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Should ‘Hi’, ‘thanks’ and taglines and salutations be removed from posts?


I like to thank people for helping me, but my kind words are edited out when I ask Stack Overflow questions.

I realize the arguments for editing them out:

  • They're not relevant to the question
  • They could be seen as fishing for upvotes
  • There's also not a 'universal' standard for editing

I think we should have a place to discuss this.


What's your opinion of us not being "allowed" to post "thanks in advance" at the end of our questions?

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marked as duplicate by random, Brad Gilbert, Shog9, xmm0, dbr Oct 24 '09 at 17:38

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You should have put in "Thanks" and "Hello there" to further highlight your point. – random Oct 24 '09 at 15:37
Sorry, couldn't resist. – splattne Oct 24 '09 at 15:38

I edit them out; but only if I can make other improvements to the question to make it easier to read. Your question is an example of how I edit questions.

It's nothing personal, it just adds cruft to a question; and if you've seen the myriad of Programming forums on the internet, you've seen bad spelling, unclear wording, and always a 'thanks'.

If the author wants to thank me for helping him answer his question, he can do it by spending more time on his question.

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+1 for only editing if there's something else besides Hello and Thanks. It seems pointless to edit for something as trivial as that. I've seen some who edited a question only to add a period. – alex Oct 24 '09 at 16:17
Shooting for the editing badge, probably :") – DVK Oct 24 '09 at 17:14
@alex: I guess a strange fellow. I'd edit a question to add a period, but I wouldn't edit a question just to remove a thanks or a hi. – perbert Oct 24 '09 at 17:31
I have no problem with people editing just for the sake of a couple of minor things. What harm does it do? If the question is better after the edit, then it's a good thing IMO. – Jon Skeet Oct 24 '09 at 18:12

The point is to make the question as useful as possible in as little text as possible. Adding something at the end isn't as bad as adding "Hello" etc at the start (as that useless information is going to be shown in the summary on the front page) but it's still effectively "noise".

I think it's reasonable to assume that all questioners will be grateful for help received - that's why they asked the question, after all. Removing this sort of thing keeps the signal to noise ratio high.

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Assuming all questions will be grateful is a bold assumption; nevertheless, most of them usually are. – Noldorin Oct 24 '09 at 16:17
Everyone is grateful to Jon Skeet for answering their question. Even people whose question Jon Skeet didn't asnwer. Even people who didn't ask a question yet. Even people who haven't heard of StackOverflow. – DVK Oct 24 '09 at 17:16
@DVK: I've linked to Jon Skeets posts on other forums at least once, so you'd be right :) Jon Skeet: Answering on SO even when logged out. – perbert Oct 24 '09 at 17:34

I think some of good words will be beautiful and may give good feeling for that person who give his time to answering our question.

So please don't delete the appreciations words.

Thank you very much.

Edit 1:

OK of course I'll support the person who helped me with points that's sure. But where is the problem if i finished my question with thanks words ??

share|improve this answer
The best way to thank someone is in the comments. It cuts down on the noise and people will still see it if they want. I always think people thank me if I give an answer that's actually helpful. – alex Oct 24 '09 at 16:19
If you want to say thanks, be clear in your question or answer. – random Oct 24 '09 at 16:21
If you want to say thanks, upvote the answers that are helpful. Commenting doesn't hurt, either. ;) – Bill the Lizard Oct 24 '09 at 16:33
I don't want beautiful words, I want points. :) – Rex M Oct 24 '09 at 17:13
The problem is that years from now, when you've completely forgotten that you ever helped this person, someone on the internet is going to be searching for the problem, finding your question, and getting rankled that while your question wasn't very clear, you took the time to say 'thanks'. They don't care if you're grateful, they just want to find the answer to the problem you had. – George Stocker Oct 24 '09 at 17:42
George makes a good point here: there's nothing wrong with thanking someone who helps you out, but that shouldn't be your focus when you're writing the question - forget the rules you were taught in gradeschool for writing formal letters, and think about what makes a good question! After you've allowed someone to understand your problem and provide a good answer, then you can think about gratitude. – Shog9 Oct 24 '09 at 19:27

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