I'm new to PPCG and I've seen a bunch of questions with this line in their requirements:

Standard loopholes apply.

A quick search on Meta tells me it's a series of restrictions, or disallowed things.

However today I saw a question with this statement:

Standard loopholes are forbidden.

(The original question has the word "forbidden" bolded so I also bold it here.) That made me confused:

Is "Standard loopholes" a series of permission or denial? In other words, what does the word "apply" mean? Allow or forbid?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You've most probably seen the latter in my question here. Unless the question is underhanded or code-trolling (both of which are banned anyways), both the former and the latter mean the same thing, in that you are disallowed from doing anything the standard loopholes includes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Both usages mean the same thing - it's just unusual English usage situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – isaacg
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


Standard loopholes apply.

means that you cannot use anything forbidden by the standard loopholes. This is the default for every question whether you say it or not, but some users like to reiterate it when asking a question.

You would never allow all the standard loopholes because these include some pretty dumb things, like printing what the question asks verbatim, e.g.

print "Every other prime less than n"

If a user wants to allow a specific loophole for some reason, and there can be good reasons for this, they would state the exact loophole and make it clear it is allowed.


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