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Should ‘Hi’, ‘thanks’ and taglines and salutations be removed from posts?

When I see a question like

Hi everyone!

In C, how do I compute the sum of two integers?

I've been struggling with this for six weeks now and fear I'm about to get fired, so any help would be greatly appreciated!



I almost automatically hit edit, and leave it as:

In C, how do I compute the sum of two integers?

I comment such edits with "brevity". Is this mean, am I doing everyone a disservice by "de-socializing" the questions?


  • Questions are directed at everyone, the greeting doesn't add much
  • Time frames don't age well. Two years later it's meaningless
  • The author info is already displayed, signatures are unnecessary
  • Concise, brief questions promote reading and responding

Those kinds of questions absolutely should be edited for brevity. You are doing the right thing.

Just be careful, there are roving packs of hypersensitive people who will almost always find something offensive about your edits once they are aware of them. One day it will be "You removed their emotion and intent" and the next will be "Don't make trivial edits".

I encourage what you are doing, but just take the word of caution that if you do this a lot, the hypersensitive super minorities will come out of the woodwork.

For further examples of this:

Should ‘Hi’, ‘thanks’ and taglines and salutations be removed from posts?

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  • +1 Well said. Great question to link to also as TheTXI's answer there was well written also. – Troggy Jan 29 '10 at 15:33


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I tend to remove things like that, on the grounds that extra text hides the actual question.

You've got to be a bit careful not to remove details that look irrelevant but are not (often things like that contain an extra, important piece of information in the middle of a bunch of fluff).

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I notice people leave comments to 'google', 'RTFM', 'do a search' if certain comments are not there. So if he says I searched and did this and that I would leave it in. I'm pretty well trained to skim paragraphs of useless data.

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    If people are leaving comments like that, report them to mods with the flagging function. No one is required to search google or to RTFM before asking a question. – GEOCHET Jan 29 '10 at 15:30
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    @Geo: Absolutely with you 100% on flagging the LMGTFY/RTFM crowd. However, what the user has tried can help provide context for answering the question. Now if the user says, "I Googled and got nothing," yeah, cut that out. If he says, "I Googled, got these three sites and they don't seem to help me out," that is relevant info for guy answering -- he knows a few things to not recommend, and it provides more contextual framing for the original question. – John Rudy Jan 29 '10 at 15:53
  • As I said the Cheese, are you answering the question or just the title? – user135186 Jan 31 '10 at 2:42

As a proud member of one of the "hyper sensitive super minorities" I'll just point you to a comment to RichB/Geoffrey in the duplicate question:

"Rich B: The community is obviously split. At the very least it should be a given that salutations alone shouldn't be edited, but an important point that most arguments stem from is that if an author really wants his salutations in there they should stay there."

In other words, if you remove salutations and the OP doesn't respond or care in any way, fantastic, well done!

On the other hand, if the OP wants the question to contain salutations and adds them again, just get over it and move on with your life.

Of course if you're really just looking for an argument (and of, course, the incredible excitement you must derive from it) keep removing those salutations when the OP adds them again.

  • "Moving on" only encourages the continuation of the problem. Editing it and explaining the difference between SO and a discussion forum, then linking to this or similar questions so they can pick up the chain of related discussions, will help them understand and will help to improve the quality of the site. – The Tin Man Jul 15 '16 at 19:06

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