Hi, Ulrich, and belated Happy New Year. As usual this is 7 hours later than the rest of the thread, sorry. But I'd just like to add one more voice to the chorus saying both that your posts lately have sometimes been a chore to read and/i] that in general, I appreciate the time and care you take to write and would genuinely miss you if you left.
In this particular thread, it wasn't the length so much as the repetition and the boldface that annoyed me. I write long posts myself all the time, and I can see that people don't always read them. So when I remember, I try to keep it shorter, but when I don't, I try not to worry about it. It's not a big deal if not everyone reads every word I write. I don't read every word everyone else writes either.
But I will be honest and say that when I see the same arguments repeated not once but four or five times, and when a post is full of very emphatic statements that make me personally feel a bit like I'm being yelled at from a short distance, it doesn't make me want to read it. So I don't. It doesn't mean I think you're a bad person, it just means I, too, have better things to do. (And I have an antique browser on which LEO's script doesn't work, so it's not as tempting for me to use boldface myself. *g*)
Also, I don't think either Ingrid (who I believe has been around here probably as long as you have) or Judith or anyone else is a troll. They just disagreed with you. That happens. It's not tragic. On this point, I actually happen to agree more with them than with you, but at the same time I don't think you're a bad person or a dangerous driver, and I do think there are clearly points on all sides. And really, just about everyone has tried not to get personal, and has acknowledged that none of this is black and white. I actually thought the whole thread was a fairly reasonable discussion, on the whole, for an issue on which people have strong feelings.
Has LEO changed in recent years? Of course it's gotten bigger, so there are more clueless, silly, and provocative posts out there. But there are also a lot more sensible new users, and the general level is still above that of many internet forums. If we want LEO to stay as enjoyable as possible, it seems to me that the thing to do is to put our own effort into writing the kind of posts that we would like to see from others. As long as there are still enough good posts, we can put up with the occasional bad ones.
So, I can understand it if you decide you need to cut back on LEO, both in terms of time spent and emotional investment. That would probably be a good New Year's resolution for a lot of us, me included. But I do hope you won't vanish altogether. (-:
To get back to overcrowding on the freeway, which does make for more stressful driving:
What do you all think about the option of high-occupancy vehicle lanes (also known as bus or carpool lanes, or diamond lanes)? Are those common in larger German cities and their suburbs? Are they a good use of space, and do they work to encourage people to share rides?