[FOM] FOM policy on "excessive quotation"

Martin Davis martin at eipye.com
Wed Oct 26 13:35:40 EDT 2005

Dear subscribers,

FOM has a rule against excessive quotation in postings, and, as moderator, 
I have the task of  enforcing the rule. I try to do so in a fair 
common-sense way, but I don't have an algorithm that I can offer, and I'm 
sure that I'm not always consistent. I'll try to explain by some examples 
what the policy is about in the hope that it will provide sufficient guidance.

PARADIGM BAD CASE: A posts a message. B posts a rejoinder followed by the 
A's complete text preceded by the words: On ...., A wrote ... Now C gets in 
the act with a message followed by the text of B's message (including B's 
quote from A). THIS GETS REJECTED.

PARADIGM GOOD CASE: A posts a message. B posts a rejoinder preceded by a 
single relevant paragraph from A. Now C gets in the act with a message 
including short snippets from B (possibly including B's brief quote from A).

ANOTHER GOOD CASE: A posts a long message making a number of points. B 
posts a rejoinder in which he/she rebuts A point-by-point: Each point made 
by A is quoted followed by B's rejoinder.

The rationale for the rule is that it's all in the archive. The 
common-sense idea I try to follow is based on the question: Is the entire 
quote necessary or even helpful in understanding the reply?

I hope this admittedly imprecise account of my thinking will be helpful.

Best wishes to all.

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