Manual of Style: Don't Preempt User Tools

The web is young enough that we have yet to achieve any real consensus on a robust manual of style. With technology changing so quickly, any detailed guide would rapidly fall out of date. But here’s a general rule that takes care of several of the common annoyances I find in even “professional”-level writing on the web:

It’s actually a very simple rule. Meta-data, such as links, represents information. If you don’t actually have any information to add, don’t pretend you do. It undermines those cases when you do have something to say.

This rule explicates the wrong-headedness of several common practices: