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Is it correct to write an answer to a question that really doesn't answer the question (and which should have eventually been a comment), and make it a CW just to avoid the consequence of the down votes? is it correct when the given answer is not using a polite tone, and who answered fears for his answer being down voted?

The answer is the following one:

It was striking to hear that "a couple" meant two (2) to someone. My reaction was, "how/why do you make a short word longer by adding an extra syllable to just say 'two?'"

Yes, that would be almost as crazy as repeating the word in brackets with a digit, like "two (2)".

I think Few: 2-3, Couple 4-6, Several 7+. What are your thoughts?

I think you are barking up the wrong tree.

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This sounds like a rhetorical question. – Peter Ajtai Sep 3 '10 at 23:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's all about intent.

  • Intended to be helpful in some way: good. But I try to use comments for those types of things anyway. Brand new users may not have comment privileges.

  • Intended to be abusive, misleading, or unhelpful: Bad. 'Nough said.

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No. But it's a pretty good way to post an answer that doesn't really answer an unanswerable question while avoiding up-votes...

That said, you should stick to comments if at all possible.

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The answer was answerable, as other users shown. It was the used language that was not appropriate. – kiamlaluno Sep 3 '10 at 20:02

Not really. Are you asking in general or you have a specific example?

If you are talking about something you did yourself then don't do it anymore in the future; simply add comments.

If you are talking about something someone else did how do you know the reasoning behind it? Maybe that person posted it as CW to avoid the reputation from the potential upvotes, maybe he wasn't very familiar with SO, etc.

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It has been done from a user that well knows how SE sites work, and with enough reputation to add a comment. The purpose of the post was not to be helpful, but rather say that who asked the question was wrong in what he was asking; let me say that it was a polite way to say it. – kiamlaluno Sep 3 '10 at 20:01
Correcting an incorrect assumption behind a question is OK. Being abusive while doing so is not. I think it is "Link or it didn't happen." time... – dmckee Sep 3 '10 at 23:37
In my previous comment, let me say that it was a polite way to say it was thought to be let me say that it was not a polite way to say it. – kiamlaluno Sep 4 '10 at 11:40
The answer is this one; to notice that the answer has been down voted 9 times. My question, then, is more general, and not specific to what happened. – kiamlaluno Sep 4 '10 at 11:45

It's the wrong thing to do because that clutters the question / answers.

I usually write a comment asking to remove the answer. Sometimes I flag it for a moderator to delete, but only if it looks like the users is either not active anymore or doesn't seem to know how to use SO.

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