In longish lists of comments the list gets abridged and a "more comments" link shows up at the end, kind of like an ellipsis. Normally, one would expect that such a list would be trimmed at the end, but on English.SE (and possibly on other SE sites) the elisions can occur anywhere in the list.
For an ordinary, non-sequential list, that would not be a problem:
could safely be abridged to
But comment lists involve questions and answers. And it often happens that items appear in the abridged list which are answers to questions that have been hidden. This is confusing, to say the least. Consider:
@mike: Do you mean an avocado is a fruit? -ben @ben: No, it is a vegetable. -mike @mike: Really? Did you look it up in the dictionary? -ben @ben: I looked it up on Wikipedia. -mike @mike: I don't think Wikipedia is a dictionary. - ben @ben: Trust me, it is a dictionary. -mike
If we remove comments from the middle we could wind up with something like
@mike: Do you mean an avocado is a fruit? -ben @ben: Trust me, it is a dictionary. -mike [more comments]
Is that what we want?