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r rOverly long unformatted statements present fellow editors with a dilemma: spend excessive time parsing out what a writer meant or be mildly rude by not actually reading what was written. It is generally held by editors that lengthy writing is a sign that the writer didn't take an extra few moments to distill their thoughts into reasonably-sized pieces, giving rise to the shorthand tl;dr which indicates that the piece in question is being protested.
Traditionally, the phrase too long; didn't read (abbreviated tl;dr or simply tldr) has been used on the Internet as a reply to an excessively long statement. It indicates that the reader did not actually read the statement due to its undue length. This essay especially considers the term as used in Wikipedia discussions, and examines methods of fixing the problem when found in article content.
As a label, it is sometimes used as a tactic to thwart the kinds of discussion which are essential in collaborative editing. On the other hand, tl;dr may represent a shorthand acknowledgement of time saved by skimming over or skipping repetitive or poorly written material. Thus, the implication of the symbol can range from a brilliant and informative disquisition being given up due to a reader's lack of endurance, interest, or intelligence, to a clustered composition of such utter failure to communicate that it has left the capable reader with a headache; judging this range is very subjective.
The label is sometimes used by an author to introduce a short summation of a longer piece.
1 Reasons for length, good or bad
2 Reducing wordiness
3 Maintain civility
4 See also
6 External links
Reasons for length, good or bad
Many people who edit Wikipedia do so because they enjoy writing; however, that passion for writing can influence what they write to be longer than necessary. Sometimes this is because the writer incorrectly believes that long sentences and big words will make them appear learned. In other cases, misplaced pride prevents the author from seeing which words are superfluous. Perhaps the author may be too hurried (or lazy) to write clearly and concisely; recall Pascal's famous quote, "I made this so long because I did not have time to make it shorter." While a genius like Pascal may have been justified in that balancing of priorities (just as neurosurgeons may not spend time doing the hospital landscaping), the rest of us must do our share of the work. In a related vein, administrator candidates may be judged merely by how much they have written, versus the much more subjective value of their contributions. Sometimes, the writer is an academic, whose occupation requires obscure, genre-specific jargon to impress his peers and justify additional funding. They don't necessarily know how to turn it off on Wikipedia, or even that they should.
Due to these…