Many questions nowadays include a ridiculous rationale as to why the code needs to be as short as possible. The frequency of these rationales apparently is starting to annoy some people (although, I am personally unbothered). After a discussion in chat, and on this question, I decided that a targeted meta post was needed.

Therefore, should we do anything about short code rationales, and if so, what?

Edit: this is not a duplicate of the linked question, as it asking for a specific ruling on "what actions should we take", where the other question is asking for things that people don't like in questions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There is already this discussion: meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/8048/24877 \$\endgroup\$
    – flawr
    Jan 11, 2016 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @quartata I felt that that question is too broad, and doesn't target the actual problem, as I mentioned in the comments. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2016 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ The other question is specifically asking for what actions we should take in regards to certain aspects of questions. It specifically says, "Voting will indicate whether that solution has the backing of the community." \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Jan 11, 2016 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


Do nothing, period.

The flavor text has no bearing on whether a challenge is good or bad. Downvoting because of it is wasteful. If you are annoyed by flavor text, avoid reading it. If you choose to read it and are annoyed by it, think long and hard before downvoting on that basis.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried to avoid reading x recently? It isn't easy. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2016 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know I am capable of it, just as I am capable of not being annoyed by the things I read if I so choose. \$\endgroup\$
    – quintopia
    Jan 11, 2016 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know that I (and I probably speak for many others) are incapable of such a task; granted, it is more or less predictable where it will be, but even then (to be sure), you must read some of it. And at that point, who can resist the great power of curiosity? Further, how would you discern if it is a funny line? If it is funny, you are merely depriving yourself of humour. For that, I minus -0.5. I plus 1.5 for the rational reasoning behind not downvoting. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2016 at 17:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "The flavor text has no bearing on whether a challenge is good or bad." <- To the contrary, I think theming, presentation, and conciseness are factors in the quality of a challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Jan 11, 2016 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor logic : rhetoric :: content : flavour, am I right? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2016 at 18:05

Do nothing, but try to stop

Obviously, people are annoyed. It was funny when it started, but jokes have their breaking points, and this joke has seemed to have gotten old. Personally, I don't mind, but if there are people who do mind, why provoke them? It's a line in the spec that isn't the best part or the relevant part of the post. Unless the line is so ridiculously funny that it makes you slap your knees, maybe you shouldn't include it.


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