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st: FAQ reminders

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: FAQ reminders
Date   Thu, 1 Apr 2010 13:22:54 +0100

I sent this on 1 March. It seems equally appropriate on 1 April. 

The meta-comment remains that these points are not rules designed to
catch you out, whether you are new to the list or not. These points are
advice in your best interests designed to help you formulate questions
that capture what you want to know clearly, correctly and completely.
Time after time, people waste their own time, and that of others, by
referring vaguely to commands they don't specify, results they don't
exemplify, and so on and so forth. Either they never get an answer, or
there are inevitable secondary emails trying to get the original posters
to firm up the question. 

By the way, after consultation with maintainer Marcello Pagano, we added
a comment to the Statalist FAQ deprecating pleas of urgency. Whenever
the point has been made generally, there has been widespread agreement.
It seems that only a few relatively inexperienced list members make such
claims, but they really don't help anybody. One possible excuse of such
posters that they had never been told it was a bad idea has now been


-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Cox 
Sent: 01 March 2010 17:17
To: (
Subject: FAQ reminders 

As long-time members will aver, the list works well almost all of the
time, especially if the criterion is getting help that is free, fast and
good. But all of us some of the time, and some of us all the time, might
helpfully pay a little more attention to well-meant advice in the FAQ,
intended in the best interests of all. (The URL for the FAQ appears at
the bottom of every Statalist posting.) 

Below my signature please find various extracts from the FAQ signalling
some of the most common lapses. And -- if you've never read it -- please
do look through the complete FAQ before making your first posting! 


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answer the question, but they might well appreciate the full reference.

State platform if relevant

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Spell 'Stata' correctly 

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