Wikipedia:Keep it concise

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes ...
- Hamlet, Wm. Shakespeare

There are over a hundred entries a day at Articles for Deletion, and similar workloads all over Wikipedia. Beyond a certain length - however much it differs per reader - a long, rambling response on any issue just falls flat. Most discussions here are surprisingly simple: does a certain article subject, or a particular editing action, meet Wikipedia policy and guideline or not? Explaining why (or why not) shouldn't require an essay, let alone multiple essays rebutting every post any editor makes on the subject.

Example:

  • Delete Non-notable subject fails WP:BIO due to not meeting criteria X, Y and Z. User:HackNSlash 12:01, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep Well, let me address every word and phrase you used in your deletion nomination and everything every other Delete !voter has said ... [ seven hundred words later ] ... User:SirTalksALot 8:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Assume good faith is a double-edged sword. In the legal field, there is the concept of "equity," part of which boils down to the Golden Rule: in order to receive equity, you must give equity. Swamping a debate with verbiage can be a display of poor faith and incivility, and bogs down far more debates than such rambling essays illuminate. Equity involves keeping one's arguments to a manageable size. This helps to ensure that other editors will read, rather than skim or skip, your comments, and that all editors - not just the ones who feel like writing the most words - have equal time to express their own views.

See also[edit]