I'm seeing a strange habit on the rise for the past few weeks: Answer posts that are finished by "Thanks, NameOfAnswerPoster". Of course I delete that if there are other things to fix in the post.

My only question is if anyone can think of a reason why more and more users finish their answers with "thanks"? It strikes me as odd to thank someone for a deed you did. Do more people with a language background that does not differ between "you're welcome" and "thank you" flock SO (is there even such a language?), or can someone think of another reason?

  • 6
    I think it means thanks for the (potential) rep, possibly on a subconscious level. Jul 15, 2012 at 15:47
  • 13
    Sometimes I end my questions with "You're welcome" just to throw people off
    – Ben Brocka
    Jul 15, 2012 at 17:00
  • 5
    I find it even more annoying that some people go to the length and remove the thanks as the only edit. Pollutes my reviewing - Being polite never hurt anyone.
    – mplungjan
    Sep 18, 2012 at 5:26

3 Answers 3


Think of it like the closing of a letter - a closing salutation followed by their name, as in:

Dear Mr. Jones,

In response to your request, we have forty schwargels available for delivery.


John Doe

"Thanks" in this context is just an empty word, like "Sincerely" or "Regards" or "Yours". Many people used to writing letters and e-mails will do this, especially those trained in formal English.

  • 1
    In English classes I was never taught that you can finish a letter with "Thanks". I accepted your answer as I liked the reasoning the best. ;-)
    – kay
    Jul 15, 2012 at 22:51
  • Well it is more informal than most closings so that's probably why. :-) Jul 15, 2012 at 22:53
  • 4
    @DerrickCoetzee: Can I have a schwargel?
    – gen_Eric
    Jul 16, 2012 at 20:05
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    @Rocket Sorry all sold out :-( Jul 16, 2012 at 20:46
  • 1
    @DerrickCoetzee: Darn.
    – gen_Eric
    Jul 16, 2012 at 20:48

Maybe they mean "thank you for reading me." I am not sure it is something a native speaker of English would say, but not all users speak English as first language (including me).

The reason of writing that is probably the same for which users write thank you in advance in their questions.


A lot of contributors aren't native speakers, which might explain this. It could be that they intend to end their answer with something like "regards, nameofanswerer".


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