See also "Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?" for the reasons why using these two adverbs is not good for this site.

I periodically go through the list of questions and delete basically all usages of "really" and "actually" from the titles. Whilst there are a very few cases in which the use of these adverbs is warranted, I'd like to blacklist these words. Users that really need to use them can use a circumlocution (e.g. "Users that have a concrete necessity to use them...", see what I did there?)

The effect would be similar to this, the text has some customization for guidance.

test of blacklist effect on title

What do you think?

  • 1
    What would message would the user get when trying to submit a title with one of these words in it?
    – user5582
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 11:55
  • Looks good to me!
    – user5582
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 19:24
  • 10
    I <s>really</s> strongly wish that we could just have a pop-up saying "Please don't use that word! Here's why: link" rather than a hard ban. That would treat our users as intelligent people, rather than idiots. However, that's more a comment on Stack Exchange software, rather than "actually" and "really".
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 1:35
  • 5
    This suggestions is really tempting. Must wait a while to calm down and find out what I actually think the consequences might be. Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 5:41
  • 3
    Do you Really think this is going to work? The law of unintended consequences tells me people will just use a thesaurus. I would love to see the results of this test though, and see if usage of genuinely, indeed, in fact, truthfully! etc. don't spike in usage when the ban is in place.
    – user1873
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 15:18
  • 1
    @user1873 We can try to avoid that with a good message demonstrating that simply removing the emphasis word is the suggested improvement. But, only trying will tell! And we can always undo the change just as easily.
    – user5582
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 16:39
  • Can we extend this to the word "true", to shorten "Is it true that ..." questions?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


Given the lack of meaninguful negative feedback, and that I've had to nuke three more really today, the blacklist is on.

The help text will be

Words like 'really' or 'actually' are usually superfluous in questions on this site, please avoid them.

enter image description here

Let me know if anything goes wrong, or if you think the text can be improved.

  • Why does "really" have double quotes but then the second time has single quotes in the message? Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 1:29

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