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I saw a question and thought of some answers that were completely ridiculous, but funny. I decided not to post them, but wondered if they would be appreciated by the community, or just voted down.

12 Answers 12

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No, wrong answers should never be posted.

If you have a funny comment that you wish to post, I would recommend clicking "add comment"... that way, your reputation won't suffer.

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    I agree. In fact, adding some lulz in the comments should be encouraged. And it's not just about reputation -- it prevents cluttering the discussion. I like seeing and posting funny comments but when I'm trying to learn or search for valuable content, it only distracts.
    – TrickyNixon
    Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 17:32
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Funny and correct are okay when humor is used with moderation and serves the purpose of providing good answers. But ridiculous answers posted as a means to SPAM questions with no added value should of course be downvoted. Remember also that decorating your answers with a lot of humorous quotes or sarcasm even though you have the correct answer is a bad approach. The users may find themselves lost and totally miss that you pointed them in the correct direction.

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    i think the emphasis on SO should be quality answers. Humour, where it adds value, is great as it lightens my day; Humour at the expense of value is simply frustrating. Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 16:57
  • This is especially frustrating when a 'humerous but wrong' answer is accepted as the correct answer - it shows up as the #1 response, even if it's been down voted into the abyss... see stackoverflow.com/questions/190755/… for an example.
    – Robert P
    Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 17:21
  • Its frustrating the other way too. I got voted down for an obviously humourous post: stackoverflow.com/questions/167714/… some people have no sense of humour, I was even modded offensive for that one! :)
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 21:22
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Make your joke as a comment if you have nothing else to contribute (or just chuckle to yourself and move along). Make your joke, include smiley, then answer the question if you think you can be helpful. Make sure you make it clear that your answer is a joke in case someone doesn't get it.

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No, never!

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Depends on the question (and how much you like your reputation). If it's a subjective question I think people will usually accept offtopic answers that are funny. I've made a few and haven't been voted down for them yet.

Then again, a vote down is just a -1/-2 on your reputation. I think it's a small price to pay for freedom of speech.

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  • peaches are already free.
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 17:15
  • typos are likewise gratis Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 17:34
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Depends on the question. If it's entertaining I think people might even vote them up.

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Funny? Sure. However, I don't want to encourage the spread of memes here. I hate wading through Reddit comment threads of pun after pun and memes from god-knows-where. This site should be about quickly getting straightforward answers to your questions and nothing more.

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  • I accidentally your whole reply.
    – TrickyNixon
    Commented Oct 17, 2008 at 17:24
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It depends on how much signal there is to go along with your noise. If you contribute to the question, f.ex. by posting a “here’s an obvious but wrong approach and here’s why you shouldn’t do that”-type wrong answer, I’d be as likely to vote it up as any right answer. It just has to be educational, same as any answer.

Whether or not it’s funny doesn’t really matter.

Note that this means you must state up front that the given answer is wrong. If that destroys the humour in it, well too bad, don’t post it then. It’d be pure noise anyway. In that case, unless your joke is a real knee-slapper, please keep it out of the comments too.

Say something educational or nothing at all. If it is, and you can also make it humorous, more power to ya. If it’s not, more’s the pity; humorous or not doesn’t matter.

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It depends on the situation.

If it's something that should not be mentioned and you would not want your wife/husband/child to read it, then please don't write it, especially in the case of a previous question.

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My personal policy is to post joke answers if:

  • you do it in moderation

  • a good answer has already been posted an upvoted

  • the joke is actually funny (not just "You don't! Windoze suxx! Lol.")

  • the joke hasn't been made yet, and if it has, it's been made poorly.

So far I only made one of these, about "intentional programming" -- with a name like that, the topic was just begging for it.

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I guess the voting system should sort out this kind of thing so I would say why not. I know some of my favourite posts are good humored but they did tend to be related to the question in at least a small way.

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Any programmer who has realized by now that coding itself is never a rigid, straightforward process ought to also understand that applying rigid protocol for interactions with people works just about as well (read: not very).

In other words, rules are important, but playing it by ear is probably more so in the long run. This isn't a mission critical business planning service or anything like that.

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