I was going through this question and trying to edit it. Personally I felt following part of the question is unnecessary:

One man...is curious what trailer originated this phrase. But to find out...he's going to have to ask a question...on Movies and TV SE.

I think it can be simply rephrased to:

Which trailer originated this phrase?

essentially reducing the unnecessary clutter from the question.

This and a similar edit was rejected twice. First, by OP and Community saying:

This edit did not correct critical issues with the post - view the revision history to see what should have been changed

Second by OP again saying

My wording is meant to be humorous and this edit diminishes the humor and does not increase clarity or accuracy.

Subtle humor is fine I guess. Again what is called subtle and what is called clutter can be subjective. Personally I prefer keeping minimum and to-the-point details in the questions on any SE site. The same was discussed in a very old discussion on Meta SE. A general consensus was - the editor should remove such clutter from the question.


Are we following the same guidelines while editing questions?

  • If no, should we follow them?
  • If yes, how do we inform the user/OP about such guidelines encouraging to edit the details herself. One obvious way is to comment of course. If others edit the question it's quite possible that a user (especially new users) will reject/rollback the edit.

I feel this is an important question. I say so because users who are unaware of such guidelines (if any) will definitely get annoyed thinking in his head - Hey what's the big deal? It's just couple of sentences? or stop being an ass and stop editing my question.

  • Yeah we should follow SE guidelines and we always try to do. Both the edits are rejected by user himself.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Sep 20, 2016 at 6:42
  • Wait. The OP's original sentence in that question is supposed to be funny? Okay...to each his own, I guess ;) Sep 20, 2016 at 7:57
  • Well what can I say. :)
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 7:58
  • 1
    I completely agree with you. The way that is worded is just confusing...and not funny ;) Sep 20, 2016 at 8:00
  • 1
    Well, I'd agree that we should keep questions as clutter- and chatter-free as possible. However, a question that uses a deliberate style in order to make light of the topic itself in a self-referential way, no matter if you support this or not, is not the same as idle chatter like "hi" or "thanks". So while I'm not making a statement in favour of that question's wording, I don't think the linked meta post about greetings and thank you's is that relevant to the example presented here at all. So what are you really after, humourously worded questions or extraneous chatter?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Sep 20, 2016 at 9:21
  • 2
    Related: Use Force Lightning can Yoda?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Sep 20, 2016 at 9:22
  • 4
    Aw, c'mon... Am I the only one who got it right away and thought it was amusing? :(
    – Walt
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:24
  • @Walt you mean the Yoda question or the question mentioned in this question? Or you mean some other question? :P
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:25
  • Yoda edit is indeed amusing!
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:27
  • 4
    @PaleBlueDot The trailer one (although the Yoda one is cute too). I mean, I can't be the only one who geekily exclaimed "in a world" in a really bad impression of Don LaFontaine just upon seeing the title then looked around nervously to see if anyone heard me, can I? :/
    – Walt
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:32
  • You are not the only one. But I surely missed it.
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 13:22
  • @Walt I was confused that so many people were confused about my question. It's good to hear that someone got the joke :)
    – Torisuda
    Sep 20, 2016 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


Now first of all, I think you are mixing things up a little here. You are adressing too largely different issues in your question.

On the one hand you link to a meta question that concerns the usage of idle chatter in questions and answers, like introducing yourself with "Hi"/"Hello", ending your question with "Thanks in advance" or your answer with "Hope that helps". And the consensus of that question is that such idle chatter is to be discouraged.

And indeed, this same policy has always been applied and enforced here as best as possible and there is nothing that compels us to handle it in any way different from the rest of SE. Questions and answers just aren't continuous conversations. And whenever a poster revolts against edits like that, the best you can do is link them to that old and established meta discussion and explain how these sites work. If that doesn't help, feel free to delegate the issue to the moderators.

However, the example you provide is actually of a quite different kind. What it does isn't using idle chatter but trying to make light of its own topic by employing a specific humourous phrasing in a self-referential style that fits to the topic itself. This is similar to this well-received old question which (along with one of the answers) employs "Yoda speak" to talk about Yoda himself.

As people might know, I "have no sense of humour" and am personally much more of an advocate to keep the posts around here largely formal, since we on SE hate fun! However, this whole matter is not that easy to decide either.

  • People can take huge value from such humourous posts (that still ask a serious question at their core) and sometimes a little self-referential style in the wording itself can even add to the topic discussed and support its significance. This might be argued to actually work in that trailer question, since it is deliberately written like all those kinds of trailers that it asks about and thus supports the description of its topic further.
  • Yet on the other hand it might also be seen as obscuring its matter and its question for people who might not immediately realize that self-refential nature, especially due to a lack of knowledge of the topic itself. This might have the contrary effect of repelling users who could otherwise have genuine interest in the question.

It's all not an easy decision and I don't have a straight on end-all answer to it. While I certainly wouldn't want humourous meta-like questions to get out of hand, I opted to leave it in the way it is as it was indeed somewhat of an interesting wording, but it also has attracted a downvote already. I'd rather say we consider things like that on a case-by-case basis for now. And maybe we can even find a compromise for the example question.

  • Thanks. Few points: 1) I definitely do not discourage the question wordings like in the Yoda question. I agree that such humor indeed add value to the question. Because it somehow seems to be going with the Yoda-speak style as one comment has said. (Sorry I haven't watched Star-Wars series yet.) 2) Though that old meta discussion is primarily about the salutations and similar words, the accepted answer mentions "along with other extraneous clutter". I went with that (confirmation bias I know). Also because I failed to find any other discussion on such clutter.
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:20
  • 3) But the bottomline remains the same I guess. That it is indeed a thin line. That you should just inform the user about the guidelines and move on. Because as an editor I think I will be discouraged if similar edits keep getting rejected. 4) As always, great answer.
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:21
  • And oh the downvote on that question isn't mine. :-)
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:21

I'm the one who posted the trailer question.

I understand the SE system and I appreciate that Pale Blue Dot was trying to improve the post to follow the rules as they perceived them, for the benefit of the site. I'm not angry; however, I rejected the edits because I did not feel they improved my post.

I get that SE hates fun. I'm not going to start spamming the site with joke posts, but since the topic is something that's been widely parodied and joked about, I thought a site full of movie lovers would appreciate it. It's short and I didn't think the style detracted from the actual question being asked.

I want to keep the current wording in the question, but as a compromise, since some people found it confusing, I'm willing to add a version rephrased in a more conventional way. I've already added the core question in boldface at the beginning of the second paragraph. Let me know if anything else is unclear and I'll add it down there, or suggest edits to that part of the question.

  • 1
    Hi there. I nowhere thought that you are going to spam the site with joke posts or anything. It seems now that it was a sincere mistake perhaps because of my lack of knowledge in that particular topic. This question wasn't posted to discuss your particular question anyway. The intention was to clarify related editing doubts which I had. Don't worry about your question or further editing. Cheers. :)
    – Ravindra S
    Sep 20, 2016 at 19:16
  • @PaleBlueDot No worries. Keep on doing your best for the site!
    – Torisuda
    Sep 20, 2016 at 19:19

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