I read the following comment (the comment has now been deleted, so here is the mirror) on meta:

So far everyone has missed the REAL reason why SE sites will always be freely-accessible: legions of insanely-pedantic users.

Doesn't it go against the be-nice policy (https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice: "Name-calling. Focus on the post, not the person", "Rudeness and belittling language are not okay.", etc.)?

I flagged the comment but it got declined without any explanation.

For the non-native English speakers: Is the use of the adjective “pedantic” always derogatory?

  • 2
    I think you took the comment to be a lot more serious than it is intended to be.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 4, 2016 at 6:43
  • 10
    I know some people who might consider "insanely pedantic" to be a compliment. Some people are proud of their pedantry.
    – ff524
    Aug 4, 2016 at 6:44
  • 8
    Finally! This Shog9 dude has gotten away with his shenanigans for far too long.
    – Bart
    Aug 4, 2016 at 7:02
  • 2
  • So is it a joke or a complement? (also, I believe "focus on the post, not the person" should regardless still apply, otherwise it creates noise in the discussion) Aug 4, 2016 at 16:11
  • All of the above?
    – Bart
    Aug 5, 2016 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


"Insanely pedantic" is not a value judgement. It's a descriptor, which doesn't have an inherent negative connotation. It's roughly on the same level as saying "The reason why SO works is because of the legions of very active and thorough people".

Moreover, that was a comment made by a community manager. When in doubt, you should assume that they know what they're doing. After all, they have a significant hand in making the rules that you cite.

That comment is not worth deleting.

ps: I would count myself among those "insanely pedantic" users, and I'd take that as a compliment, not an insult :p

  • 7
    I'll remember this and call you insanely pedantic forty two times a day.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 4, 2016 at 6:57
  • 1
    ok, I'll add it to my list of compliments then. Aug 4, 2016 at 16:10
  • 5
    You have a typo there in "insanely pendantic". I know, I'm just being pedantic - we all know what you mean.
    – Oded
    Aug 4, 2016 at 17:56
  • @Oded edited. grumbles something into the coffee
    – Magisch
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:23
  • 4
    You missed a spot ;)
    – Oded
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:29
  • @Oded It's completely possible that Magisch would prefer to spend the afternoon on a swing.
    – Catija
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:44
  • At this point, that might be the appropriate response, @Catija
    – Oded
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:45
  • grumbles @Oded I await anxiously that you tell me there are other minor spelling errors in that post >_>
    – Magisch
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:56
  • Dunno about that. Shall we move to grammar?
    – Oded
    Aug 4, 2016 at 19:13
  • @Oded Maybe have mercy on my non native speaker english skills. I know its not that good.
    – Magisch
    Aug 4, 2016 at 19:14
  • As one non native speaker to another - sure :)
    – Oded
    Aug 4, 2016 at 19:33

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