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? – Adam Rackis Nov 10 '11 at 19:00
  • I would personally edit the "damn" out of it. – animuson Nov 10 '11 at 19:01
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    @AdamRackis stackoverflow.com/users/352552/… – a cat Nov 10 '11 at 19:04
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    The nut is a lie!! stackoverflow.com/posts/8080271/revisions – theChrisKent Nov 10 '11 at 20:49
  • @theChris - an unintentional lie—I was typing from memory. My apologies :) – Adam Rackis Nov 10 '11 at 20:54
  • Fixed now - thanks for calling me on it – Adam Rackis Nov 10 '11 at 20:57
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    @Adam No worries, I would've edited it if I thought it was important. Sometimes our minds slip extra nuts into things. – theChrisKent Nov 10 '11 at 21:02
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    Accuracy be damned, you've ruined the opening sentence of my answer now! – jrturton Nov 10 '11 at 21:22
  • @jrturton Hopefully a green check will ameliorate your woes :-) – Adam Rackis Nov 10 '11 at 21:33

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.

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    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. – Adam Rackis Nov 10 '11 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 '11 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 '11 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 '11 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 '11 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. – Jason Plank Nov 10 '11 at 21:51
  • @JasonPlank: I was referencing items #1 and #3 in the post I referenced. Updated answer to reflect. – casperOne Nov 10 '11 at 22:11

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