I wrote a Q&A wiki and refered to myself as the OP, rather than "I" or "my". I did it for clarity. But, I'm wondering if it's unnecessary and makes the format feel unnatural. Opinions?

The (possibly) offensive post is here.

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    Assuming that I even noticed the answer and question were by the same person I would find this quite jarring and possibly disingenuous. Do you have a link so we can see it in context? Why do you need to refer to the person at all rather than just "the question"? Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 15:55
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    OP is "original poster", not "original post" so it's not stupid, it's just wrong to refer to the question itself as "OP". Bottom line, "OP" means "the user who originally wrote the post" (can be either question or answer) Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:01
  • @MartinSmith this question. Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:02
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    Personally I'd avoid using abbreviations at all outside of tbe comments Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:04
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    @ShadowWizard - I've frequently seen it used to mean either. In this case though simply replacing "to answer the OP's question" with "to answer the question" would be better IMO. It is completely redundant. Every question is posted by its OP. Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:05
  • @ShadowWizard See this post. Look under the answer for The Festivus Unicorn's comment. He uses OP as the original post.
    – seebiscuit
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:09
  • When in doubt, see the glossary.
    – Antony
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:10
  • Still wrong in my opinion. Anyway, fixed the answer to match what I consider proper grammar. :) Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:10
  • @Martin Smith, Thanks. I can see how it may be redundant to use "OP.
    – seebiscuit
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:18
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    Honestly I think we should all just stick to our Q&A conventions and use "asker" instead of "OP". I feel dirty every time I use "OP" to refer to a question asker here. Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:25
  • @BoltClock's a Unicorn are these time-honed convnetions, or is there a common post that outlines the most commonly used ones?
    – seebiscuit
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


Target the reader, the question or the code rather than the 'original poster'. A good example is this question. The original poster should be irrelevant to the question itself in most of the cases anyway.

That said - if you're answering your own question and need to refer to the question author - it's better to refer to yourself as OP, you, asker or another term indicating the person who asked the question.

This is for clarity. The Q&A format works really well here. The person reading the answer should optimally not be aware of of the fact it's the same person answering the question. So in short - no, it's not stupid.

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