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I've earned myself a special friend over the last few weeks. I've been cleaning up behind that user now for quite some time for two reasons:

  • Adds pointless noise to his questions
  • Does not use the Markdown correctly

The first time I stumbled upon a question from that user, I sat there for some minutes wondering what the "Everlasting" at the beginning meant. I'd already done various searches to see if he could mean a .NET component of some sort, but finally asked him in the comments what he meant by it. His response: "everlasting makes me to remember the everlasting God". While I won't judge about that (personally, I couldn't care less), it adds an extreme kind of noise to the question (at least I see it that way). I asked him several times to stop doing that.

I also asked him several times to read up about Markdown and to start using it correctly as it seems he wasn't listening.

Though it's very minor compared to what shows up every day on SO, should I move on and leave him be, or did I overlook something very simple?

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The strangest one I came across was a person who said "I am a programmer" in almost all of his questions, like there was anything special about that. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 28 '11 at 14:30
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Start down-voting him, and add a comment linking to your previous discussions so that he (and others) know why.

He's getting free answers, there's no reason why he should also be getting free valeting.

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I agree; it's the only way to allow the system to eventually throw the dreaded Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions from this account. – Arjan Mar 28 '11 at 13:00

You could flag it for moderator attention: but I don't think it's that serious.

If someone wants to open their post with "Hi" or Sirs" or "Everlasting", or end with "Thanks", then that's no biggie, IMO. You can delete it, if you want to, I suppose. I find that reading that is like listening to somebody who's talking with an accent: it makes sense to concentrate on the message (and perhaps even to enjoy variety, and not expect everyone to talk the same).

To call the noise "extreme" is a bit of bias, on your part; it's only a one-word salutation.

It's not like he/she is putting a whitespace in front of every comma!

And when you want to write, "Hi and Thank you is already considered as unnecessary noise" -- that's mostly true, though you could have just told him it's unecessary, instead of noise; but you could also see that fact as permission to omit those words, rather than as a requirement.

Finally, you might like (I certainly found it eye-opening) at least the beginning of Ursula Le Guin's Bryn Mawr Commencement Address, where she talks about different modes of address.

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"Extreme kind of noise" in the sense of: many people (if anyone?)don't know what it means, and those who're trying to help might waste time trying to figure it out. To me that's a lot more noise than a simple "Hi". – Arjan Mar 28 '11 at 12:57
@Arjan - Its position is the hint: the first word[s] of a message, especially a non-sentence on a line by itself, may be a salutation or an invocation. – ChrisW Mar 28 '11 at 13:11
True, @Chris, but without the explanation in this very question, I'd assumed it indicated that the question asker was continuing on (or repeating) a previous question. Then, going into the user's profile to see if it's a duplicate, would be a waste of time. – Arjan Mar 28 '11 at 13:17

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