As of lately, the abbreviation "tl; dr" (Too long; didn't read) has been used more and more on the site, which I dislike for four reasons.
- It cannot be seen as a standard, well-known abbreviation, and is basically internet slang.
- For a site that aims to be a "a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students" it sets a bad precedent by saying that you don't really need to go into details to understand an issue.
- It is superfluous. People can skip/skim text if they want to, and in well-structured answers it should be easy to pick out the most important parts.
- Using it in your own answer is vague, and it is most suitable to label wall-of-text, i.e. used as a label with negative connotations.
I've almost edited out 'tl;dr' from answers before, but didn't because I'm unsure about how the BioSE community feels. Ideas and suggestions? Am I just being boring and old?
To me, removing/editing-out 'tl;dr' it would be similar to removing "Thanks in advanzze!!!" in questions and smilys in answers - basically to discourage chatty questions/answers and informal language.
Finally, it you feel the need to flag the most important parts of your answer, what is wrong with "Short answer:"?