I criticized the way a member ask his question for addressing the answerers. He used to begin with everybody or as a educated and native speaker. In my opinion not only they are impolite but they ignore part of potential answerers.

But on the other hand, I think he is too polite in the rest of the question I addressed. Should one use could you please in every other sentence of his question? What are the norms of posting a question in the network.

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    I think I've edited those out of nima's questions something like 40-50 times.
    – user230
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 10:50
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    @snailboat - I wish nima would learn from other people's edits. I don't mind doing those touch-ups for new users who are learning the ropes, but these users should eventually catch on and start improving their own work.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:57
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    @J.R. That's why I try to leave a comment in those cases explaining proper etiquette on the site. The one I use most often is when the title is too generic. It may not get them to change their behavior but it's more direct than simply removing the bad content.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 3:58
  • @Catija I've left comments a number of times when people have asked for answers from native speakers, for example here and here and here and here. I can express my point of view, but I can't make people listen.
    – user230
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 17:13
  • @snailboat of course not. I said that, too. Just pointing out that only fixing the text is likely aided by a note.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


Well, we really don't want "native speakers only" banners, as you've probably seen. Those should be edited out by anyone who sees them.

As far as excessive politeness, the network standard is to edit out most phatic expressions/needless verbiage/noise/static/fluff/whatever you want to call it. ELL sticks to that. Posts should be as brief as practical, and not waste time with pleasantries.

On that particular question, I trimmed out about half the fluff; I could have rephrased "would you possibly show me" to be shorter but nothing came immediately to mind, so I left it.


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