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Why is it in the end, I see this often after reading the material. The definition is too long, didn't read, but by the time I see the tl;dr, I've already read it. It breaks the flow of the whole story and becomes redundant if the entire article is read. I have no idea why so many writers continue to put it in the end. Its oxymoronic. What is a good reason to put in the end?

  • Closely related, possibly duplicate: writing.stackexchange.com/q/32819/23927 – F1Krazy Dec 25 '19 at 10:34
  • Your question assumes that people have a good reason to do it in the first place. Do you see it used often in formal, well-edited writing? – Tashus Dec 27 '19 at 19:11
  • Huh? Yea of course .. its only for those that use it. Why would you answer a question arguing the context in which the question is setup for lmao. Its like saying why isn't there a corner is this cylindrical room...ummm duh...its a cylindrical room. Assume its not formal and it is not well-edited writing...smh. – LeanMan Dec 28 '19 at 18:04
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    It's likely for comic effect: "Now that you've read (long-winded explanation above), realise that I could have said (punchy headline)". But without a concrete example, that's pure speculation. – Toby Speight Feb 10 at 16:25
  • I feel like there is laughing going on in every author who puts it at the end - I approve of your response! – LeanMan Feb 11 at 1:47
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It's targetted at people who won't read the thing. Given that you read the thing, you aren't its target audience, so all it needs to do for you is stay out of the way, which putting it at the end does (whereas putting it at the start might lead to you not reading the thing when you otherwise would do, which is a negative for the author).

The target is people who skip past the text without reading, who see a quick summary at the end that they are willing to read.

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  • I disagree. The target audience is not getting targeted because they are not aware of the option. Someone capable of reading it is NOT the same as someone wanting to read it. Its like the personal trainer in the gym telling you to give it all you got when you don't want to give anymore except you never signed up for the session or the abuse but because you don't know any better you just accept it as reality and ahhh PUSH ON THROUGH. – LeanMan Feb 11 at 1:46
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    @LeanMan The author, frankly, doesn't care what you want. They want more people to read their stuff, and putting the TL;DR at the end achieves that goal. – user3482749 Feb 11 at 9:36
  • Interesting and here I thought audience was important. I guess not when you are dealing with lizard brains which is exactly the argument you are putting forth (i.e., authors that don't care past their own self interests - what a crock). – LeanMan Feb 11 at 14:56
  • Additionally, you know your argument doesn't quite hold when you take into account that a tl;dr is the author's content so his work is still being consumed regardless if its the long version or the short version. Finally, "too long, didn't read" doesn't flow right for a reader anyways. Like clearly if you had enough time to read it, why would the last thing you see before the end would fall into the "too long, didn't read" section after reading everything. It would only make sense to have a "tl;wr" at the beginning, "too long, won't read". At least that flows. – LeanMan Feb 11 at 15:05

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