In relation with this question: Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?

"Really" is a totally abused adverb here on Skeptics. I routinely monitor/fix questions as I see them, however there are still 500+ questions left to fix.

Can we have a batch update on the database, e.g. s/really//g? I haven't found so far any instance in which the removal would break grammar or change the meaning...

Can the community please help with this and simply remove all instances of "really" they can find?

Is it possible to somehow put a warning on the ask question page so that users can be informed to avoid using this adverb?

  • I assume you mean in titles only (that are fortunately far less instances)? There is a title filter for possibly subjective titles already, maybe that could be used for that purpose.
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Aug 26 '11 at 10:28
  • @Fabian: I think the question bodies as well (they quite often repeat the title)... Still 200+
    – Sklivvz
    Aug 26 '11 at 11:08
  • FYI: I have just reduced the number in titles by about a dozen before I got bored.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Aug 26 '11 at 14:12
  • 2
    Or maybe we change the name of the site to really.stackexchange.com, since that's the subtext of every question here. :-)
    – Zano
    Oct 26 '11 at 22:32

Are we really sure this is what we really want to do?


  • We are the first SE site with a meta-adverb ;-)
    – Sklivvz
    Aug 26 '11 at 11:13
  • @Sklivvz: Really, really?
    – Borror0
    Aug 26 '11 at 13:50

Automating this makes me a little nervous. What if the word appears in a quote, the name of a scientific paper or a URL?

Also, consider this question:

Are Swiss trains exceptionally punctual?

At the time of writing, it asks "Do the Swiss have really good train timings?" which seems benign to me, whereas if it said "Do the Swiss really have good train timings?" there is a good chance I would have edited it.

  • Yes, but I bet correcting the false positives will be faster than correcting the real positives by hand!
    – Sklivvz
    Aug 26 '11 at 17:45

I'm annoyed of the really-questions too, but I am strictly against automated, silent corrections.

Like Oddthinking pointed out, there are legitimate usages for the word, and removing it might get unnoticed. The asker might discover the missing term later, and lose much time in trying to put the word into the question again.

Others might circumvent the system, by rephrasing the question, to put a 'true' into it. Then we start eliminating 'true'?

It should be a sentence in the FAQ, so that users with high rep. can edit the question, and leave a short remark to read the FAQ, section 3.4.b)

  • To be clear, I never meant "automated", only a one-off fix.
    – Sklivvz
    Sep 1 '11 at 7:28
  • But in your reaction to Oddthinking, you talk about the the negative aspect of correction by hand. But I don't understand the term one-off fix, can you please rephrase it? I agree about the FAQ and about encouraging community edits. Sep 1 '11 at 9:22
  • I meant: we run the SQL fix once, and then correct any mistakes due to the SQL fix by hand. We let the community take care of itself after this (only-once) fix.
    – Sklivvz
    Sep 1 '11 at 13:19
  • Ah - now, I undesrstand. Sep 1 '11 at 14:04

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