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As you all know, its not allowed to post a comment smaller than 15 characters. Therefore when you want to say thing like 'Thanks', 'You're welcome', 'yes', 'no', 'still no good', 'Error # 444', 'goodbye', 'good point!', and a number of other reasonable comments, you are forced to either repeat yourself or fill your comment with meaningless fluff just to fill in that 15 character requirement.

To avoid that, I propose that we create an official character to use for filling up the remainder of 15 characters in your small comments. For example: "Error 404. ----------'. Here - is the character being used.

It could also be a small string repeated, like 'NE2S', standing for 'Nothing else to say'. Example: "Thanks. NE2SNE2SNE2S', etc.

Please post your ideas, with examples, and I'll accept the highest voted string/character. The benefit would be that we have a standard to use, so whenever someone sees 'NE2S' in their comment, they would know what it stands for, and it may also prompt the admins to remove this requirement altogether if enough people begin to use this character/string.

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10  
Empty comments coming in on this question in 3... 2... 1... –  balpha Nov 22 '10 at 9:11
3  
← empty comment. –  ЯegDwight Nov 22 '10 at 9:19
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The whole point of the 15 character limit is to stop the noise. –  ChrisF Nov 22 '10 at 9:30
    
@ChrisF so if someone posts a question, is asked if he has tried rebooting (as an example), and his reply is only yes or no, how is he supposed to post his comment? He'd be forced to write 'Yes, I've tried it' or some other meaningless repetitive fluff to make up the limit. I would consider that the 'noise' rather than short comments. P.S many other sites don't have any such useless limits, e.g yt, digg, and they are NOT overrrun by short comments –  Click Upvote Nov 22 '10 at 11:25
    
@ClickUpvote Yes. (Fifteen Characters) –  C. Ross Nov 22 '10 at 13:44
    
What if my name was Bob? –  Click Upvote Nov 22 '10 at 14:56
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Thanks, You're welcome and Goodbye are already considered by many as noise, and there for should be avoided (if you have nothing else to say). This also can be avoided by using full sentences, which might be longer but in the long run are easier to read. ...and it may also prompt the admins to remove this requirement altogether... This feature request was declined some time ago, and I guess it will stay that way. –  Time Traveling Bobby Nov 22 '10 at 15:53
    
>'which might be longer but in the long run are easier to read.' that doesn't make sense, how is a long sentence saying the same thing that can be said in 1 word easier to read? –  Click Upvote Nov 22 '10 at 17:12
    
@ClickUpvote - you respond by editing your original question to say you tried it. Then you also want to leave a comment so the answerer is notified, and that comment should also include text stating that you updated your answer, so that future people won't downvote him for suggesting something you've obviously already tried. –  Joel Coehoorn Nov 22 '10 at 19:17
    
@Joel That is stupid and lame. The point of this site is to get/give answers, not just to use the site. We shouldn't have to perform all these gymnastics just to get over a pointless and annoying rule. There are dozens of examples of heavier sites than SO with no min. length limit and they are doing just fine. –  Click Upvote Nov 25 '10 at 12:31

4 Answers 4

An explanation of why 'thanks', 'you're welcome', and the like are "not reasonable comments", since we seem to be missing that lately:

This is what voting is for. Don't just tell someone you appreciate it, show it with your vote. Comments like 'thanks' are considered actively harmful, because they add to the noise shown on the page for future readers just trying to find an answer to their problem.

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So if someone posts a question, is asked if he has tried rebooting (as an example), and his reply is only yes or no, how is he supposed to post his comment? He'd be forced to write 'Yes, I've tried it' or some other meaningless repetitive fluff to make up the limit. I would consider that the 'noise' rather than short comments. P.S many other sites don't have any such useless limits, e.g yt, digg, and they are NOT overrrun by short comments –  Click Upvote Nov 25 '10 at 12:29

Most of your examples support the exact opposite of what you are asking for!

...when you want to say thing like 'Thanks', 'You're welcome', 'yes', 'no', ... 'goodbye', 'good point!', and a number of other reasonable comments,

They're not reasonable comments. That's the point.

"Thanks" or "I agree" can be expressed as an up-vote. What does "yes" or "no" mean when the posts aren't necessarily displayed in chronological order?

This system is heavily focused on the information and tries to filter out senseless noise as much as possible. The endless stream of "Thanks... you're welcome... don't mention it... anytime... okay..." posts are just pointless noise and don't add anything to the substance of the site.

A minimum comment length is a good reminder of that.

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So if someone posts a question, is asked if he has tried rebooting (as an example), and his reply is only yes or no, how is he supposed to post his comment? He'd be forced to write 'Yes, I've tried it' or some other meaningless repetitive fluff to make up the limit. I would consider that the 'noise' rather than short comments. P.S many other sites don't have any such useless limits, e.g yt, digg, and they are NOT overrrun by short comments –  Click Upvote Nov 25 '10 at 12:32
    
Also, there are many other sites with no min. comment length, and they're not overrun with streams of thanks. That's a very pathetic use of strawman fallacy. –  Click Upvote Nov 25 '10 at 12:34
    
@ClickUpvote using comments for the long discussion about question clarification is another good example of misusing comments, missing information should be edited into the post. The question should be understandable per se, not via comments wall. –  РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Feb 7 at 16:16
up vote -6 down vote accepted
 

Example:

Thank you       
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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ –  hims056 Mar 16 '13 at 9:38

If this was the biggest problem we had, we all lived in paradise.

But back on topic. If your comment has less than 15 characters, you could see this as a sign that the comment is noise or at least not that useful.

In the rare cases short comments are suitable, use your creativity. And its a public secret how to create an empty comment. Just as it is common not to write about the solution.

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Its not as big of a secret as you might think. And as for rare times.. it happens to me a lot, there are many times when a short comment is suitable and you're supposed to fill it with fluff –  Click Upvote Nov 22 '10 at 12:11
    
This is one of those "quality-improving features" that has absolutely no beneficial effect. Nobody in the history of comment writing has tried to submit "yes", seen "15 characters required", and thought "oh, I guess I should add more substance to reach 15 characters". They add "(15 characters)", and it just generates more noise than the original comment would've –  Michael Mrozek Nov 22 '10 at 15:15
    
Clearly we've had different experiences, I encounter this problem almost every time I use SO, and if I do, probably many others do as well. –  Click Upvote Nov 22 '10 at 17:14

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