that using headers (he proposed HELP and PLEASE CRITIQUE to make the messages more visible) will work, because that is the status quo. People are writing subjects like "Please comment" and no one is doing so. There's no commitment to in-depth peer review, probably for the simple reason that if we looked at every conlang that crossed our monitor in a given week, this would become a full-time job! Ok, yes, my proposal is just a little regimented. But regimentation is the only way I can see any sort of peer review forging ahead. The kind of peer review people are asking for requires dedication. It means that the submitter needs to demonstrate some commitment to presenting his or her language in a form that makes it easier to critique, and it means that the reviewers are commited to seriously studying it. Without some regimentation, we could have blizzards of submissions (all the people who have repeatedly asked for comments) followed by long dry spells. In other words, just like now. I'm not proposing a dictatorial scheme here, just a line. However, I realize that this involves more work than we are accustomed to on the list (signing up for the list, etc.) I don't think, given past experience, that subject headers will succeed. But then again, I could be wrong. If people want to try subject headers first, that's fine by me. Perhaps we should make it a poll? :)
> Along with my new resolution to read and comment more carefully on > grammatical descriptions, I also now resolve to make better use of > the subject line so that you all will know right away when you want > to delete my posts.
Well, if more people agreed to that, we'd go a long way toward solving the problem. :Peter -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux) Comment: For info see iD8DBQE8j3v2evbW9GDdlVARAolgAJ9ZBK1gFDH9tWqF1LVKegcPIKMsAQCbBAGQ sRw3JLzZbWNCIXEausoiHVE= =Zpjd -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>Subject headers are the solution (or are they?)