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Nearly every question I check on StackExchange, there is some smartass commenter. If someone asks something that is not clear, instead of saying something like, "It is not clear. Do you mean [this] or [that]? Thanks", they say, "Why say one thing [there] and another thing [here]?" in an accusatory tone, or in a tone that effectively, you sound confused. A good example is: External table is not in expected format SSIS

"So are you using SQL Server 2008R2, or SQL Server 2012? Why say one thing in your question and something else in your tag? – Mark Sinkinson Feb 19 '18 at 14:16"

Does it REALLY matter what is in the tag? Isn't what really matters is the question? If you are confused between the tag and the question, don't answer it. That comment isn't helping anyone, obviously since Tom V was able to answer it regardless what the tag says. Also a smartass comment I often see is rather than answering their question, they ask why they are doing it that way, acting like they are stupid for doing it that way. If they don't think they should be doing that way, SUGGEST that that way may not be the best way, but ALSO answer the question saying, "I suggest doing this instead of that because I THINK it will be easier because of this and that. But if you want to do it that way, you will need to do this and that." Learn politeness. Don't be a jerk.

migrated from dba.stackexchange.com May 16 at 18:34

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    Votes and flags are used to discourage or remove behavior. The policing is done by the community. – Erik Darling May 16 at 17:36
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    It discourages snarky "questions". The best way to get good responses is to make good questions. Of course it really matters what is in the question & tags especially if they are contradictory. If you don't want requests for clarity, be clear from the outset. Also, if you don't like particular responses, perhaps ignore them as you are suggesting people who don't like questions do? – David Spillett May 16 at 17:40
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    Are you demonstrating the expected politeness by calling people "smartasses" and "jerks"? – mustaccio May 24 at 17:03
  • "Are you demonstrating the expected politeness by calling people "smartasses" and "jerks"?" No. If that's what they are then it's not being impolite, but telling the truth. Under your ridiculous reasoning, you can't criticize anyone without it being impolite. There is a legitimate designation of being a smartass and a jerk. Are you banning those words now? – Redraider May 29 at 15:21
  • David Spillet, "If you don't want requests for clarity, be clear from the outset. Also, if you don't like particular responses, perhaps ignore them as you are suggesting people who don't like questions do?" That sounds fair, except that no criticism about the responses would be necessary if impolite responses were never made to begin with. – Redraider May 29 at 15:26
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    @Redraider according to your ridiculous reasoning you, as an evident smartass, should be discouraged from responding here. – mustaccio May 30 at 16:16
  • mustaccio -- That certain words exist and are subject to be applied based on their meaning if someone chooses to do so is ridiculous reasoning? Sounds more like you need to apply your suggestion to yourself. You are a prime example of what I'm talking about in my original comment, on steroids, completely lacking any reasoning at this point whatsoever. You seem to think just because you use the same words I use it's just as valid when it isn't since it lacks any rational whatsoever. – Redraider Jun 3 at 17:33
  • So, mustaccio what words are actually allowed if someone wants to criticize someone? Apparently you don't think "smartass" or "jerk" are allowed. So what's allowed? Or is it allowed to criticize anyone at all? Enlighten us with words you will permit anyone to use to be critical of someone else, please. – Redraider Jun 3 at 17:52
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StackExchange does discourage "smart-ass" responders. All the details are in the code-of-conduct.

In this particular case, asking if the question or the tags are "correct" is not considered "smart-ass" as you so eloquently put it. Mark was merely attempting to ascertain which of the pieces of information provided by the poster were correct.

Tags are an extremely important way of classifying the question, and bring the people who might know the answer to the question. For instance, I'm a expert, but in no way am I an expert in . Therefore, I have a tag highlighter on questions, but not one on .

Ensuring questions are accurate and contain relevant tags is important. Ensuring you include a minimal, complete, and verifiable, example1 in your question will also help get better, more relevant, answers.

The tags about version in particular are often important because some questions/queries can be answered differently or more simply in newer versions. There were several window functions for example added in versions 2005 which did not exist in version 2000 and older. Additional functionality for window functions was added in version 2012, so there is a difference between 2008R2 and 2012, and answers often differ.


That link is to my blog.

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    I think the OP agrees that asking about the version was fine. They just didn't like Mark's tone doing it. (I personally don't have any problem with it, merely clarifying, just in case.) – Andriy M May 16 at 19:54

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