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The Stack Exchange Network frowns on greetings and taglines in posts. There were mixed reactions to this before we moved to the network. Should MathOverflow tolerate greetings or not? Is it appropriate to edit greetings out along with another edit?

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    $\begingroup$ Also related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/9652/… $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 8, 2013 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ I am under the impression that an edit done for a different purpose can trigger the automatic deletion mentioned under the link in OP. So just that an edit removes them does not mean the person editing it decided to remove them. (I am not certain about this. Could somebody confirm of refute this? I might also check myself but wanted to say this quickly as it might be relevant to the discussion). $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 8, 2013 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ "with another edit" ... that is important: do not edit if this is the only thing you find "wrong" with the post. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2017 at 10:46

4 Answers 4

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They should stay, as they add to the collegiality of the site.

Editing them off accomplishes little beyond depersonalizing posts and cluttering the front page.

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    $\begingroup$ Related. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2013 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ François G. Dorais said: "Is it appropriate to edit greetings out along with another edit?" (my emphasis). Cluttering the the front-page thus seems not like reason against it. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 8, 2013 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ Editing greetings out accomplishes $A$ and $B$. If something else removes $B$ from being an issue (such as, the edit also fixes something that was actually broken), we still get $A$. Neither $A$ nor $B$ is desirable. If we get $A$ as a result of the edit, the edit should be avoided. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2013 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ Assuming what I say in my comment on OP is true, and taking you comment to the end, this would mean one must not edit any post that contains "Hello" at the start. This seems a bit extremme to me. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 8, 2013 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ No, @quid. It means your edit should not remove the Hello. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2013 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ But if (and I think this is the case) the software deletes all by itself, what to do? $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 8, 2013 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ Petition a feature-request that stops this from happening. It will most likely be rejected, and some of us will be minorly unhappy for a small amount of time, and the world will move on. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2013 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry to continue this a bit tangential discussion, we can then remove it if you like: you said in your second comment where A refers to the greetings being gone "If we get A as the result of the edit, the edit should be avoided". Now, this means to me that an edit of a post (for completely unrelated reasons!) should be avoided if the post starts with "Hello" (since editing the post will remove the hello even if the person editing it does not actually remove it; the person editing it I think does not even really see they removed it while editing). $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 8, 2013 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: I don't think that there is an automatic removal of greetings, but even if there is - it seems like a feature which needs to be activated by a request from th community, rather an automatic thing. Either way, I don't recall seeing this on MSE. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 9, 2013 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: thank you for the reply. It might be active on MO though. We could test it. But also as some evidence search on main for "hello" an sort by newest. The last question starting "hello" dates june 20th, before that there are numerous. This might be a coincindence. But I doubt it. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 9, 2013 at 0:31
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila There is an automatic removal of greetings, but not of signatures or taglines. Greetings have the disadvantage that they replace actual content in the small excerpt on the frontpage and on question lists, making it less useful. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Jul 9, 2013 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist: Ah. I did not know that, but that makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 9, 2013 at 6:35
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${}$Hello everyone,

I believe that greetings and thanks are forms of politeness and that removing them would appear impolite.

Thank you very much for your time.

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    $\begingroup$ :-)${}{}{}{}{}$ $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Quid is correct. My answer above started with the paragraph "Hello everyone." and when I submitted my answer it was automatically removed. The software didn't remove my last paragraph ("Thank you very much for your time."), though. $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ Try "$ \$\{\}\$ $Hello ...." $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 0:45
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    $\begingroup$ I've made my answer community wiki so that anyone can experiment with the system using my answer. @AndresCaicedo, feel free to try your suggestion. $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ I earlier said that "quid is correct" but I just realized that he was talking about automatic removal when doing edits (not automatic removal when submitting answers). I wasn't able to test quid's claim. $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ I will allow myself to make another test or two with this answer, thanks for the partial conformation. It might be hard to test this with a newly created post, as they run throught the process. The issue is with existing one since this process will likely run on (re)posting the new version on edit but they did not run the script over everything upon import so the legacy thing exist until they are edited. The post says thanking at the end is more complex so they do not do it. They might meanwhile in simple cases this is what I want to test. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 9, 2013 at 1:38
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    $\begingroup$ One note: I would really like to ask not to use MathJax tricks for this. Depending under which conditions one uses MO the MathJax can be a problem. I would consider it as rather rude to cause the site working worse for some, just for being 'polite'. If you need to greet, choose an original greeting the system does not know, this would at least be interesting. (Of course as a test it is interesting the MathJax here, I mean if this habit should become popular, I would consider it a problem.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 9, 2013 at 1:43
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    $\begingroup$ My suggestion worked. $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ My testing is done. Thanks at the end remain, it seems, as the page says. What I wanted to test is if they also stay if done in a very clear way. But greetins are as said autodelted. And I am now quite sure this would also happen if we edit an existing post still displayed with greeting. For it not to happen they would have had to built in something sophisticated into the script to preserve them (really doubt that as they want to get rid of them). Otherwise how should the script "know" that edit with the hello in it was an old hello and not a new one. (And new ones go, also in edits.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 9, 2013 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ @quid I noticed you also tested other features (automatic removal of spaces, etc). What were the results? $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure if the greetings here were automatically removed: mathoverflow.net/posts/115967/revisions $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2013 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @AndresCaicedo: I did not notice any automatic thing related to this; but I could not edit in a "hello" at the start. So the script seems to run also on edits not just OP. To Joel Reyes Noche: it might be, but it is hard to tell, as the user editing it seems from SO, and in other edits did also minor formatting things that are not automatic (in fact some of my test were motivated by seeing what they did and what might be automatic). [To be clear the edits were all reasonable in SO mainstream culture they just might or might not conflict with MO mainstream culture. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 9, 2013 at 12:38
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The general Stack Exchange norm, by which you may or may not choose to abide here, is to remove such things only if you have reason to edit the post anyway. Edits which just remove greetings, and do nothing else, are frowned upon.

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I would prefer the site without greetings and taglines. I would especially like to remove signatures with inserted "middle names", since I find them distracting and annoying.

MathOverflow states that the behavior expected of users is: "do not use signature, taglines, or greetings" (https://mathoverflow.net/help/behavior). This is StackExchange general policy -- let's respect it.

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    $\begingroup$ Pages automatically inherited from the SE template of sites do not constitute as a policy around here. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 11, 2017 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ Your answer might be better received if, instead of invoking rules-based policy, you elaborated a bit on what makes "middle names" distracting and annoying to you. I do not completely disagree with your preference, but the last time there was an extended discussion about taglines, there seemed to be a consensus for tolerance of unusual but mostly harmless behaviors. $\endgroup$
    – S. Carnahan Mod
    Jul 11, 2017 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ @S.Carnahan, if we're not playing by the rules, it's not as much fun. $\endgroup$
    – Matt F.
    Nov 28, 2017 at 2:53

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