Simply put: Does Water Breathing + a full waterskin = infinite “air”? in this post of mine, where alot of discussion started about chemistry, what is absolutely not what my post was aiming for.

While another comment appeared and is saying:

At a glance, I misread "7k views" on this question as "水 views". Given the content, it made me happy. (水 = water)

I absolutely have no clue what he is asking for or advising.

I told him that I don't get what his comment means, waited like 1 day for him to calrify it after no response I flaged his comment as not constructive.

While my flag of his comment got

not constructive – Zaibis 4 hours ago declined

My request for claryfing his comment got delted.

Can some one explain please to me a) what is he trying to tell about OP?

And b) Why his comment is ok, while me notifying him that this doesn't sound clear to me, was offtopic?


1 Answer 1


It's a joke / amusing observation, not advice or a request. These things normally get deleted, but a rare few are spared.

For an explanation:

  • On the front page, the number of views is abbreviated when it gets into the thousands. At the time the post had approximately 7,000 views, or “7k” views.

  • The website's default font uses “oldstyle numerals” which drops the ‘7’ so it descends below the baseline, and as a result “7k” resembles the character “水” enough at a glance to believe one sees 水 for a moment.

  • The character 水 means water, and the question is about breathing water.

It's not a constructive comment, but it's not doing harm or adding distracting noise to the page, and the page isn't already cluttered with comments, so it can stay for now. Take it as an appreciation of your question, if you like. :)

The comment asking for clarification would have resulted in a bunch more comments explaining the original comment, which would have contributed significant noise. Removing it might or might not have been the correct course — I made a judgement call on it, hoping to avoid seeing the comments explode into an off-topic conversation.

Since what the comment is saying is going to be clear enough to enough people it doesn't justify having a lot of explanatory comments under it (which would also turn a small amusing comment into a source of major page noise), so coming here to ask to have it explained was an excellent choice, thanks!

  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, that question and its answers are way too full of chattiness, so I've gone and deleted a bunch. Probably if that comment had been flagged for removal as chatty, that flag shouldn't have been declined, however - we let comments sit sometimes but "they get flagged" usually means it's time for them to go. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 17, 2016 at 19:30
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, “too chatty” might have gone through where “not constructive” didn't quite fit. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17, 2016 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there any guidelines for when non helpful, non constructive and off-topic comments should not be deleted? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mala
    Jun 29, 2016 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mala Nothing that looks like a rule. See the first link in the post for the main meta about why/when comments are and aren't deleted. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2016 at 14:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .