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stump's avatar

How long should questions, details, (Oxford comma) and answers be?

Asked by stump (3835points) February 24th, 2010

I am put off by extremely long details to a question and very long answers. I often am interested in a question, but skip it when I see a ton of details. I often feel that if a question has several paragraphs of details, it probably should be more than one question. Maybe I am just lazy. What do you all think?

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18 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

I don’t mind if a question or answer is long as long as it’s readable. Breaks and paragraphs are nice and readable. When someone just writes on and on in one big block then I give up.

stump's avatar

I also do most of my Fluthering at work, and don’t like to be seen just reading for long periods. I read slowly.

mrentropy's avatar

@stump That’s why we all type slow :)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I don’t mind length, it it adds clarity. Some short questions leave me wondering what the questioner is really asking for.

CMaz's avatar

Don’t worry. I am lazy too.

Sometimes (most of the time) it gets too wordy in both directions.

Just my opinion friends. :-)

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

I am guilty of both of these infractions. :-)
No, length does not bother me in the least.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I had a college professor who often said that an answer (or an essay) should be like a girl’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to keep it interesting.

Trillian's avatar

There actually is a time when length bothers me, but it isn’t here. ;-)
After making a jackass out of myself a couple times, I make sure to read all the details, so I’m not answering something that is not being asked.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think should be any shoulds about Fluther length, but I do skip over some question details or answers if they are too long for my patience level.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s an occupational hazard. I get a lot of inappropriate answers from people who haven’t read the details or haven’t understood the question, but those aren’t the people I’m interested in. I get some good and serious answers, too—sometimes of a length that allows them to explain what they mean. Anyway, I’m writing for those who are willing to read.

On the answer side—I’m basically writing for two people: me and the person asking the question. If someone else reads the answer and finds it of value, that’s a bonus. But I am not changing the way I write so that the people with short attention spans can decide to read it. I really don’t care if they read what I write or not.

janbb's avatar

I will amend my answer to say, if I am planning to answer the question, I will read the details first. There are times when I do have the time and patience, and times when I am just casually Fluthering and don’t wade in to anything too heavy. But I don’t think I am uncaring about someone else’s angst..

Cruiser's avatar

I feel the same as you! I prefer the talking points to be given and links to supporting information if there is a need for it.

Jeruba's avatar

I think they should be as long as it takes to supply the necessary particulars.

Questioners should exercise good judgment to put enough into the question itself so that you can tell what it’s about from seeing the subject line, without putting all the details into the subject line. The details section does not need to contain a complete autobiography or a word-by-word replay of an entire conversation (and paragraph breaks help!), just enough information to make the question clear.

Responders should write as much as they need to write in order to give an appropriate and useful answer.

In other words, length varies as needed.

People who don’t like to read long stuff can skip the long stuff. That’s not hard, is it?

mollypop51797's avatar

I’ll keep this short and simple for you :) I think that if it’s a question that requires detail, advice, help, personal experiences, etc. then it’s probably going to receive a lot of long answers. That’s reasonable, but if it’s just extra stuff that isn’t necessary in the answer (which usually tends to be straight forward type of questions) then that extra “fluff” is annoying, and I see where you’re coming from. But in general, short and simple answers are usually answering a question but not with as much detail.

Steve_A's avatar

I just read it. I don’t mind unless the spelling and grammar is too bad to really read easily or hinders the person asking the question from getting there point/question across.

YARNLADY's avatar

Each jelly has zer own preferences, and sometimes it depends on the time available or the mood we are in. There is no rule about it.

augustlan's avatar

If I’m interested in the subject matter I read it all, no matter how long it is. I don’t think I have any preference about Q and A length at all, come to think of it.

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