4,599 search results for posts containing 'plz'

I'm not big on adding heuristics for every little thing, but this is getting out of hand. This is not a feature request, it's just a discussion on what, if anything, should be done.

  • Add plz to the question/answer quality algorithm?
  • Silently convert plz to please during the markdown conversion?
  • ???
  • 7
    Shouldn't that be 'Please get rid of plz!'? :)
    – forsvarir
    Jun 14, 2011 at 21:38
  • Isn't it already part of the quality algorithm?
    – mmyers
    Jun 14, 2011 at 21:38
  • 17
    slippry slope, idk... must now convrt all txtspk.
    – user102937
    Jun 14, 2011 at 21:39
  • 5
    sounds like a goldmine for people that need edit badges. Jun 14, 2011 at 21:41
  • 4
    possible duplicate of Can people PLEASE spell out their slang acronyms
    – squillman
    Jun 14, 2011 at 21:42
  • 1
    What about all of my pointer to long string variables? plzMessage needs love too.
    – user7116
    Jun 14, 2011 at 21:45
  • 9
    @sixlettervariables: It should be plzMsg. Yours is more than 6 letters :) Jun 14, 2011 at 21:52
  • @yoda: my name pays homage to such painful names as CMESAG or INUMBR or LTRUTH...or strings stuffed into REAL(4). I should be so lucky to have Hungarian notation! :)
    – user7116
    Jun 14, 2011 at 21:59
  • 1
    I don't think requests to please lower the zebra should be filtered out. Jun 14, 2011 at 22:33
  • you know what would be nice, if you could do a search and get the results in /review format :)
    – waffles
    Jun 15, 2011 at 0:39
  • +1: It may be a cultural thing, but I've seen more 'pls' than 'plz'. In fact it pushed me over the edge, and complained about two in a single post yesterday.
    – pavium
    Jun 15, 2011 at 0:55
  • 6
    Warning: "PLZ" is a common abbreviation of "Postleitzahl" in German (which means "postcode"). I know German is not a common language, but I often see code samples with non-English variable names and this can easily come up as well. Jun 15, 2011 at 9:21
  • @Joachim - one could restrict it to non-code text (that is anything without markdown the code indent, or backticks). This would also help with things like Lolcode. Aug 23, 2011 at 10:20

4 Answers 4


If there's one thing we've learned from blocking low-quality posts, it's that people will gleefully do whatever it takes to get around it, including appending "I'm adding this sentence so SO will accept my question" to the end. We can silently filter it out, but I'm not sure there's a way to do it safely, since it can appear anywhere and there isn't a great way to isolate it. The only option is to have it negatively affect the post's quality score, and I think it already does

  • 12
    interestingly, the txtspeak detection had pls but not plz .. adding that now. Jun 15, 2011 at 6:23
  • 3
    @JeffAtwood don't forget pl0x. Jun 15, 2011 at 10:22
  • 1
    Accepted due to "I think it already does...negatively affect the post's quality score" and Jeff's comment that it didn't, but it does now.
    – Pollyanna
    Jun 15, 2011 at 12:51
  • @Jeff thx alot!
    – Pollyanna
    Jun 15, 2011 at 12:51
  • 1
    @Adam I got two badges and a checkmark for an answer that ended up being wrong. This is a good day Jun 15, 2011 at 14:46
  • @Jeff "could you help plz"? Jun 15, 2011 at 15:33

In my "too tired to give good answers"-time, I now go through the search results (in the tags I'm active anyway), and edit questions with plz in them. Often they have other edit-worthy stuff in them, so editing them is a good idea. (And sometimes I find nice answers on the way.)

I can only recommend this to anyone who still needs edit reputation (but don't edit only for plz, this gets old).

  • 1
    I've been going through these on SO and searching for it on other sites too. It's a really good search term to find posts with other problems that need fixing. Jun 30, 2011 at 1:45

Automatically converting known abbreviations like "plz" is reasonable. Proper format and proper spelled language helps to get the information.

But how to make sure you replace the proper usage and it's not e.g. a variable. Pure automatic replacement might be difficult.

At least there could be automatisms to help people cleaning up, aka Wikipedia bots or search and replace across multiple posts for users with > 10k rep.

And there would have to be a list with abbrevs and their "support" what it really is. And typical known mistakes, e.g. http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html would have to be added, too.

  • 2
    Can I have a bot that would allow me to search and automatically downvote all posts containing "plz".
    – Kibbee
    Jun 14, 2011 at 23:28
  • There used to be a way to filter the low quality review list based on keyword, and "plz" and "thx" were excellent choices; I'm not sure why they got rid of that Jun 14, 2011 at 23:29
  • 5
    I think our users favor you'redictionary.com
    – user7116
    Jun 14, 2011 at 23:32
  • 7
    I'm trying to figure out what plz would be in Hungarian. Pointer to a long something... that's obvious. The only known use of "z" in Hungarian is in sz, for null-terminated string (z is the zero terminator). Maybe zero? So plz is a pointer to a 32 bit zero value. Not a very interesting variable, but there you have it. Jun 15, 2011 at 3:00
  • 1
    Packed Lowercase Ztring Jun 15, 2011 at 3:48
  • @Joel The MIPS architecture has a machine register dedicated to providing a 32 bit zero value. Perhaps rather than $0 we should be referring to it in assembly as $plz. In a loose sense it's a variable in that you can write anything you want to it, it just always reads as zero. No matter what you give this user, er, register, it will give you nothing back.
    – Pollyanna
    Jun 15, 2011 at 12:58
  • 1
    kinda like the part of my brain i use to store phone numbers Jun 15, 2011 at 14:07
  • 1
    Or perhaps yoredictionary.com, @six?
    – Pops
    Jun 15, 2011 at 14:49
  • @Popular: I think that's a favo[u]rite on EL&U.
    – user7116
    Jun 15, 2011 at 15:05

In a guestbook I once had a rule that if you wrote text with three or five !, you'd get the appropriate [Discworld error message] -after which you were allowed to post the comment anyway. The number of !!! comments dropped significantly :)

So I assume that the method implemented in the StackExchange sites ("seems to be low quality - really post?") stops most of the bad questions.

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