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Normzone Paragraph Breaker

Why type [Enter] when HalfBakery will do it for you?
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Normzone evidently hates ideas that have unnecessarily long stretches of unbroken text, and frequently posts humorous annotations that remain in the context of the idea and the gist of the foregoing annotations, but make his prediliction known. Here's a fine example, an anno for "Habitat for Humanity 2.0" in which the annotation thread had drifted to the subject of living in caves:

Would these caves have paragraph breaks? -- normzone, Jan 14 2004

I'm guessing that he doesn't read the "New Yorker" magazine, which sometimes goes eight to ten column-inches without breaking the paragraph. Oh, well, different strokes, I suppose.

I propose a new user account preference, "Normzone Paragraph Breaker" that would automagically insert paragraph breaks after a user-selectable number of sentences without a break:

[X] Use normzone Paragraph Breaker after [_3__] sentences.

Of course, this would probably require a thoroughgoing rewrite of the halfbakery software, but hey, we gotta keep our friends busy, don't we?

land, Nov 23 2005

normzone /user/normzone
User normzone, for whom this idea is named. [land, Nov 23 2005]

Habitat for Humanity 2.0 Habitat_20for_20Humanity_202_2e0
Something about caves. And paragraphs. [land, Nov 23 2005]

Norm - where r u? <sobs> http://www.halfbakery.com/user/normzone
[The Kat, Nov 23 2005]

Origin of the word "tyro" http://hometown.aol.../base_fatality_list
[normzone, Nov 26 2005, last modified Aug 31 2006]

New Rotary Engine of Disruptive Technology Type Perfect_20Engine_20...omotive_20X_20PRIZE
Oh, I choose to love ideas that have necessarily long stretches of unbroken text! [rotary, Mar 30 2008]

[link]






       Basic paragraph decision tree:   

       1. I *want* people to read this long complicated copy --> Use paragraphs.   

       2. I could care less if anyone reads this long complicated copy --> No paragraphs.
Zuzu, Nov 23 2005
  

       There's a big difference between screen readability and print readability.
bristolz, Nov 23 2005
  

       Do tell.
Texticle, Nov 23 2005
  

       I did.
bristolz, Nov 24 2005
  

       I'll be damned...my fifteen minutes of fame is finally here. Now if I could only figure out the royalties angle.   

       I can handle long stretches of text without a break if it seems appropriate. And it could be my schooling is out of date, but I thought whenever you changed subjects, you gave the reader a visual pause to orient themselves in.   

       But, for the most part, what [bristolz] and [zuzu] said.   

       That's it! I want a penny for every paragraph break on the internet! OK, maybe only for every paragraph break on the Halfbakery that uses this idea. And I'll have to share it with [land]. And [jutta].   

       Right here, [Kat]...don't cry, it's alright. I won't leave you.
normzone, Nov 24 2005
  

       Is that penny per paragraph thing retroactive or does it just start now because I do not want to pay for past breaks and also I am no longer going to use any punctuation so that I do not ever have to pay royalties on those either
sleeka, Nov 24 2005
  

       Being that a paragraph break effectively consists of a null, or a junction, or an interface, or a boundary termination, I'd say that prior art exists for that sort of thing.
Ian Tindale, Nov 24 2005
  

       Allright...I'm in my cups, and in my books, both of which are usual states for me. Not an excuse, but a disclaimer required by law in someplace, no doubt.   

       [land] was kind enough to title this idea in this fashion, and I'm grateful. But a modification has occured to me, and I though I'd post it while the toddy is hot, so to speak.   

       There are spellchecking programs, but what about paragraph checking programs? Granted, we'd have to agree on the rules, and that alone would make my English (english?) teachers spin in their graves.   

       By the way, Mrs. Braun, for all the occasions we disdained each others company, you have irrevocably influenced my writing and speech, for the better.   

       As, at best, a tyro at program design, if: subject changes, then: insert break...   

       Or something of that nature...   

       Gotta love the 'bakery, one of the few places you can look forwards to being lectured by your betters.
normzone, Nov 26 2005
  

       [normzone] - One of the only 'bakers who can spell, puncutate and break paragraphs after a few drinks.
wagster, Nov 26 2005
  

       Puncutate?   

       I reckon it's easy to write a program to ascertain para breaks. Basically, write a program that simulates normal human lung capacity, and feed the text into the program - when the program runs out of breath, then bang a quad in.
Ian Tindale, Nov 26 2005
  

       Sorry, punktuate.
wagster, Nov 26 2005
  

       From a community college writing guide found online:   

       [Paragraphs:   

       Paragraphs are a relatively new invention (17th century). Printers started using paragraph divisions to give the reader's eyes a break. Paragraphs give the reader's mind a break, as well. I like to think of them this way: an essay is all about one topic; its paragraphs are about subtopics of that main topic. Each time the (sub) topic shifts, it is time to start a new paragraph. This helps to rest the readers' eyes and guide their minds.   

       Here, I am shifting the topic from the background of paragraphs to the various ways people actually use them, so I have started a new paragraph. Newspaper writers often use very short paragraphs, partly because the text is presented in narrow columns, and the paragraph divisions break the columns up into chunks. Wider columns, of course, could use longer paragraphs and get the same visual effect. However, perhaps unfortunately, news is also presented in short bits. On TV, we call them "sound bits." Let's call the written version, "eye bits." These eye bits are the paragraphs that you see in a newspaper.   

       In a college essay, readers expect somewhat meatier chunks than the very short paragraphs of a newspaper article. Here is a good rule of thumb for writing essays: if you find yourself writing very long paragraphs, ask if the topic is shifting, and if the answer is yes, start a new paragraph. On the other hand, if you find that you are writing a series of very short paragraphs, ask yourself if you can develop your ideas in more detail--that is the key to making more substantial paragraphs. ]   

       So I don't think you'd be technically correct to do inserts on a timing basis. You'd actually need something akin to an AI that followed the story, or alternatively a program that graphed sentence structure and word use...probably a challenge in itself.
normzone, Nov 26 2005
  

       Update:   

       [land] I have a subscription to the New Yorker now, and I love it.
normzone, Jan 06 2009
  

       //...probably a challenge in itself//   

       No kidding...even ascertaining where the end of a sentence is, is difficult for a computer thanks to abbrevs. and A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S. Although, I'm pretty sure the period-between-every-letter form has mostly fallen out of favor, thankfully.
Spacecoyote, Jan 06 2009
  

       //I could care less// I assume that [Zuzu] meant "I coudn't care less".
spidermother, Apr 13 2011
  

       Surprisingly, although the literal meanings are diametrically opposed, they are accepted as meaning the same thing except when people try to be unnecessarily pedantic.
MechE, Apr 13 2011
  

       It's a good thing I was being necessarily pedantic, then.
spidermother, Apr 13 2011
  

       Although the two phrases are generally taken as having the same meaning, I've always felt that there is a subtle difference between the two.

"I couldn't care less" is an outright dissing whereas "I could care less" means that, although the subject isn't worthy of your attention, it isn't actually the most pointless/worthless etc thing that you've ever come across...not quite. It's a form of damning with faint praise.
DrBob, Apr 15 2011
  

       Ah, so it's not as meaningless as it could be.
spidermother, Apr 15 2011
  

       My opinion, FWIW, is that "I couldn't care less" denotes a state in which it is impossible for a person, for physiological or philosophical reasons, to actually experience the emotion of caring.   

       "I could care less" suggest that a marginal duty of care has been applied, however if minor adjustments to some variables in the argument, or if a similar argument is contemplated, then the possibility of caring less is implied.   

       However, it must be said that it took me many years to discover that retail outlets did not close on account of the weather.
4whom, Apr 15 2011
  
      
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