What should be done when a (for example, brand-new) user has a question which ends with,

"Thank you."

I ask because in the "edit suggestions" review queue today there was an edit which removed such an ending to a post. This was rejected by myself and another user, but then a high-enough rep user forced it through (they performed the edit themselves - although I suspect that this was not a forcing through of the rejected edit, but rather they added some Latex-ing so the high-rep editor probably knew nothing of the other two reviews). The question is here, the review history is here.

I disagree with editing a question to remove such a comment. It is not a typo, nor is it any other kind or error. No $\LaTeX$ needs fixing. Rather, it something which was put there deliberately by the OP in order to be polite, and the community believes that it should be removed (see my note, below).

I believe the correct response is to leave a comment explaining your reason for wanting the "thank you" to be removed, and asking the OP to remove it. (Such an explanation is especially useful for a new user.)

I was wondering if there is a general consensus to what should be done in this situation? A silent edit, or a polite comment? (Or neither? Or a compromise between to two?!)

Note: Personally, I have no problem with people ending their posts like this, although I wouldn't do it myself. However, I understand that the community (for some value of "the community") isn't overly fond of this and so it is discouraged. Which is why in this post I am presuming that the community believes the "thank you" should be removed.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree. My take is that the OP put in certain things for a reason. It is not the job of an editor to change content, but to fix trivial errors and make the post appear according to the standards of the site. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Gordon
    May 20, 2013 at 13:21
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ A silent edit, or a polite comment? Third possibility is to give an explanation in the edit summary. (Which the OP will see, I suppose.) ... This might be occasionally useful for edits in general, not only for this particular issue. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2013 at 13:21
  • 44
    $\begingroup$ This is a multicultural site, and norms and forms of politeness vary widely. Someone whose thank you was removed might legitimately feel that (s)he had been made to sound rude. $\endgroup$ May 20, 2013 at 23:09
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thank you André. $\endgroup$
    – copper.hat
    Sep 9, 2013 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ This post is outdated. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Aug 30, 2020 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


It was discussed before (although mostly in the comments, if I recall) that there is no problem with people being polite.

Often, when users come from SO or other sites on the networks they think this should be removed (because it says so in the network-generic-FAQ).

My rule of thumb is that if there is no substantial corrections (grammar, formatting, etc.) then I reject the suggestion; if the corrections are substantial enough, I'll approve it and ping the user who suggested that it is generally accepted to be polite on this site, so there is no need to remove "thank you" lines in the future.

  • 18
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for this answer. :) $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    May 21, 2013 at 3:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Joel: I didn't say anything about editing other's thank you comments! ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 21, 2013 at 3:07
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    $\begingroup$ If the corrections are substantial enough for me to want to approve the edit, I restore the thank you. $\endgroup$ May 23, 2013 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Brian: Then you're slightly more extreme than me. I believe that change is bad, and it's better to prevent further change, when some change has been done already - rather than undo the change that has been done (because that would be a form of change, which is bad). $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 23, 2013 at 23:25
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It’s not further change: I’m talking about edits in the review queue that I’m asked to approve, reject, or improve. I ‘improve’ them. $\endgroup$ May 23, 2013 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ That's change, and not in the spirit of current change. That's a change back. But that's just my personal philosophy which I am far from trying other people to adopt. It's a bad bad philosophy, and anyone who is not a fatalist can do something about it. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 23, 2013 at 23:27
  • $\begingroup$ No, it’s not a change, because the proposed edit in the queue is exactly that: a proposed edit. It hasn’t been made. $\endgroup$ May 23, 2013 at 23:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Brian: Are we actually discussing my fatalistic philosophy? That's a strange path for this conversation to head down to. In either case, edits which are reasonable (even if not in my eyes, or yours) tend to get approved. Changing them is a form of change. Even if for the better, a change is a change. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 23, 2013 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ It’s a change to the edit, but it’s a change that’s invisible after the fact, and it’s a non-change to the question, a preservation of original content. (Usually I find myself improving other things anyway: many proposed edits do only half the job, or use suboptimal $\LaTeX$, etc.) $\endgroup$ May 23, 2013 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Brian: A change is a change is a change. That's a change. And a change not being a change, is also a change in the change. That's a change too. Change is bad. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 24, 2013 at 0:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nah, change is okay — but banknotes are better! $\endgroup$ May 24, 2013 at 0:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @fgp: So you agree that change is bad? :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 26, 2013 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Gaston: StackOverflow. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 27, 2013 at 6:06
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    $\begingroup$ @GastónBurrull: you might want to take a look at this list of acronyms. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2013 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ @TheChaz2.0 Ty. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2013 at 18:41

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