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#1 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:13 AM

This thread discusses a proposed Manual of Style for forum posts. The goal is not to promulgate a strict style manual, but to provide some guidelines for making posts.

Moderators reserve the right to copyedit nonconforming posts so that they conform to the Manual of Style. This sort of editing corrects form but not content. For example, if BBCode is used incorrectly, it may cause rendering issues. Correcting the BBCode is necessary to fix these issues.

The styles shown here are an indicative draft only. Discussion is encouraged.
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This post has been edited by Bam: 04 August 2012 - 11:33 AM
Reason for edit: addendum

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#2 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:32 AM

BBCode
BBCode provides tags that are then converted to HTML by the forum engine. BBCode must be used correctly or else it can cause unexpected results. If you are unsure of the proper usage of BBCode, please use the buttons at the top of the posting window to render your code.

Usage of BBCode - Text
  • Use italics for emphasis.
  • Use bold sparingly. Bold can be used for headings within a post (headings are not supported in BBCode). In body text, bold can be used to highlight the pertinent parts of quoted text.
  • Use underline sparingly. Underlined text can be confused with hyperlinks. For emphasis, use italics instead.
  • Use strikeout sparingly. It is best used only to indicate a correction of some kind. Other usage is discouraged.
  • Use superscripts (2) and subscripts (2) when it is appropriate to do so, for example chemistry (CO2), mathematics (nix2). Inappropriate usage of superscripts and subscripts is discouraged.
  • Refrain from using different fonts unless there is a good reason to do so.
  • Refrain from using different colours unless there is a good reason to do so. Emphasis of text is not a good reason to use colour. Use italics instead.
  • Refrain from using different font sizes unless there is a good reason to do so. Emphasis of text is not a good reason to use large sizes. Use italics instead. Larger font sizes can be used for headings.
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#3 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:45 AM

Usage of BBCode - Lists and Emoticons
  • Lists can be used to display information in point form.
  • Use emoticons sparingly. Ensure that the emoticon is appropriate for the tone of your post.

Usage of BBCode - Hyperlinks and email addresses
  • Hyperlinks should be provided where appropriate. Best practice is to place the address of the website in the link itself, and the title of the web page in the text of the hyperlink.
  • Do not use BBCode to post usable email addresses without the prior approval of the owner. It causes third parties to receive unwelcome spam and the practice is strongly discouraged.
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#4 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:54 AM

Images
Images can be inserted into posts, but the usage of images is subject to guidelines.
  • Do not post images that are larger than the post boundaries.
  • Do not post images if by doing so you are in breach of the rights of third parties or in breach of any law.
  • Do not post images that have received or would receive a classification of MA or higher.
  • Do not link to images on other websites if the link is against the policies of the hosting website.
  • In the event of a dispute over the acceptability of an image, the burden of proof as to whether the image is acceptable lies with the person posting the image.
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#5 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:10 PM

Quotations
The QUOTE tag can be used to insert a quotation. It is inserted automatically into a new post when quoting another poster. Proper usage is subject to guidelines.
  • Only use the quote tag if you are actually quoting something that someone has actually said. Never use the quote tag to include hypothetical speech.
  • Quotes should include a link or other citation to the source of the text being quoted.
  • Text in quotes should not be modified except according to the following rules:
    • When paraphrasing, indicate the paraphrased text by placing it in brackets []: He said something would become [The Minister] said something. Paraphrase only to clarify, never to obfuscate.
    • Delete irrelevant text within a paragraph with an ellipsis (...).
    • Delete whole paragraphs from quoted text by replacing the deleted paragraphs with "(snip)" or by closing one quote block and immediately starting another. This only applies if the deleted text lies between quoted text. Deleted text at the beginning and end of a quotation does not need to be marked in this way.
    • Never delete text if it removes context or changes the meaning. If you are unsure, leave it alone.
    • Any quotation that has been modified in these ways must include a link or other citation to the original quotation to facilitate verification of the quoted material. No exceptions.

  • Do not quote entire articles if that article is copyrighted. Limit the quoted portion of any copyrighted article to ten per cent of the whole article by word count. Always include a link to any quoted article.
  • Do not include a quotation if by doing so you are in breach of the rights of third parties or of any law.
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#6 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

Quote

Delete irrelevant text within a paragraph with an ellipsis (...).


Never knew I'd been using "ellipses", and properly at that.

Quote

Never use the quote tag to include hypothetical speech.


Sadly, I have sinned, but do repent. "Was blind, but now I see"
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#7 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:47 PM

View Posticey, on 04 August 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

Sadly, I have sinned, but do repent. "Was blind, but now I see"

I've probably repudiated a few of my own sins here too.
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#8 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 07:43 AM

View PostBam, on 04 August 2012 - 12:10 PM, said:

Quotations
The QUOTE tag can be used to insert a quotation. It is inserted automatically into a new post when quoting another poster. Proper usage is subject to guidelines.
  • Only use the quote tag if you are actually quoting something that someone has actually said. Never use the quote tag to include hypothetical speech.


Addenda:
  • Never include your response to the quoted material within the Quote tag.
  • If you wish to respond to individual points within quoted text, use a closing [/quote] tag to introduce your response, then use a new [quote] tag to resume the quotation.
  • The [quote] tag also includes an optional Name attribute to specify who said or wrote the quoted text. It is optional to use this but its use is encouraged.
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#9 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:28 AM

View PostBam, on 04 August 2012 - 12:10 PM, said:

Quotations
  • Delete whole paragraphs from quoted text by replacing the deleted paragraphs with "(snip)" or by closing one quote block and immediately starting another. This only applies if the deleted text lies between quoted text. Deleted text at the beginning and end of a quotation does not need to be marked in this way.


I'm not sure if the intent of this is clear, so I will use an example.

Here is the original quotation - here, I have used greeked text called lorem ipsum to illustrate:

Quote

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


If one wants to delete the middle paragraph, one replaces the deleted material with "(snip)":

Quote

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

(snip)

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

This I will call the "snipped" style.

or one replaces the deleted material with "[/quote][quote]":

Quote

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Quote

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

This I will call the "requoted" style.

Either style is acceptable, although care needs to be taken to ensure that they are used correctly. I believe that these different styles have a subtle difference in meaning. The requoted style suggests that text in between the separate quote blocks includes other speech from the quoted speaker that has been excised, whereas the snipped style excises irrelevant text and serves to draw together relevant parts of an article. The snipped style is therefore best used on news articles and the like that may quote different people. The requoted style is best used if the entire body of text is by one speaker. If in doubt as to the better style to use, use the requoted style.

FInally, if one wants to delete the first paragraph or the last paragraph, paragraphs at the beginning and end are just deleted:

Quote

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.
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#10 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:54 PM

Citations
Citations are required in the following circumstances:
  • Whenever statistics of any kind are included in the post.
  • Whenever a third party is being quoted.

The above list is incomplete, and may be expanded.

All citations shall have the information needed to allow the source to be verified quickly and easily. Page numbers, section and subsection numbers, etc must be provided where appropriate. If it's not possible to find the reference quickly, insufficient citation has been provided.

Quality of sources
Not all references are created equal. Some are better than others.

Examples of high-quality sources:
  • Peer-reviewed publications in science journals or the equivalent in other disciplines.
  • The Hansard when citing speeches and debate in Parliament.
  • Statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics or statistics of equivalent quality in other countries.
  • Legislation and caselaw.

Examples of low-quality sources:
  • Websites that do not provide their own citations to high-quality sources.
  • Any material that cannot be obtained easily for verification, such as a publication in an obscure book or magazine that is difficult to obtain.
  • Anything from a blog.
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#11 User is offline   NotFrogman 

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:39 PM

View PostBam, on 15 August 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:



Quality of sources
Not all references are created equal. Some are better than others.

.[/list]
Examples of low-quality sources:
  • Anything from a blog.


If this rulew is in effect, then the MSM should be added to low quality sources. I have read more and more better quality journalism from blogs than from anything Fairfax or News corp shovels out.
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#12 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:10 PM

View PostNotFrogman, on 15 August 2012 - 01:39 PM, said:

If this rulew is in effect, then the MSM should be added to low quality sources. I have read more and more better quality journalism from blogs than from anything Fairfax or News corp shovels out.


But it depends on which blog, because as certainly as Fairfax's sun rises on the left, there are both good and bad blogs.
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#13 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:46 PM

Point taken on blogs. I think it's better to look at the quality of any citations contained therein. Wixxy's quite good with the citations in almost every paragraph.

I also do not intend there to be only two levels of quality. The MSM I would put in the middle by default: not the quality of a primary source but on the other hand there's a level of accountability that prevents them from sinking into the "low" end of the quality spectrum.
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#14 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:00 PM

Amendment:

View PostBam, on 15 August 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:

Examples of low-quality sources:
  • Websites, blogs and other Internet sources that do not provide their own citations to high-quality sources.
  • Any material that cannot be obtained easily for verification, such as a publication in an obscure book or magazine that is difficult to obtain.
  • Anything from a blog.

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#15 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:21 PM

Language

Be civil in your choice of words. Do not swear. A viewpoint that is made with sound, respectful language is more persuasive than one full of coarse expressions.

Pay attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation. Be forgiving if other people make mistakes. Consider getting a spelling checker for your browser, preferably one that understands Australian English.

Please take the time to get terminology correct.

Political parties
Australian political parties have some idiosyncratic spellings and usage that one should take the time to get correct.

The correct spelling is Australian Labor Party, not Australian Labour Party.

Do not use LNP if you intend to refer to the group of conservative parties commonly known as the Coalition. The abbreviation LNP as registered by the Australian Electoral Commission means the Liberal-National Party, a Queensland-based conservative party that is a part of the Coalition.

The Greens without qualification should refer to the Australian Greens, unless the context establishes that one of the State-based branches is under discussion. Similar context rules apply to the ALP in all states and territories. The separate Coalition parties in various states are more complex; they only require qualification for those states where the parties remain separate entities.
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#16 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:58 PM

Aspirations rather than absolute rules I assume.

Bam said:

Consider getting a spelling checker for your browser, preferably one that understands Australian English.


Never even thought to look for such an add-on. Thanks for the prompt; once I restart Firefox, I will have an English (Australian) Dictionary 2.1.2 dictionary to help correct my dropped keystrokes and inability to remember how to spell maitenance "maintenance".

Bam said:

Australian political parties have some idiosyncratic spellings and usage that one should take the time to get correct.

The correct spelling is Australian Labor Party, not Australian Labour Party.


For brevity, once can say "ALP". Or for clarity, use the phrase "outgoing governing party on its last legs".
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#17 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:19 PM

View Posticey, on 16 August 2012 - 02:58 PM, said:

For brevity, once can say "ALP". Or for clarity, use the phrase "outgoing governing party on its last legs".

Icey, please keep to the topic.

This thread is discussing a proposed manual of style and only this topic. It is not the place to engage in political spin. Any further remarks of this kind in this thread from anyone will be summarily deleted without further notice.

BAM
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#18 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:31 PM

View Posticey, on 16 August 2012 - 02:58 PM, said:

Aspirations rather than absolute rules I assume.

At the moment any rules for the MOS are under discussion. Even when completed they would be considered to be guidelines to follow rather than rules to be enforced.

However, posters who do not follow the MOS should not complain if noncompliant posts are edited by a moderator so as to comply with the MOS. In practice such editing will take place much as it does now, infrequently with the goal of fixing form rather than content, with actual words being left alone except in cases where the content of the post is reportable. The MOS is intended to provide a guide for moderators as it is for the posters.

Quote

Never even thought to look for such an add-on. Thanks for the prompt; once I restart Firefox, I will have an English (Australian) Dictionary 2.1.2 dictionary to help correct my dropped keystrokes and inability to remember how to spell maitenance "maintenance".

I use a similar one, possibly the same one. At times I have found it to be incomplete, with an occasional need to add words to the dictionary that are missing such as "retiree" and "retirees".

I'm sure your spelling is fine most of the time like most people. Think of it as a "typo checker".
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#19 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

View PostBam, on 16 August 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

It is not the place to engage in political spin. Any further remarks of this kind in this thread from anyone will be summarily deleted without further notice.


Aww, c'mon. All work and no spin makes Jack a dull boy :(

View PostBam, on 16 August 2012 - 03:31 PM, said:

I'm sure your spelling is fine most of the time like most people. Think of it as a "typo checker".


I get annoyed when I find myself entering the wrong choice from "there", they're" and "their" despite being well aware of usage. It may be related to fairly rapid typing as opposed to slow & careful (though untidy) handwriting. Sadly, spell checkers are not of much assistance compared to old fashioned proof reading.
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#20 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:18 PM

View Posticey, on 16 August 2012 - 04:06 PM, said:

Aww, c'mon. All work and no spin makes Jack a dull boy :(

Not in this thread. There's plenty of other threads to indulge in that, both current and yet to be created.
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