Somebody just edited my post, saying they removed "fluff". What they really removed was me briefly introducing myself, saying I am new and will take feedback, and me saying "Thanks!" at the end of the post.

  • These questions are intended to answer more questions than the one you are asking. They are supposed to have a broad scope. So including incidentals (such as politeness or small talk) doesn't help other people find the answer to the question. That is the reason. Jul 1 '21 at 18:30
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    Anyone posting an answer or comment automatically sees a reminder that you are a new contributor. Jul 1 '21 at 18:34
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    I think you have misinterpreted the user who edited your post. If your take the time and look around a bit, you will notice that this site has a high standard and tries to preserve information strictly related to language. You will find very rarely, almost no posts at all, contaning such introductions as yours, it is only for the sake of getting to the heart of the matter. I am pretty sure no one intended to offend you.
    – fev
    Jul 1 '21 at 18:41

I think it's worth bearing in mind that StackExchange is closer to Wikipedia than it is to social media sites like Facebook. People come to these sorts of site to ask questions and get knowledgeable answers. It would be very strange to go to a Wikipedia article and be greeted by something like "Hi, I'm Bob, this is my first Wikipedia edit, I'm single and have a house full of cats. Thanks for reading!" at the start of the page.

The reason that 'fluff' gets edited out is because

  • It obscures the real details of questions and answers.
  • It becomes dated – Questions and answers on the site are intended to have longevity and be available over long periods of time. It might be your first post today but a year or two down the road and it's just another post.
  • Personal introductions belong in your profile page – People who are interested can read all about you there. People who aren't, don't have to see it.
  • People providing answers will assume that you're grateful so there's no need to add "thanks" or "thanks in advance" to a question.

The ethos of Stack Exchange is Questions and Answers. Just that. While the Code of Conduct expects the community not to be rude or unpleasant to each other, no-one needs any more than a question to which they give an answer.

That's actually in the Tour (if you take the Tour and read all the way to the bottom you get another badge):

enter image description here

Occasionally, the context to a question might be needed and that might even be a bit about you: "I was kayaking down the Amazon and someone shouted..." but generally we don't need any introduction as it's not usually relevant to the question; and we don't need "Thanks" or anything. You can express thanks by upvoting (when you have the rep to do that). That's all that's expected. Anything more than just a question and its answer is superfluous and can be edited out by any user [some users will need to suggest an edit and have it approved].

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    This meta post (and its related posts) is also a helpful summary of the issues around "fluff" Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?
    – ColleenV
    Jul 1 '21 at 19:35
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    Thank you for the graphic. The top, which says "We are a little bit different from other sites", summarizes it very well for me. Giving feedback was just what I did out of preference, instead of disengaging silently. The community can make of it what it wishes, and it clearly does. I do not share the elitist attitude that classifies human politeness as "fluff" and evaluates everything with respect to the swarm goal which is collecting neat, sterile pairs of questions and answers, and nothing else, as they "don't need "Thanks" or anything". I will now happily migrate my digital presence.
    – user427065
    Jul 1 '21 at 20:02
  • I'm afraid I disagree with your declaration of the site ethos, Andrew. I believe that the mission statement is to amass and preserve an accurate, balanced, detailed and well-organised and easily searchable overview of English usage. While many questions are welcome as an aid, they are not an end in themselves. Being able to help the individual is a happy by-product. Jul 3 '21 at 18:17
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    @user427065 Is it polite to give politely framed personal details in a question on a site requesting that these not be given? Jul 3 '21 at 18:20
  • To get a sense of how far English Language & Usage has moved—in the name of filtering out bad questions—away from being a simple question-and-answer site, one need only look at the example question that the site tour provides as a typical appropriate question (and that you include in your answer): "I've never heard of this idiom ["nosebleed seats"] before today and thought it was an especially curious one. What's the origin of calling the cheap seats the nosebleed seats at the theater?" Does anyone doubt that if this question were asked today it would be closed for lack of research?
    – Sven Yargs
    Jul 6 '21 at 17:55

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