I have a knack for leaving stupid jokes on a lot of posts. They don't add anything to the question except (hopefully) a little humour. I am not sure if I should leave these comments because they might not be good for the website. Here are a few examples -enter image description here

I know, I know, quite stupid. There are a lot, lot more, but I am too lazy.
Should I continue on my quest for stupidity or not?

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    $\begingroup$ From the preface of the book "Torus actions on Symplectic manifolds" by M. Aubin. He said that in the new edition "(has) also suppressed some (old) bad jokes but could not resist adding new (bad) ones". (After all no one can stop you right? ^^) $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Mar 6, 2015 at 9:52
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    $\begingroup$ Would the world be bearable if humor was banned? $\endgroup$
    – user65203
    Mar 6, 2015 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ I think AvZ should cut back. Maybe cold turkey is too extreme, but how about a few sessions at Sophomoric Humor Anonymous? $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ @GEdgar But why waste such talent xD? $\endgroup$
    – AvZ
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ @YvesDaoust Hopefully, Stack Exchange sites is not the full extent of your world. People tend to have fun in some places and be serious at other places. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Mar 6, 2015 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ Human exceptionality is so widely cherished that I cannot believe you would think cultivating your talent would ultimately be wrong. Maybe you see some criticism now, but don't they all? $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2015 at 3:33
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    $\begingroup$ The site tour says "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.". $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2015 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @LeGrandDODOM I remember reading "be always prepared to bring in your humour"or something like that somewhere on the official help. I am unable to find it right now... :-/ $\endgroup$
    – AvZ
    Mar 7, 2015 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ "Oh, and bring your sense of humor. Just in case" Here: math.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2015 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @LeGrandDODOM Yeah, that was what I was talking about. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – AvZ
    Mar 7, 2015 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ @John: I think the book is from M. Audin and that's she, not he. $\endgroup$
    – Siméon
    Mar 9, 2015 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ I'm fairly proud of this one: math.stackexchange.com/questions/1181290/… $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Mar 9, 2015 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Siméon: Ah! (I was thinking of another Aubin...). You are right. $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ @John sorry in case you notice that alrealdy but it seems not: it's Audin not Aubin, too. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Mar 12, 2015 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ I think there's no problem with jokes. But just as a side note, I think yours are unfunny :P $\endgroup$
    – Pandora
    Mar 16, 2015 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


A joke here and there is alright; if somebody minds they can flag as "too chatty" or "not constructive". One should not overdo this though.

It is also important to keep in mind that humor and irony often do not go over well in written and over language and possibly cultural difference. Moreover, when you notices somebody does not like your remarks leave them alone.

However, you share the talent for "stupid jokes" with a few other SE-users. So much so that SE decided to make use of this pool of rare and underused talent, first by adding meta-sites, but this was still not enough, whence: chat.

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    $\begingroup$ You know how to make me feel special xD $\endgroup$
    – AvZ
    Mar 6, 2015 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ Wait, I thought meta was for dramatic users, not comedic ones! (I must be using it wrong) $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2015 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Meelo it is both, and it can be a most marvelous symbiotic relation. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Mar 6, 2015 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Meelo There are two kinds of drama. Comedy an Tragedy. Theaters used to play two Tragedies about serious topics followed by one Comedy to lift the mood. I'm not sure a 2:1 ratio is perfect for a site like StackExchange but I feel like, maybe, 10:1 is entirely justifiable $\endgroup$
    – kram1032
    Mar 12, 2015 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ It is official, I am now a guru of stupid comments! Thanks so much for that @AvZ :-) $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Mar 15, 2015 at 14:49

I would say that, generally, people come to SE (not just SE Mathematics) for answers to a particular problem that they need solving. These people are probably quite busy too. So they would want an answer without having to wade through inane comments that add nothing to the furtherance of their knowledge, or if they have asked the asked themselves, not to be notified of a comment, which they then have to take time out to read, that turns out to be pointless.

I personally find comments that add nothing to the answer to be noise and wish that I could get the time back that I have wasted reading it.

If I want to fritter away some precious time on humour, I will probably visit a joke web page or a forum on the web dedicated to such topics, rather than trawling through serious, heavy, SE subject matter, hoping for a joke or two.

If the question is jokey in nature then by all means add a humourous comment, as it is on-topic in that scenario. Indeed if one has been trawling through SE looking for a solution all day (or a couple of hours) then a jokey question can be a bit of nice relief, but as quid states in his answer: A joke here and there is alright.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a humourless chap, and I love messing about and winding people up. But as I approach 50 I realise that there is a time and a place. When people are trying to be serious, academic and/or professional, and I would say that SE is such a place, then that is neither the time nor the place.

Generally inane comments means the commenter is bored, and has nothing better to do. I know this well, as I used to work for a big company in my thirties, and was bored by the simplicity of the work there, and so, to amuse myself I would post what I thought was humourous comments to public support boards for resellers and users of the companies software. Then I would get slapped down for it, and I must be honest, I never understood why, and thought that my hierarchy of bosses were very boring and humourless. 15 years later, I know understand how irritating I must have been, and how immature I must have appeared. I ended up getting made redundant (after 12 years mind), and it was confirmed to me that my behaviour on the support forums had not helped.

This pro-, and contra-, joke thing is probably an age related issue, as the older you get the faster time goes and the more you realise how little time is left and you don't want to waste it.

Hope this doesn't come across as too harsh, it is just based on my personal experience at both ends of the wielded "joke stick".

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    $\begingroup$ I think that we are trying to build a community here, and one effective way to do that is with humor. That someone winds up reading a few comments that add nothing to an answer is a small price to pay for having a happy and healthy and vibrant venue to ask questions in the first place. And, for what it's worth, I'm a fair bit older than you are. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2015 at 4:31
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    $\begingroup$ "I personally find comments that add nothing to the answer to be noise and wish that I could get the time back that I have wasted reading it." Do you later wish that the time you had spent on these regrets would have been better spent too? And what happens later, do you wish that the time spent regretting those regrets, and so on and so forth? I hope, for your sake, that this series converges, otherwise you're heading towards a life of regrets over online jokes. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Mar 19, 2015 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the inspiration for this feature request :-) $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2015 at 8:54

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