I've seen a lot of lengthy comments sections being moved en masse to chat. The reason I discovered this site and began relying on it and eventually joined it was because of a comment by tchrist on the Q Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US.
I must second @JohnLawler’s plea: please please please use standard notation. IPA is not that hard, at least for English phonemic purposes. I believe the five American pronunciations of the word aunt are /eɪnt/, /ænt/, /ant/, /ɒnt/, and /ɔnt/. See, those aren’t that hard, are they? And now we all know what everyone is talking about.
This has been indispensable in explaining concept of the "two" pronunciations of "aunt" to people when it comes up.
Often the comments provide clarification that is never recorded in the question or answer, or they provide counter-evidence as to why the answers are not complete or possibly incorrect entirely. Many times they address side issues that do not directly answer the question, and thus, cannot be offered as answers. Trying to pack all that additional information into the question, likewise, can lead to confusion.
Moving the entire thread to chat loses this nuance that is essential to the usefulness of the site.
If there is chit-chat, off-topic commenting, or extended conversation happening, those individual comments need to be removed independently of the often vital comments with useful information.
Can a guideline be established?