Occasionally I will do so for a few reasons.
One, and the most important one, is in the vein of “Now, let me see if I got this …” responses.
Similarly, it can offer a different perspective on the implications or repercussions with the proposal of an answer. There, other readers can see it and maybe it will get included in the answer some day. Et c.

I did this for one answer, but it was later deleted. I then decided that I would convert it to a suggested edit so that I could get the author to respond. I rather expected that suggestion to be rejected, as it was rather presumptuous.
Of course, I never did hear back from the author of the answer as to whether my assessment was congruous or not …

I am looking for recommendations on ways I can mark or format such comments in future and not have them misunderstood as — anathema or whatever.


1 Answer 1


Phrase it as a request and/or suggestion

Another mod handled that comment, but I took a look at it:

Good perspective! Maybe the friends aren't being malicious but capricious.

Honestly, it looks like a common type that the comment privilege Help page discourages — an “I agree” comment. It wouldn’t occur to me to read that as looking for confirmation of the accuracy of your understanding of the answer if I hadn’t read this meta question first. Even having done so, it’s still not reading very much to me as carrying that meaning.

(We delete “I agree” comments pretty quickly. They’re not bad comments, but they’re content-free — and better done by a vote — and so get swept up whenever we come across them and aren’t on a more important task.)

To make a comment like that clearly convey a request for confirmation, phrase it as a question and possibly a change suggestion. Something like,

So if I understand correctly, you’re saying that their friends aren’t being malicious, just capricious?


So if I understand correctly, you’re saying that their friends aren’t being malicious. Is that right? If so, I think it would improve the answer if you said so at the start or in a summary.

are likely to survive longer. With a question and/or call to action like that in the comment, they’re less likely to be removed before the author responds, and more likely to be acted on.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm. I see what you mean. I guess I had forgotten I put that first bit in there as a sort of encouragement to the author of the answer. I usually split my criticisms+suggestions rather than do double duty like I did with that one. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2018 at 3:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, thanks for the heads–up: I also eschew those “Me Likies” or “-1” kinds of comments, but I will sometimes add in things like I did in the above example if it seems the author is unsure about their answer or proposal. In future, I'll be more clear when I'm doing such a thing — and be sure to add in my little “flag this comment when you've read it” tagline. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2018 at 3:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @can-ned_food I tend to put that kind of “keeping this positive” thing at the end of comments, to be clearer. For example, a lot of times I will suggest things, but end with “+1 either way” to make it clear I think things are good as-is, just that they could maybe be better. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 10, 2018 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, @KRyan’s approach tends to work. Just pragmatically speaking, readers tend to understand the point of a segment of writing by how it starts. It’s a good way to soften criticism too, making it more easily received in a spirit of collaboration. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 10, 2018 at 18:56

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