Hard to read posts written in one huge paragraph?

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wsmac
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08 Mar 2008, 11:27 pm

I was just reading... or trying to read.. another post where the author wrote one long paragraph.

I usually space my thoughts out a bit into smaller paragraphs or single sentences.
I find it easier for me to read both as an author and as a reader.

Does anyone else have trouble with this?
I literally cannot make sense of solid paragraphs where several different lines of thought are all glommed in together.
I start to read then find my mind skipping down the sentence or down to the next line, missing much of the content.
The feelings I get evoke a sort of anxiety while trying to figure out what the person is saying.

I usually can make it about a third of the way in, then I feel the frustration kicking in and I skip ahead, sometimes to the end.

THEN,

I go back and try to read the thing again because I've missed too much to really grasp what the post was about.
When I hit a line I have already read, I skip on to a different spot.
This just sets up a chain-of-events that sometimes has me moving on to another post or thread since I'm clearly not getting the message in the long, unbroken post.

Just curious if anyone else does the same thing?


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wsmac
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08 Mar 2008, 11:31 pm

To add...

I mentioned above that this occurs in long unbroken posts with 'different lines of thought', but it also happens with posts concerning a single issue.

also,

I can read books without this sort of thing happening, although it does still happen when I'm reading a book.

I suppose it may be an ADD/HD thing, although I really don't care one way or the other.
I just know it makes it very hard for me to read and comprehend/retain what was written sometimes.

I suppose that's why I like reading certain kinds of technical stuff... short... to the point... and DIAGRAMS! LOL :P


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sartresue
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09 Mar 2008, 12:13 am

Divide and simplify topic

My personal definition of a paragraph is as follows: a group of sentences expressing one idea introduced by a topic sentence and (sometimes) indented to separate it from other topics or subtopics. As a rule, I limit my paragraphs to no more than six to eight sentences. Sometimes the sentences are longer than others, which sometimes makes the paragraph seem longer. I think JK Rowling may arguably hold the unofficial record for long sentences and even longer paragraphs. This is not a title I would want.

Some of the posters here have a huge thought and express it in a huge paragraph. I do not have trouble reading them as I read slowly but not everybody has my patience. Some members here have ADD or some sensory issues which may include colour and light sensitivity. I for one do not like the HD wide screen, so I use a cathode ray monitor. I am used to reading books which do not require a wide eye sweep as I read, which is a problem with those wide monitors.

I have compassion for your problem. You could request that posters please compose smaller paragraphs or write one sentence at a time, with space in between, I know of one poster who does this (I will not mention names) so this may be more within your comfort zone.

I hope reading my post has not tired you. 8)

Thank you for your concern.


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wsmac
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09 Mar 2008, 2:30 am

Well... here's what I got from your post...


sartresue wrote:
Divide and simplify topic

My personal definition of a paragraph... As a rule... six to eight sentences... JK Rowling may arguably hold the unofficial record for long sentences and even longer paragraphs. This is not a title I would want.

Some of the posters here have a huge thought and express it in a huge paragraph. I do not have trouble reading them as I read slowly but not everybody has my... wide monitors.

I have ...one sentence ...between...one poster who ... may be more within your comfort zone.

I hope reading my post has not tired you. 8)

Thank you for your concern.


and I'm REALLY TIRED right now from all that! :wink:


Just kidding! :D

You have some good points, and the info about monitor widths, etc. I do find interesting.

It's not really a big enough issue for me to justify asking someone to change their method of writing.
Unless enough people here feel the same way, I'd just let things go rather than bring it up.

At most, I just miss out on someone's opinion or story... which might be a big loss, but one that is unavoidable for the reasons I have described.

By the same token, I realize some people may find my scattering of sentences to be irritating.

I think part of the reason I got through books like the Harry Potter series, was due to my reading aloud for my daughter.
Except for the last two books, I read all the others to her, creating my own versions of voices for each character.
She really liked my Hagrid! :P


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marshall
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09 Mar 2008, 4:48 am

For some reason it's harder on the eyes to read long paragraphs on a screen than it is in a book.

If I see a huge block of text I'm probably not going to read the entire thing - not unless I can be sure that it will be interesting, but usually I don't even have the patience to find out.



sartresue
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09 Mar 2008, 12:27 pm

Sentence structure topic

If you can read JK Rowling, you are not too far gone! :D

I fall asleep before the end of one of her long, drawn out sentences. :tired:

Too much detail, very distracting. And I do not have any discernible learning disabilities, ADD, dyslexia and the like.


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09 Mar 2008, 12:52 pm

sartresue wrote:
I think JK Rowling may arguably hold the unofficial record for long sentences and even longer paragraphs. This is not a title I would want.

Check out Melville sometime. Moby Dick can get pretty crazy on long sentences.


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09 Mar 2008, 2:33 pm

This the reason why I don't respond to posts that're too long. I don't have the time and I sometimes I have to go back and read again what was connected to what was going on now if that makes any since. I just cannot read a long post unless it all connects.



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09 Mar 2008, 2:45 pm

I also find it hard to respond to long posts. By the time I get to the middle. I forget what was written at the top, and I have to go back, and start over, again.


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09 Mar 2008, 2:50 pm

I also find it easier to read post that have been "broken" into paragraphs. Short and sweet.


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09 Mar 2008, 5:43 pm

I don't usually read long posts that are not broken into paragraphs. The smaller the paragraphs, the more likely I am to read the post.

I think it is normal for people to find shorter paragraphs easier to read. I imagine that paragraphs were invented for this reason.

I keep this in mind and try to write short paragraphs. However, I don't go so far as to break up a single concept just to shorten the paragraph length. That's just not my style.



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09 Mar 2008, 5:49 pm

EvilKimEvil wrote:
... That's just not my style.


And you definitely have style Kim! :wink: :thumright:


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09 Mar 2008, 6:20 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I also find it hard to respond to long posts. By the time I get to the middle. I forget what was written at the top, and I have to go back, and start over, again.


This is my problem, and then I just give up and write something silly.
I find that if I stare at the paragraph longer than a couple seconds the words get all garbled and weird.


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09 Mar 2008, 10:00 pm

marshall wrote:
For some reason it's harder on the eyes to read long paragraphs on a screen than it is in a book.

Reading on-screen is much more tiring & hard for my brain than reading print on paper. Doesn't matter how much I fiddle with screen settings (contrast, brightness, or color). Computer is on table, can't set it on my lap (it's not a laptop model) for comfortable reading.
marshall wrote:
If I see a huge block of text I'm probably not going to read the entire thing - not unless I can be sure that it will be interesting, but usually I don't even have the patience to find out.

That, too. Though I only recently learned about how it would look better to break up my writing online (knew about that for offline composition, but stuff doesn't always transfer/generalize for me, until I 're-discover' something).
My sentences aren't well-outlined & organized, nor are they grammatically flawless (at least I do pretty well with spelling). It already takes me far too long to craft (decide what to include & exclude) my comments (can't ever make them 'perfect enough').


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