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Why no paragraph breaks on-screen?

I'm constantly surprised by people who send emails or post entries on mailing lists, asking for help or advice, who do so in continuous blocks of prose with no paragraph breaks. This makes reading what they've written so difficult and unpleasant that I never do so.

Perhaps they were never taught paragraphing at school, or perhaps they think it doesn't matter - just another example of elitism. But surely, when they have to read other people's paragraphless prose, they see how difficult it is to follow?

They are writing, after all, in the hope of being read and responded to, so why don't they try to make that happen?

Actually, I think that for reading on-screen as opposed to on the printed page, more paragraphs are needed, not fewer.


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John Floyd on :

I find the same difficulty in reading operative , radiology , and path reports in medical records. As you say, this is compounded in the EMR where all information must be read from a computer screen.

I have pleaded for years for my associates to use more paragraphs to segment their thoughts, but for some, either they don't care to even try, or they are for some reason incapable of doing so.


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