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Is humour permitted in questions?

I have tried to have some fun with serious questions, like I am captive pleasehelp (10k only).

I understand that "help" is not allowed in titles because of my other MSO post, Unable to use "help" in a question title

I'm not complaining about blacklisted words here. I do want to know if it's okay to make fun questions with humour.

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but thank you for following up here on Meta so you (and we) can better understand what is going on –  Jeff Atwood Jan 23 '12 at 21:31
Programming humor is more than allowed, lol! –  Shadow Wizard Nov 14 '12 at 16:12

4 Answers 4

I would recommend avoiding any attempt at humor until you've mastered more English.

I honestly could not tell that was humor, and besides, as Oded correctly noted, such "only a joke" questions are not allowed on Stack Overflow or for that matter anywhere else on the Stack Exchange network.

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Me neither Jeff....then I looked at the title :) –  Adam Rackis Jan 23 '12 at 20:45
Aye; Humor is very often difficult to detect in a text-only medium even when both writer and reader are fluent, native users of English. –  Andrew Barber Jan 24 '12 at 0:53

Humour is allowed, so long as it is not the whole point of the question.

That is, if you are just making a joke or a joke question, then no, this is not allowed.

However, if you simply use joke variable names, or such code, that's fine.

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foreach(waffle in waffles) {waffle.eat(); /* yum */ } –  waffles Jan 23 '12 at 20:41
@waffles - Yep, was going to add something about comments being OK, but I got distracted by waffles. –  Oded Jan 23 '12 at 20:42
@waffles I'm rather frightened by the idea of waffles that have the ability to eat. –  Michael McGowan Jan 23 '12 at 21:28
@Michael Not just eat... cannibalism! –  Andrew Barber Jan 23 '12 at 22:02

Humor is fine, so long as it's tasteful, and not overbearing.

I think the problem with your question was that it was very, very difficult to determine what was being asked. I know English is your second language, but the text of your question made is almost impossible to understand; I honestly couldn't even tell where the joke was. Ok, your title was pretty funny. Figure out how to clearly ask your question, and you should be fine.

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Humor is allowed, but dangerous. The problem with humor that it is very subjective, and difficult to use effectively.

Is your message actually funny? You may think that depends on you, but it actually depends much more on your readers. If your audience doesn't "get" your humor, then your posts may seem unprofessional, off-topic or even offensive.

Using humor on Stack Exchange sites is harder than using humor in "normal" life. SE reaches a worldwide audience, and humor does not translate well across cultural boundaries. SE also depends entirely on written communication, so there is no way to use tone, inflection, timing or other verbal cues that frequently indicate humor.

In short, the chance that humor will cause problems is much greater than the chance that it will generate a positive response, unless you have a very firm grasp on the overall personality of your audience.

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