Occasionally, I see a question on the main site that ends in



Thanks for any help that you can give.


Thanks in advance.

or one of the million other ways to write an insincere, impersonal "thank you".

I've read on the main Stack Exchange Meta that we should edit these out: they're noise, and they don't add anything to the question. I think that's how it works on Stack Overflow, where the number of questions is much greater than what we see here. However, EE:SE is much smaller and more personal, and people might have different opinions.

Should I be editing these out?

(I guess my question also applies to



Would appreciate any insight you have


[insert name at bottom of question]


  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ A great resource for answers for such questions that are not specific to EE.SE but apply to any SE site, is Meta.SE. If you search there, you find: Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Mar 26, 2015 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Camil: that is the thing I "read on the main Stack Exchange Meta" - I'm really just curious how much it applies here. Thanks for the specific link, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg d'Eon
    Mar 26, 2015 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I scanned through your post and didn't notice you searched there already. Yep, typically things stated there apply here as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Mar 26, 2015 at 23:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't edit a question just for that reason, but if you're in there anyway, or can find something else to fix, by all means remove the silly fluff. Feel free to downvote the question in particularly over the top cases. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2015 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Besides thanks and salutations, I would think this also applies to the OP adding their name at the end of the post too, e.g. "-- Tom", with or without a "Thanks". \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Mar 27, 2015 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tcrosley: see the last quote block in my post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg d'Eon
    Mar 27, 2015 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gregd'Eon missed that. \$\endgroup\$
    – tcrosley
    Mar 28, 2015 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


You can if you want to. Frankly, they don't seem to be all that bothersome here on EE.SE, and it's thankless work.

I generally do it only if I'm already editing a post for some other reason.

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Is "thankless work" supposed to be a pun? \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg d'Eon
    Mar 26, 2015 at 18:34
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ @Gregd'Eon: Never even occurred to me. But I'll take it! :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Mar 26, 2015 at 18:49

As a rule of thumb:

a) if it's a short "thanks!", I remove such parts if and only if there's something else to fix in a post. There usually is, because 99% of the time such salutations are a sign of a newcomer, but if a question/answer is otherwise top-notch, it's a good idea to spend your energy elsewhere.

b) If it's, e.g., a 3-sentence "I would be very grateful if somebody would help me. Any help would be appreciated. My sincere thanks.", IMO it warrants an edit action of its own, because it makes harder (sometimes a lot) to figure what OP really wants/needs.

BTW, in such situations I often find the main question/problem statement repeated a couple of times in the text, sometimes the paragraphs are ordered strangely (e.g. question asked first, repeating the title just below it, the actual problem/research/thoughts described after that etc.) - in short, the Thanks! is usually a sign that there is something in need of fixing. If there ain't, I suppose it's best to let it be.

NB this is also, not surprisingly, along the lines of what e.g. Olin says on this matter.

As a side note: Greg, you got my +1 for or one of the million other ways to write an insincere, impersonal "thank you" - that's the main problem with such Thanks IMO - they usually don't make me feel better (regardless of the fact that's not what Q/A is about for me), but they usually make the Q/A worse in terms of readability & content.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with your thumb-rules - +1. I'll add that I've started editing out all forms of "Thanks!", no matter how short, in the First Posts review queue: it isn't much effort (most of the posts need edits anyways), and it has more of an impact on first-time users. \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg d'Eon
    Apr 5, 2015 at 20:23

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