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Ashton Gray

How to Quote When Replying

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I'm not a moderator in this forum, but have noticed some members having trouble with quoting other members when replying, so this is an unsolicited and completely unofficial primer on quoting and posting with the forum software in use here.

This article deals with two aspects of forum participation when replying to another member:

1. The nuts and bolts of quoting and replying using the tools of this specific forum, and,

2. (Briefly) Conventions of courtesy and consideration for others when using those tools ("netiquette")

1. NUTS AND BOLTS OF QUOTING ANOTHER MESSAGE

Here is the simplest way to quote any text from anywhere, at any time. Just type the following into any message editor, and type it exactly the way you see it in the "CODE" box below:

[quote]This is the piece of text I want to quote.[/quote]


The code word "quote" inside the square brackets at the beginning of the text turns quoting ON. The code word "/quote" (with a forward slash in front of "quote") inside square brackets at the end of the text turns quoting OFF. These are simple ON/OFF switches using simple "programming" code that the forum understands.

If you go into a message editor and type just what you see inside the CODE box above, then use the "Preview Post" button at the bottom of the message editor, you will see this:

This is the piece of text I want to quote.

It really is just that simple. There is nothing else to it at all. But there are just a few important things to keep in mind, or you will have trouble with it:

  1. The single most important thing to keep in mind is that the "quote" and "/quote" codes inside square brackets are ON/OFF switches, and for every ON quote code there must be a matching OFF quote code (and vice versa—for every OFF code, there must be a matching ON code).
  2. If you have even one unmatched ON or OFF quote code anywhere in a message, it will screw up the the rest of your matched pairs, and nothing you tried to quote will appear properly in quote boxes. Instead you will see a lot of "quote" and "/quote" codes (in square brackets) scattered all over the posted version of the message like bugs on a windshield. That's difficult to reproduce here without destroying this message, but if you've spent any time in these forums, you've seen it.
  3. To identify the member you're quoting, the ON quote code takes a slightly more complex form, described below. But it isn't really complex, since the forum software creates it for you when you hit the "Reply" button on a posted message. Let's look at that:

Here's an example of the first line of text you normally see in a message editor when you hit the "Reply" button on any forum message:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']


If it starts to seem awfully complex, take a deep breath and notice that it is nothing whatsoever but a longer form of the simple ON "quote" code above. It still keeps it inside square brackets, but adds information that identifies the member you're quoting, gives a unique "post" number to the message you're replying to, and adds a date and time.

The OFF quote code, described earlier, never changes.

So here's how to use that "long form" ON quote code above to quote some text:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]


If you copy and paste that into a message editor exactly as you see it in the CODE box above, then use the "Preview Post" button at the bottom of the message editor, this is what you'll see:

This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.

Notice that in the blue band at the top of the quote box, instead of just saying "QUOTE" (which is what the simpler "short form" of the code, shown above, gives you) it says "QUOTE" followed by the name of the person being quoted, the date/time, and then a little icon you can click on to go to the original message it was quoted from.

And that really is all there is to it!

If you're quoting and replying to several passages in the same message from one member, you can use the "long form" quote ON code for the first passage you're replying to, then use the "short form" quote ON code from there on out in your message, like this nonsense example:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]

If you aren't who you say you are, why are you saying you are?

[quote]This is some MORE text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]

Adding "MORE" to your nonsense only makes it MORE nonsense!


That would look like this when posted (the lines and indenting are just to designate beginning/ending of posted message, and would not appear):

  • ______________________________
This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.
If you aren't who you say you are, why are you saying you are?
This is some MORE text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.
Adding "MORE" to your nonsense only makes it MORE nonsense!
______________________________

And yes, that really is all there is to it even when quoting people quoting other people. In that case, you merely are "nesting" pairs of ON/OFF quote codes inside each other, as in this example (all using just my own Ashton Gray "long form" ON code):

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']
[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']
This is Ashton Gray quoting something else Ashton Gray said
[/quote]
[/quote]

Notice that there are TWO ON QUOTE CODES and TWO OFF QUOTE CODES. Copying and pasting the above into a message editor and hitting the "Preview Post" button will give you this:

This is Ashton Gray quoting something else Ashton Gray said

No matter how many such quotes you "nest" inside of each other, the only thing that you must keep in mind is that for every ON quote code there must be a matching OFF quote code

That's it. That's all there is to it. So if you see the codes themselves showing up in your messages after they are posted, hit the "Edit" button at the bottom of your own posts, and go in and find where you have either an ON quote code without a matching OFF quote code, or vice versa. That is the ONLY REASON why quoting fails.

So having covered the nuts and bolts, here are a few conventions of "netiquette" that have developed over many years in many forums and USENET groups:

2. CONVENTIONS AND COURTESY

Although the following points are derived from conventions that more or less prevail across the 'net, obviously there are no hard-and-fast laws governing such conventions, and there are no "Posting Police" that are going to enforce anything written below. It's up to users to try to do what they can to make the forum as pleasant and functional as possible. The guidelines below are purely my own observations of conventional usage.

  • When replying to a message, quote only what's precisely pertinent to what you are replying to. If the message you're replying to is four yards long, don't quote all four yards in order to ask a specific question about something in the second sentence of the fourth paragraph. Quote the second sentence of the fourth paragraph ONLY.
    DO quote specifically what someone else has said if you're taking issue with it. DO NOT rewrite the person and take issue with your own alteration of what they purportedly said.
    If you're only adding a non-critical and general comment about something someone else posted, DO NOT quote the message at all. What they said is already in the thread. That's why forum messages are arranged in continuing threads, so there is a record of the discussion. The exception to that, of course, is when a number of messages have intervened between what you're responding to and your response. Just use judgment and quote only what's necessary to have your message make sense in the context of the thread.
    DO NOT use color, bold, lines of asterisks, chevrons, quotation marks, or other hacks to quote people. It makes reading difficult enough, and makes standard quoting-and-replying to your messages damned near impossible for others. Just learn how to quote using the tools that are provided. It's really not that hard, and helps everyone.
    Using a separate text editor like NotePad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) can help quite a lot when creating a message with lots of quote-reply sequences, or nested quotes. When finished editing it, just copy and paste it into the forum message editor.

And I hope all that helps someone.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray

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I'm not a moderator in this forum, but have noticed some members having trouble with quoting other members when replying, so this is an unsolicited and completely unofficial primer on quoting and posting with the forum software in use here.
This article deals with two aspects of forum participation when replying to another member: Thanks Ashton , I needed the help Peter

1. The nuts and bolts of quoting and replying using the tools of this specific forum, and,

2. (Briefly) Conventions of courtesy and consideration for others when using those tools ("netiquette")

1. NUTS AND BOLTS OF QUOTING ANOTHER MESSAGE

Here is the simplest way to quote any text from anywhere, at any time. Just type the following into any message editor, and type it exactly the way you see it in the "CODE" box below:

[quote]This is the piece of text I want to quote.[/quote]


The code word "quote" inside the square brackets at the beginning of the text turns quoting ON. The code word "/quote" (with a forward slash in front of "quote") inside square brackets at the end of the text turns quoting OFF. These are simple ON/OFF switches using simple "programming" code that the forum understands.

If you go into a message editor and type just what you see inside the CODE box above, then use the "Preview Post" button at the bottom of the message editor, you will see this:

This is the piece of text I want to quote.

It really is just that simple. There is nothing else to it at all. But there are just a few important things to keep in mind, or you will have trouble with it:

  1. The single most important thing to keep in mind is that the "quote" and "/quote" codes inside square brackets are ON/OFF switches, and for every ON quote code there must be a matching OFF quote code (and vice versa—for every OFF code, there must be a matching ON code).
  2. If you have even one unmatched ON or OFF quote code anywhere in a message, it will screw up the the rest of your matched pairs, and nothing you tried to quote will appear properly in quote boxes. Instead you will see a lot of "quote" and "/quote" codes (in square brackets) scattered all over the posted version of the message like bugs on a windshield. That's difficult to reproduce here without destroying this message, but if you've spent any time in these forums, you've seen it.
  3. To identify the member you're quoting, the ON quote code takes a slightly more complex form, described below. But it isn't really complex, since the forum software creates it for you when you hit the "Reply" button on a posted message. Let's look at that:

Here's an example of the first line of text you normally see in a message editor when you hit the "Reply" button on any forum message:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']


If it starts to seem awfully complex, take a deep breath and notice that it is nothing whatsoever but a longer form of the simple ON "quote" code above. It still keeps it inside square brackets, but adds information that identifies the member you're quoting, gives a unique "post" number to the message you're replying to, and adds a date and time.

The OFF quote code, described earlier, never changes.

So here's how to use that "long form" ON quote code above to quote some text:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]


If you copy and paste that into a message editor exactly as you see it in the CODE box above, then use the "Preview Post" button at the bottom of the message editor, this is what you'll see:

This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.

And that really is all there is to it!

If you're quoting and replying to several passages in the same message from one member, you can use the "long form" quote ON code for the first passage you're replying to, then use the "short form" quote ON code from there on out in your message, like this nonsense example:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]

If you aren't who you say your are, why are you saying you are?

[quote]This is some MORE text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]

Adding "MORE" to your nonsense only makes it MORE nonsense!


That would look like this when posted (the lines and indenting are just so designate beginning/ending of posted message, and would not appear):

  • ______________________________
This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.
If you aren't who you say your are, why are you saying you are?
This is some MORE text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.
Adding "MORE" to your nonsense only makes it MORE nonsense!
______________________________

And yes, that really is all there is to it even when quoting people quoting other people. In that case, you merely are "nesting" pairs of ON/OFF quote codes inside each other, as in this example (all using just my own Ashton Gray "long form" ON code):

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']
[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']
This is Ashton Gray quoting something else Ashton Gray said
[/quote]
[/quote]

Notice that there are TWO ON QUOTE CODES and TWO OFF QUOTE CODES. Copying and pasting the above into a message editor and hitting the "Preview Post" button will give you this:

This is Ashton Gray quoting something else Ashton Gray said

No matter how many such quotes you "nest" inside of each other, the only thing that you must keep in mind is that for every ON quote code there must be a matching OFF quote code

That's it. That's all there is to it. So if you see the codes themselves showing up in your messages after they are posted, hit the "Edit" button at the bottom of your own posts, and go in and find where you have either an ON quote code without a matching OFF quote code, or vice versa. That is the ONLY REASON why quoting fails.

So having covered the nuts and bolts, here are a few conventions of "netiquette" that have developed over many years in many forums and USENET groups:

2. CONVENTIONS AND COURTESY

Although the following points are derived from conventions that more or less prevail across the 'net, obviously there are no hard-and-fast laws governing such conventions, and there are no "Posting Police" that are going to enforce anything written below. It's up to users to try to do what they can to make the forum as pleasant and functional as possible. The guidelines below are purely my own observations of conventional usage.

  • When replying to a message, quote only what's precisely pertinent to what you are replying to. If the message you're replying to is four yards long, don't quote all four yards in order to ask a specific question about something in the second sentence of the fourth paragraph. Quote the second sentence of the fourth paragraph ONLY.
    DO quote specifically what someone else has said if you're taking issue with it. DO NOT rewrite the person and take issue with your own alteration of what they purportedly said.
    If you're only adding a non-critical and general comment about something someone else posted, DO NOT quote the message at all. What they said is already in the thread. That's why forum messages are arranged in continuing threads, so there is a record of the discussion. The exception to that, of course, is when a number of messages have intervened between what you're responding to and your response. Just use judgment and quote only what's necessary to have your message make sense in the context of the thread.
    DO NOT use color, bold, lines of asterisks, chevrons, quotation marks, or other hacks to quote people. It makes reading difficult enough, and makes standard quoting-and-replying to your messages damned near impossible for others. Just learn how to quote using the tools that are provided. It's really not that hard, and helps everyone.
    Using a separate text editor like NotePad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) can help quite a lot when creating a message with lots of quote-reply sequences, or nested quotes. When finished editing it, just copy and paste it into the forum message editor.

And I hope all that helps someone.

Ashton Gray

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If we are lazy or stupid do we have to spend an hour in detention hall if we still don't do it correctly now?

Yes - but the detention will be with Ashton not me :lol:

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If we are lazy or stupid do we have to spend an hour in detention hall if we still don't do it correctly now?

Yes - but the detention will be with Ashton not me :lol:

And it's BYOB.

Ashton

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I'm not a moderator in this forum, but have noticed some members having trouble with quoting other members when replying, so this is an unsolicited and completely unofficial primer on quoting and posting with the forum software in use here.

This article deals with two aspects of forum participation when replying to another member: Thanks Ashton , I needed the help Peter

1. The nuts and bolts of quoting and replying using the tools of this specific forum, and,

2. (Briefly) Conventions of courtesy and consideration for others when using those tools ("netiquette")

1. NUTS AND BOLTS OF QUOTING ANOTHER MESSAGE

Here is the simplest way to quote any text from anywhere, at any time. Just type the following into any message editor, and type it exactly the way you see it in the "CODE" box below:

[quote]This is the piece of text I want to quote.[/quote]


The code word "quote" inside the square brackets at the beginning of the text turns quoting ON. The code word "/quote" (with a forward slash in front of "quote") inside square brackets at the end of the text turns quoting OFF. These are simple ON/OFF switches using simple "programming" code that the forum understands.

If you go into a message editor and type just what you see inside the CODE box above, then use the "Preview Post" button at the bottom of the message editor, you will see this:

This is the piece of text I want to quote.

It really is just that simple. There is nothing else to it at all. But there are just a few important things to keep in mind, or you will have trouble with it:

  1. The single most important thing to keep in mind is that the "quote" and "/quote" codes inside square brackets are ON/OFF switches, and for every ON quote code there must be a matching OFF quote code (and vice versa—for every OFF code, there must be a matching ON code).
  2. If you have even one unmatched ON or OFF quote code anywhere in a message, it will screw up the the rest of your matched pairs, and nothing you tried to quote will appear properly in quote boxes. Instead you will see a lot of "quote" and "/quote" codes (in square brackets) scattered all over the posted version of the message like bugs on a windshield. That's difficult to reproduce here without destroying this message, but if you've spent any time in these forums, you've seen it.
  3. To identify the member you're quoting, the ON quote code takes a slightly more complex form, described below. But it isn't really complex, since the forum software creates it for you when you hit the "Reply" button on a posted message. Let's look at that:

Here's an example of the first line of text you normally see in a message editor when you hit the "Reply" button on any forum message:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']


If it starts to seem awfully complex, take a deep breath and notice that it is nothing whatsoever but a longer form of the simple ON "quote" code above. It still keeps it inside square brackets, but adds information that identifies the member you're quoting, gives a unique "post" number to the message you're replying to, and adds a date and time.

The OFF quote code, described earlier, never changes.

So here's how to use that "long form" ON quote code above to quote some text:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]


If you copy and paste that into a message editor exactly as you see it in the CODE box above, then use the "Preview Post" button at the bottom of the message editor, this is what you'll see:

This the point that brings me undone. It won't let me copy and paste inside the message editor. Unless I'm supposed to do it differently from the usual right click method.

This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.

And that really is all there is to it!

If you're quoting and replying to several passages in the same message from one member, you can use the "long form" quote ON code for the first passage you're replying to, then use the "short form" quote ON code from there on out in your message, like this nonsense example:

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]

If you aren't who you say your are, why are you saying you are?

[quote]This is some MORE text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.[/quote]

Adding "MORE" to your nonsense only makes it MORE nonsense!


That would look like this when posted (the lines and indenting are just so designate beginning/ending of posted message, and would not appear):

  • ______________________________
This is some text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.
If you aren't who you say your are, why are you saying you are?
This is some MORE text that isn't really from a real Ashton Gray post.
Adding "MORE" to your nonsense only makes it MORE nonsense!
______________________________

And yes, that really is all there is to it even when quoting people quoting other people. In that case, you merely are "nesting" pairs of ON/OFF quote codes inside each other, as in this example (all using just my own Ashton Gray "long form" ON code):

[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']
[quote name='Ashton Gray' post='72030' date='Aug 12 2006, 10:04 AM']
This is Ashton Gray quoting something else Ashton Gray said
[/quote]
[/quote]

Notice that there are TWO ON QUOTE CODES and TWO OFF QUOTE CODES. Copying and pasting the above into a message editor and hitting the "Preview Post" button will give you this:

This is Ashton Gray quoting something else Ashton Gray said

No matter how many such quotes you "nest" inside of each other, the only thing that you must keep in mind is that for every ON quote code there must be a matching OFF quote code

Your little mini-seminar was quite helpful, Ashton--thanks. At least I understand the on/off quote codes now, which I was previously unaware of. Sadly, I still can't seem to master the long form quote so for the moment I'll have to remain an 'in the box' replier.

That's it. That's all there is to it. So if you see the codes themselves showing up in your messages after they are posted, hit the "Edit" button at the bottom of your own posts, and go in and find where you have either an ON quote code without a matching OFF quote code, or vice versa. That is the ONLY REASON why quoting fails.

So having covered the nuts and bolts, here are a few conventions of "netiquette" that have developed over many years in many forums and USENET groups:

2. CONVENTIONS AND COURTESY

Although the following points are derived from conventions that more or less prevail across the 'net, obviously there are no hard-and-fast laws governing such conventions, and there are no "Posting Police" that are going to enforce anything written below. It's up to users to try to do what they can to make the forum as pleasant and functional as possible. The guidelines below are purely my own observations of conventional usage.

  • When replying to a message, quote only what's precisely pertinent to what you are replying to. If the message you're replying to is four yards long, don't quote all four yards in order to ask a specific question about something in the second sentence of the fourth paragraph. Quote the second sentence of the fourth paragraph ONLY.
    DO quote specifically what someone else has said if you're taking issue with it. DO NOT rewrite the person and take issue with your own alteration of what they purportedly said.
    If you're only adding a non-critical and general comment about something someone else posted, DO NOT quote the message at all. What they said is already in the thread. That's why forum messages are arranged in continuing threads, so there is a record of the discussion. The exception to that, of course, is when a number of messages have intervened between what you're responding to and your response. Just use judgment and quote only what's necessary to have your message make sense in the context of the thread.
    DO NOT use color, bold, lines of asterisks, chevrons, quotation marks, or other hacks to quote people. It makes reading difficult enough, and makes standard quoting-and-replying to your messages damned near impossible for others. Just learn how to quote using the tools that are provided. It's really not that hard, and helps everyone.
    Using a separate text editor like NotePad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) can help quite a lot when creating a message with lots of quote-reply sequences, or nested quotes. When finished editing it, just copy and paste it into the forum message editor.

And I hope all that helps someone.

Ashton Gray

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