Answer to What are the style guidelines for writing for Stampy?

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Plex's Answer to What are the style guidelines for writing for Stampy?

Try to avoid directly referencing the wording of the question in the answer, in order to make the answer more robust to alternate phrasings of the question. For example, that question might be "Can we do X" and the reply is "Yes, if we can manage Y", but then the question might be "Why can't we do X" or "What would happen if we tried to do X" so the answer should be like "We might be able to do X, if we can do Y", which works for all of those.

Linking to external sites is strongly encouraged, one of the most valuable things Stampy can do is help people find other parts of the alignment information ecosystem.

Consider enclosing newly introduced terms, likely to be unfamiliar to many readers, in speech marks. If unsure, Google the term (in speech marks!) and see if it shows up anywhere other than LessWrong, the Alignment Forum, etc. Be judicious, as it's easy to use too many, but used carefully they can psychologically cushion newbies from a lot of unfamiliar terminology - in this context they're saying something like "we get that we're hitting you with a lot of new vocab, and you might not know what this term means yet".

No Oxford commas please! "Snap, Crackle and Pop", NOT "Snap, Crackle, and Pop".


When selecting related questions, there shouldn't be more than four unless there's a really good reason for that (some questions are asking for it, like the "Why can't we just..." question). It's also recommended to include at least one more "enticing" question to draw users in (relating to the more sensational, sci-fi, philosophical/ethical side of things) alongside more bland/neutral questions.

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Original by: plex (edits by matthew1970)


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