The template for the "abusive to others" moderator message contains the following:

This is only a warning, but please take it under advisement. Looking through your history I can see that you obviously have a lot of knowledge to share, we just need you to find a more constructive way to share it.

The comma after "share" should be a semicolon, as it connects two independent clauses.

I know this is a nitpick, but I wouldn't be doing my duty as a 10K user on ELU and a moderator on Writers if I just ignored it. Out out, comma splice!

  • 1
    Needs more ellipses... – Shog9 May 7 '13 at 15:31
  • @Shog9: just for you: ... – Monica Cellio May 7 '13 at 15:33
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    I also want to invoke a [citation needed] on you obviously have a lot of knowledge to share. – jokerdino May 7 '13 at 15:33
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    See, this is what you get when Jeff is no longer around to threaten people... – Bart May 7 '13 at 15:33
  • @jokerdino, yeah, but that's a different issue. This is a template for a message; presumably the sender can fill in the citations. :-) – Monica Cellio May 7 '13 at 15:36
  • 1
    I don't get the downvotes. I wasn't going to report this at all because it's pretty trivial, but I found plenty of other MSO posts about minor grammar things, and somebody obviously created that tag. What's the problem? – Monica Cellio May 7 '13 at 15:37
  • 2
    I suggest adding a comma after Looking through your history. – yoozer8 May 7 '13 at 15:40
  • @Jim - I have to disagree. Using commas like that means you should be able to drop the content between the commas and have the sentence read correctly. "Looking through your history we just need you to find a more constructive way to share it." does not read correctly – Mike May 7 '13 at 15:42
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    We could of course replace the entire message by "Stop being an arse". – Bart May 7 '13 at 15:45
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    -1 for invoking a grammar "rule" that is broken as often as it is observed. I thought (read: hoped) that prescriptivism was dead on ELU. – EnergyNumbers May 7 '13 at 15:54
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    +1 for encouraging understanding of correct semicolon use. A well placed semicolon is a lovely thing. (I'm resisting the self-reference.) – AndrewC May 7 '13 at 16:06
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    @EnergyNumbers. There's a place for prescriptivism, and formal writing is that place. – TRiG is Timothy Richard Green May 7 '13 at 16:07
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    That prescriptivists can go overboard doesn't mean they're always wrong. The sentence was hard for me to parse, and instead of just asserting it I showed why. Meh, I'm not worried about the rep; the votes were just puzzling. – Monica Cellio May 7 '13 at 16:09
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    @TRiG I agree that there's a place for prescriptivism. It's the place where copies of Strunk & White should be placed. It's cylindrical, and you might find it in the corner of the room, or under the desk ;-) – EnergyNumbers May 7 '13 at 16:24
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    Good Catch. You could go with the semi-colon; you'll just undermine yourself by looking prissy. Start a new sentance. Be a Bad-Ass. – cindi May 7 '13 at 18:29

I agree with the grammar issue; my senior English teacher told us semicolons are cool!


There's lots of text that could use a good copy editor but is hardcoded in the system and requires a developer to fix. So instead of responding to this and future meta posts with a simple change to the text (or just ignoring it as too minor), I propose more hardcoded text be editable by the people who use it somehow.

  • 3
    @MonicaCellio: I really don't know. What I meant is that it isn't editable by the folks who actually use it. We need to call in the cavalry for minor fixes. – Jon Ericson May 7 '13 at 16:18

Sometime in the five years since I asked this, that mod message was rewritten entirely. The "I can see you have a lot of knowledge" part was removed, probably because moderators were having to edit it out too often. (I can't speak for other sites, but I've seen an increase in trolling in the last few years.)

  • 1
    Answered now because somebody bumped the question and I noticed. – Monica Cellio Dec 9 '18 at 18:32

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