1

So what I see a lot of is people who will format a question as follows

Hello i am having an issue with question/problem
...
Insert question/issue here
...
PLEASE HELP I CANT USE MY COMPUTER. PLEASE HELP ME. Thanks, insert name here

Now yes, that is a little over exaggerated, but in some cases users may ask questions very similar to that. The question/discussion I have/want to have is where the line is drawn between common courtesy, and "excess noise" in a question. I get people adding small globs at the beginning and end like for example "Hello," "Thanks," and maybe if it is in their interest, their name. There have been a group of people going around and basically destroying the last of this sanity. If we just rid the questions of all except the question itself, although making it more simpler, may also change the original tone that the author/asker wanted to have. Your thoughts?

5

I do not start editing a question just to remove a "Hello" in the beginning and a "Best regards" in the end. But when I'm already editing a question for other reasons (formatting, spelling, grammar) I often remove those unnecessary lines.

They do not help the quality of the question and they're also not really improving the tone of a question as you said in my opinion. It's nothing serious, but simply unneeded. And from my experience, the shorter and less noisy a question is, the better are its chances to find an answer. This is simply because most people out there are lazy and don't want to read too much. The difference is not huge when you just remove a greeting, but it's still unnecessary lines that make the question longer than it would need to be.

Also, your line from the example:

PLEASE HELP I CANT USE MY COMPUTER. PLEASE HELP ME.

This is horrible and should not be tolerated.

  1. It's CAPS LOCKED which means the OP is shouting at us.
  2. It's simply repeatedly begging for help.
  3. It does not add any value to the question but is the most emphasized sentence in the entire post.

For these three reasons, I would delete the entire line if it appears like that in a real post. And while I'm at it, the greeting and thanks would fall as well.

By the way I just collected a set of tips for users that tend to get negative feedback on their questions. I discuss all the issues mentioned here and many more over there:
Tips for users to write better questions and avoid negative feedback

  • The way I see it, If you wouldn't start an edit just to get rid of something, why make that change at all? – David Mar 18 '16 at 13:59
  • How about when people structure questions like: i have a probem wuth my ubant instal ..! pls help ...! it doesnt boot an it crashs on start !! i need help!!! – TheWanderer Mar 18 '16 at 14:07
  • 3
    @Zacharee1 Vote to close as unclear. – Byte Commander Mar 18 '16 at 14:09
  • 2
    @DavidCole-GrammarPolice In my opinion, removing greetings etc. is a very minor improvement. It does not really justify an edit on its own. This is especially to those who don't have the direct edit privilege yet. It would require two (or three?) reviewers to approve or reject that edit suggestion and such a minor improvement is not worth that effort. I can edit directly without getting reviewed, but I'm usually too lazy to start the edit unless it would be a real improvement. – Byte Commander Mar 18 '16 at 14:12
  • @ByteCommander Lol me too – David Mar 18 '16 at 14:22
  • 3
    Agree with @ByteCommander. If you're already improving the post, by all means knock out the hellos/thanks, but editing just to do that is a waste of time (and probably missing something). The example given here is much more extreme than real life usually presents us with. – Oli Mar 18 '16 at 14:53
2

Lazy reader

To be honest, when it comes to reading questions on AU, I am definitely one of the lazy readers ByteCommander is referring to. I am here to answer questions, not to dig out relevant information, hidden in a story.
A good question is like a funnel; there is no other way of reading but flowing to the point as quickly as possible. Don't leave out important information, but don't add anything that is distracting, starting with "Hi Folks, Jim here", and "Yours truly..."

The worst questions are the ones that give a lot of information, of which you are not sure if it will turn out to be useful or not. You need to keep this information "in memory" until OP finally gets to the point and you can decide what information to trash and what to reorganize.

I rarely read these questions to the end.

The bottom line is that it is in OP's interest to strip these questions into readable ones.
Instead of the complaints sometimes posted in comments and even on Meta, people should understand these edits are done with good intentions and usually very useful.

2

For me, the ideal would be:

Insert question/issue here

And nothing else. This is a Q and A, and I've never seen a Q from a Q&A with "hello" "please" "insert name here", have you?

1

Here's a question with a lot of noise...

Especially if you look at the edits.

;-)

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