-11

It's very frustrating to read an answer thread and come across responses where the person often starts out by saying, "I really don't know the answer to this question, but..." Are they just trying to enhance their member standing? All they're doing is cluttering up a thread. They should be down voted, to encourage them to stop doing it.

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    What are you expecting people to tell you here? Are you expecting someone to say that we want people to post answers when they don't know what the answer is? – Servy May 9 '17 at 21:41
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    So... down vote them? – Catija May 9 '17 at 21:41
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    Yeah, those people are are almost as bad as those who think stackoverflow is a forum with threads. Should downvote immediately. – nwp May 9 '17 at 21:47
  • @Servy, I was hoping to get exactly the comments that were mostly provided, which shows that others have the same view as me in that those non-answers clutter up the responses to a question, when we're all trying to seriously find an answer to a question. And hopefully the discussion that did occur will help folks like Code-Guru to realize that he's not being helpful unless he really has a known answer to post. In the beginning (over 10 years ago), stackexchange was excellent with only substantive responses as answers. But in the last few years many people post unhelpful, non-answers. – GAG and Spice Jun 21 '17 at 2:56
  • @GAGandSpice So you asked a question so that people would tell you what you already knew (and what's already specifically laid out in the help center). The rule that it's important that answers be answers has been there since day 1, and people breaking the rules and needing to get their answers deleted have also been there from day one. Needing to deal with these non-answers is nothing new, by any means. Stating that answers should be answers isn't really a way to solve that problem; the help center already covers it. – Servy Jun 21 '17 at 12:56
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I really don't know the answer to this question (it's impossible to answer properly without specific examples), but it's possible that people are just trying to disarm and charm by stating (even if falsely) up front that they reckon they are not infallible after all.

7
  • Well done! Sarcasm rulez!! – πάντα ῥεῖ May 9 '17 at 22:09
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    @πάνταῥεῖ: FWIW, there is no sarcasm here. – Lightness Races in Orbit May 9 '17 at 22:10
  • Well, that's arguable to some degree. Telling the truth has become sarcastic at times when fake news and alternative facts could became popular. – πάντα ῥεῖ May 9 '17 at 22:13
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    @πάνταῥεῖ: Nope, there's definitely no sarcasm here. I checked twice. – Lightness Races in Orbit May 9 '17 at 22:14
  • Doesn't really matter. That answer is great! – πάντα ῥεῖ May 9 '17 at 22:15
  • @πάνταῥεῖ: I hope that wasn't sarcasm! – Lightness Races in Orbit May 9 '17 at 22:22
  • Certainly not!! – πάντα ῥεῖ May 9 '17 at 22:26
-1

I do this when I am unclear on all the details of the question and my suggestions are too lengthy for a comment. I feel that the suggestions can lead the OP and future readers to a more complete solution by providing some words for Google search.

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    "... and my suggestions are too lengthy for a comment ..." That's certainly not a good reason to write an answer (if it doesn't answer the question in some way). That's just like straying sand in the engines gears. – πάντα ῥεῖ May 9 '17 at 22:50
  • @πάνταῥεῖ If it does answer the question in some way, even if not completely, then I feel it increases the signal to noise ratio. – Code-Guru May 9 '17 at 22:59
  • @Code-Guru Either you are posting an answer to the question, in which case you shouldn't say that you don't know the answer to the question, or you aren't posting an answer to the question, in which case you shouldn't be posting an answer at all. It's either one or the other. – Servy May 10 '17 at 13:30
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    "I do this when I am unclear on all the details of the question and my suggestions are too lengthy for a comment." - Please stop submitting commentary as an answer. Its just going to be deleted by the community. It just makes more work for the people who attempt to clear the review queue. If you know the answer to a question, submit a complete detailed answer, otherwise what you describe is commentary which should never be submitted as an answer. – Ramhound May 10 '17 at 14:35

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