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zensky's avatar

The "whisper" here on Fluther should be removed. Agree?

Asked by zensky (13357points) September 23rd, 2012

In order to “not derail” a thread here, we resort to so-called whispering, i.e., writing small. Newbies – it’s by putting dashes – on either side of the word/sentence.

I say it does nothing except make us squint our eyes, and for others (like me) adjust my settings to 150% to read it. Thus it does the exact opposite – it completely “derails” the thread.

I say people should stick to the facts in General, but just write normally in Social and Meta.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

56 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I disagree. I don’t think the whisper should be removed. I do dislike it when it’s used in place of other proper punctuation. I can’t point to an example right this second, but I can recall instances of the whisper being used for subordinate clauses without the necessary commas or even dashes in some instances.

Besides, @zensky, there are some things I want to say that I only want a few people to hear.

tinyfaery's avatar

No. It serves a purpose. And older Jellies always use it.

lifeflame's avatar

I’m all for the whisper. As long as the whispering doesn’t get longer than the actual answer, I think it’s valid to use it as an aside.

ucme's avatar

I’ve searched for a user here named whisper & can’t find anyone of that name, maybe they already left.

hearkat's avatar

I use the whisper, and have always liked having the numerous ways to express ourselves here.

I do understand the issue of being hard to read. I was 41 when the iPhone first came out, and it made my just-developing presbyopia very obvious. In less than 6 months, I had my first pair of bifocals. Thankfully, the newer devices with the Retina Screen are so incredibly sharp, that I can read without glasses most of the time.

janbb's avatar

I like to whisper.

Trillian's avatar


jaytkay's avatar

I like the whisper because many (most?) other Internet forums HAVE A LOT OF VIRTUAL SHOUTING.

The whisper is one of the reasons the tone here is more calm.

Fyrius's avatar


(I like whispering because it allows me to alternate between that and parentheses for when I want to subtly add side notes that aren’t relevant to the main point but that I still want to say.)
Or afterthoughts that I would feel it would be silly to present in the spotlights of regular-sized letters.

RareDenver's avatar

totally disagree

Fred931's avatar

Haha, poor @zensky can’t read what we’re typing!

Sunny2's avatar

I’m for the whisper, but @zensky, I’ll write bigger when I answer you. (if I remember).

El_Cadejo's avatar

I couldnt disagree more…. and besides if you cant read the whisper that should make derailing less of an issue for you, simply dont read it and pretend it was never there. See problem solved.

zensky's avatar

Why hasn’t anyone answered yet?

Berserker's avatar

I see dead people.

jerv's avatar

Some the truly geeky of us think in nested parenthesis, and whisper makes it easier to do than either normal parenthesis which make sentences look like algebraic equations or a series of annoying footnotes appended to each post and interrupting the narrative flow.

YARNLADY's avatar

I love the nuances that we have. and I just plus up the page for whispers

FutureMemory's avatar

I love the whisper, but I understand it’s problematic for some users. My mom apparently can’t read them without plus-ing the page’s font size, which she doesn’t want to bother doing so she skips all whispers as a rule.

Personally I have no problem reading text this small, and I have much sympathy for those with vision that poor.

gailcalled's avatar

@FutureMemory: It’s not so hard to hit command (shift) +. I do it all the time.

I think that the whisper command serves a useful and uncumbersome purpose.

Kardamom's avatar

I like the whisper. Sometimes you have to give the cold hard ugly truth to people, that’s the facts part of an answer. But then sometimes you also want to soften the blow by telling the person how you feel about them and that you hope that things get better and work out.

Other times, when you post an answer to someone who clearly is not getting it it sometimes adds a little levity to the thread to point that out in a slightly ironic or joking way to the other Jellies in a little whisper.

Sometimes the whisper is an added piece of info about the actual answer, that is not absolutely necessary for the answer, but it might be a tidbit that is of interest to the OP or other Jellies.

Sometimes a whisper is used to let someone know that they made an itty bitty mistake, whether it be a typo or that they responded to the wrong person, or that they are on the wrong thread for what they were trying to answer. It’s a way of alerting a Jelly to a wee tiny problem without embarrassing them or screaming at them.

Does that make sense?

harple's avatar

I believe there’s something you can do to prevent the whisper having an effect at your receiving end. From memory, downtide and Jeruba have both mentioned this, so perhaps they might know an answer to stop it affecting you @zensky. And yes, I just have a weird memory for things like that. Not the useful piece of information itself, just the people who said it.

augustlan's avatar

This is not going to happen.


Also, I love you all. <3

chyna's avatar

psst, no.

tinyfaery's avatar

And how would @cheebdragon ever respond?

Aethelflaed's avatar

Sweet Jesus, no. Whisper rocks. Much like AC/DC.

janbb's avatar

@tinyfaery Conservatively.

woodcutter's avatar

How would we be able to administer backhanded insults if not for whisper?

downtide's avatar

I have a minimum font size set in my browser so I have never seen a whisper. They are indistinguishable from normal text, for me.

linguaphile's avatar

Wait… those were whispers? I thought they were theatrical asides.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

No, I quite like the whisper feature. But I will try to remember to not whisper if I am replying to you, @zensky.

CWOTUS's avatar

The motion has not been seconded, so it will not be put to a vote.

Besides, a vote wouldn’t mean a damn thing, anyway. This ain’t a democracy, or I wouldn’t be here.

zensky's avatar

I wish someone would reply.

Fyrius's avatar

Psst, let’s secretly gossip about @zensky now that he can’t hear us.
Did you see that one thread he made about removing the whisper feature? What’s up with that, right?

thorninmud's avatar

@zensky I wonder if you could clarify what you said in this post. I can’t quite make it out.

zensky's avatar

Lonely. I’m mister lonely.

blueiiznh's avatar

Try Ctrl + or Ctrl -

wundayatta's avatar

If whisper goes, so should General. Now there’s a waste of thought. Then we could all be one big happy family again, with no discrimination against anyone.

Berserker's avatar

@wundayatta And wassa fun in dat shit, amirite?

wundayatta's avatar

When you’re right, you’re right!

Jeruba's avatar

@harple, I don’t think that was me. I don’t know what I might have said.

_Whitetigress's avatar

“I say people should stick to the facts in General”

I agree. And I love animated, flowery artsy writers. But in the General section I don’t think the whisper mode is intuitive and could be easily done with out. I don’t believe I’ve seen it in action in the General section yet.

zensky's avatar

So everyone agrees the whisper should be removed, yes?

harple's avatar

@Jeruba Ahh, my apologies! I was at least right on @downtide :-)

janbb's avatar

pssst pssst pssst pssst @zensky psst psst pssst pssst

Fyrius's avatar

@janbb hesse vesse vesse @zensky vesse vesse presciption glasses vesse vesse old people.

janbb's avatar

@Fyrius true, true, true @zensky glasses old person

ucme's avatar

I’m all for the chocolate version.

zensky's avatar

Sticks and stones.

Fyrius's avatar

Sorry, can you speak up? I couldn’t make out what you said.

Jeruba's avatar

To answer the question: no, I don’t agree. I’ve seen it overused, for instance by setting an entire paragraph in tiny hard-to-read print, but that doesn’t mean it ought to be taken away from everybody. As an expressive device it has good uses, just like other forms of special typography, and when used well it does help to convey the intent of the writer in what is after all a very limited medium.

Paradox25's avatar

No, I like to use the whisper feature sometimes. We all have our own style, so why take that option away?

FutureMemory's avatar

Summary: get some stronger glasses, zenny.

jrpowell's avatar

I wrote a Greasemonkey script a long time ago that expands the text when you hover on a whisper.

Coloma's avatar

Nay. I love the whisper feature, and see nothing wrong with a little between the lines banter.

Earthgirl's avatar

@johnpowell That is great! I love the name, “Helps Blind People on Fluther”, lol.

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