The Teal Deer

For those unfamiliar with the term, a teal deer is when someone writes tl;dr in a thread, standing for "too long; didn't read." Urban Diction definition here.

Now I'm honestly asking, not trying to start a debate (although if I do, that's what the forums are for, no?): what's the point? What purpose does basically saying, "I know you have an opinion, and took the time to write it out, but I'm not going to read it, because it's too long for me. However, I am going to respond anyway, just to inform you exactly how boring I found it," serve? I just read it as  rude. Especially when the person who originally posted was being perfectly reasonable, with the content and length. Is it just people being obnoxious? Or does it have some underlying, politer meaning beneath?

Posted 9 years ago by Cupcake Subscriber! | Permalink


  • As you wish, Cupcake:)

    Actually I also see people use it in their own posts when they know they have rambled on. It's like they are saying, here's a summary of what I just wrote. In that case, it makes some sense to me :) (speaking as a SERIOUSLY long-winded rambler).
    Posted 9 years ago by RM Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Actually, I didn't think tl;dr got used in any other way besides summarizing your own long post.

    (This being the internet, I should have realized it got used in all kinds of ways.)
    Posted 9 years ago by Feylin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Its intent is usually in the positioning.
    When it is at the beginning of a response, it is being used as Cupcake describes.
    When it is at the end of a post, it is being used as RM describes.
    Posted 9 years ago by MaryLiLamb Subscriber! | Permalink
  • RM: Yeah, I know. I'm totally fine with it when used that way. I'm referring to people who use it in other people's threads to say they don't care to read what you have to say (i.e. posting only that, and nothing else, in a thread, like this). Which, Feylin, is quite common :P
    Posted 9 years ago by Cupcake Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yeah I had impression that usage was more common than mine. Just was saying:) And, Cupcake, sadly the point for those who use it basically IS what you wrote as a summary of it. Because they just do wanna say that. Sigh.
    Posted 9 years ago by RM Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Sigh, yeah. :/
    Posted 9 years ago by Cupcake Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I guess it's their way of saying "I was actually interested in your topic, but I don't have or don't want to take the time to read this long thing you've written."

    I find it slightly odd that these people don't have time enough to read the post, but have enough time to write tl;dr and submit it.
    Posted 9 years ago by Skwid Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Don't really think it's that they don't have the time; it's that they're being obnoxious and rude. And saying that they don't have the time is their cover-up. :P
    Posted 9 years ago by Cupcake Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Hehe, Cupcake, I love that you blurred out the name to protect the rude person's identity.

    Now that I think about it, I guess I have seen it used in that way.  Some people's kids! *shakes head*
    Posted 9 years ago by Feylin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to forums. If it's soooo long, and you didn't read it, why comment on it? Surely the person who didn't read can't possibly have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation.
    Posted 9 years ago by Djabriil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • i think teal deers are pretty.
    Posted 9 years ago by little peep Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Well, this is --> not quite what we're discussing, though ;)
    Posted 9 years ago by Cupcake Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Duh I thought it meant a blue deer.
    Posted 9 years ago by xoxJulie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I thought tl;dr (at the beginning of a post) meant: "My opinion is absolutely meaningless because I can't take the time to educate myself about the topic so please, ignore everything else I have to say."
    Posted 9 years ago by Shepherdmoon Subscriber! | Permalink
  • WHOA! Shepherdmoon! You just gave it a completely new meaning for me! *looks around world with wide new eyes* ;)
    Posted 9 years ago by Cupcake Subscriber! | Permalink
  • thanks cupcake - it's exactly what i pictured!   
    Posted 9 years ago by little peep Subscriber! | Permalink
  • This was always my favorite Teal Deer:

    I use tl;dr at the end of a long post myself when I need to summarize, but I've used the picture to poke fun at a wordy friend. ;)
    Posted 9 years ago by Kaessa Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Shepherdmoon - your take on tl;dr is so similar to mine on "politically correct" - e.g.

    "I may not be politically correct" often seems to mean, "I am about to be an insensitive jerk."
    Posted 9 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • hmm Teal Deer - I learned something new today!
    @Jasbo - agreed!
    Posted 9 years ago by Stormy Weather Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I almost tl;dr'ed this thread, but then thought better of it. 

    I use tl;dr when people go off on incredibly long tangents in a thread, usually about the 10th post or so down the line. By then, most people have +1'ed and added short comments, which I usually read. The longer posts, though, tend to start off on topic then wander, so I skip them. I'll start my reply with tl;dr so people will know I don't give a fart about that other person's long-winded opinion and want to just throw out a short comment that is back on topic.
    Posted 9 years ago by Tonya Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I personally use TL;DR in the summarizing fashion when I've rambled, but I've gotten to using it so much that it's become slang for me. With people I know in the real world who are familiar with the online usage, I have actually said stuff like "I am such a teal deer" in regular conversation. 

    I feel like I should be embarrassed over some of the internet acronyms and such that I have appropriated as slang. I'll also say "GTFO" in casual conversation, which is sort of nice because then I can get the point across without loudly blurting curses in public. 
    Posted 9 years ago by Haiku Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Similar to "GTFO" I have been amused at the proliferation of "tv-safe" substitutions such as, "Shut the front door!"
    Posted 9 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • (TRC, knowing that she writes too much crap on the forums, debates whether to discover how many people have given her the dreaded Teal Deer.)
    Posted 9 years ago by ArtOfHands RoboGirl Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Oh man, I had no idea that it meant that. I guess I just assumed that it was a piece of garbled html coding that didn't go through properly!

    I can kinda understand it being used at the start if it's referring just to the comments (not the topic-starting post, what's the point in responding to a topic if you don't read the starting post?) when you've come across a huge thread. I think it would be rude to use it if you'd been conversing with someone in the comments and they happened to make a longish post.

    I always just put a warning at the start of my post/comment if I think I've been rambling a bit in the following text.
    Posted 9 years ago by Serilyn Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @jasbo- that amuses me too!  :-)  STFD instead of STFU!

    I've mostly seen this used to refer to the writer's own post - in other words, since I blabbed on, here is a summary in case you don't want to read the whole thing.  When used to refer to the thread in its entirety, or someone else's post, I agree that it's rude.
    Posted 9 years ago by lovintnt Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I usually only use it at the end of my ramble, in order to summarize what I've said. 

    However, I have been known to READ EVERYTHING and summarize the entire thread (if it's long) for the next person in a nice humorous way. This is not the normal way people use it.

    For instance (of entire thread summary), I was recently reading a thread somewhere where guys with small feet were discussing where to find shoes. They were RAMBLING. But I noticed that most of them kept pointing to the same place, so I wrote "tl;dr Personal anecdote; go to Payless."

    If I actually didn't read everything, I tend to use @ and specify that I'm responding to a specific comment and have not read further yet.
    Posted 9 years ago by Quirk Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Hey, this thread is getting kinda long, what are you guys talking about?  I didn't wanna read all those posts.  Too long!
    Posted 9 years ago by Wiggles The Fluent Subscriber! | Permalink
  • tl;dr *wanders off in search of a teal deer but gets sidetracked* ooooh sparkly
    Posted 9 years ago by Reni's Mum Subscriber! | Permalink
  • There's a thread discussing where to buy shoes?  I end up buying anything in a men's 6-1/2 that I find in stock.  So much for 'selection.'
    Posted 9 years ago by Parrow Gnolle Subscriber! | Permalink