For some reason I've taken a liking to reviewing "first questions" and "first answers."

I don't want to be over-zealous, so I'd like to ask the community if removing this from the end of a posted answer was appropriate:

Damn that was tricky to crack...

It's certainly not offensive, but it struck me as the sort of mindless noise that Jeff and most others rail against.

  • @Anthony - wow. How did you track that down? Did you run a data query, or is there a friendly place to see a list of a users' previous edits? Nov 10, 2011 at 19:00
  • I would personally edit the "damn" out of it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Nov 10, 2011 at 19:01
  • 1
    @AdamRackis stackoverflow.com/users/352552/…
    – a cat
    Nov 10, 2011 at 19:04
  • 3
    The nut is a lie!! stackoverflow.com/posts/8080271/revisions Nov 10, 2011 at 20:49
  • @theChris - an unintentional lie—I was typing from memory. My apologies :) Nov 10, 2011 at 20:54
  • Fixed now - thanks for calling me on it Nov 10, 2011 at 20:57
  • 2
    @Adam No worries, I would've edited it if I thought it was important. Sometimes our minds slip extra nuts into things. Nov 10, 2011 at 21:02
  • 3
    Accuracy be damned, you've ruined the opening sentence of my answer now!
    – jrturton
    Nov 10, 2011 at 21:22
  • @jrturton Hopefully a green check will ameliorate your woes :-) Nov 10, 2011 at 21:33

2 Answers 2


Depends on the relative trickiness of the nut, I guess. Nothing wrong with a little conversational tone if it was difficult to get to the answer, could even help future readers to understand the level of complexity required in that area.

If it was a link to some documentation and the statement was sarcasm, then absolutely edit it out.

  • 1
    Fair enough. It wasn't sarcasm, but the post wasn't too significant. A very short psot, with that attached to the end. It struck me as noise, but next time I'll probably just leave it. I like to err on the safe side. Nov 10, 2011 at 18:52
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    @jrturton: -1, as salutations, thanks, etc. are generally edited out and this is along the same lines as that.
    – casperOne
    Nov 10, 2011 at 19:31
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    Unlike "thanks" or "hi" there is some relevant, specific meaning here. Saying finding an answer or fix is difficult may even be an important part of an answer, a solution that is exceedingly difficult to implement for example may not be the ideal solution at all.
    – Ben Brocka
    Nov 10, 2011 at 20:31
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    @BenBrocka: The use of adjectives such as "tricky", "hard", "easy", etc. automatically make the statement subjective and opinionated (e.g. it might have been tricky for him, and not for me) and therefore of limited use to the majority of people on SO. Again, perhaps it's relevant to a few, but SO is about being relevant to all (or as many as possible).
    – casperOne
    Nov 10, 2011 at 20:50
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    I think in the specific case in the question, it is a valid edit, but I don't think you can make a blanket statement saying any line like that should definitely be removed so, I stand by my answer, which is the answer to so much in life - it depends!
    – jrturton
    Nov 10, 2011 at 20:53

I believe you should have edited it out. It doesn't serve to enhance the post in any way. It's along the same lines of "Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?"; for these things the community says overwhelmingly that they should be removed.

I believe that the following two points (referencing points #1 and #3 in the "community says overwhelmingly that they should be removed" link) brought up in that answer apply here:

1) It will leave even less room in the question preview so that we have more difficulty gauging what a question consists of by reading the preview.

3) If this is supposed to be a website which is servicing more than just the primary author...

In this particular case, #3 definitely applies, in that the statement serves no one but the primary author, and SO is a site meant to serve all.

  • Was your list supposed to have 2 items or 3? Inconsistent wording/numbering. Nov 10, 2011 at 21:51
  • @JasonPlank: I was referencing items #1 and #3 in the post I referenced. Updated answer to reflect.
    – casperOne
    Nov 10, 2011 at 22:11

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