When one votes to close a question as being a duplicate, a comment is automatically added of the form

possible duplicate of Other Question Here

I guess it's good that something appears, but the capitalization and punctuation should really be fixed.

I think the "possible" should be removed as well. If one is voting to close a question on this basis, it makes sense to make a stand and declare that the question is a duplicate. I see no need for weasel words here.

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    This bugs me sufficiently that I will edit the automatic comment to read "Possible duplicate of OQH." (Although I like "possible", since it seems like saying "I thinkā€¦".) Dec 23, 2010 at 9:09
  • @TH.: Can you explain why the comment hasn't been added here? (And can you explain why noone else has voted to close that one? ;-)) Dec 24, 2010 at 7:29
  • @Hendrik: Because I edited that one. Dunno why no one else voted to close. Probably because there are only 20 of us who can, 5 of whom are moderators who tend not to, and only one nonmoderator (Will) who can see the list of questions that have votes to close.
    – TH.
    Dec 24, 2010 at 9:26
  • @TH.: Huh? There's no trace of an edit of yours. The point about the list of questions with close votes is good one. So I should go and upvote every single answer you've given? :-) Dec 24, 2010 at 13:27
  • @Hendrik: Comments don't show edits, do they? (I'm pretty sure they don't, but I've been wrong about how this site works about a billion times.) Speaking of upvotes, I've been wondering for some time now what stops someone from registering a second account, answering two questions which the main account upvotes and then every day the second account upvotes 20 answers given by the main account. And of course, this need not stop at one account. Once all answers have been upvoted, a 3rd account can start the process over again. (I can't help thinking about these sorts of things. It's what I do.)
    – TH.
    Dec 26, 2010 at 11:25
  • @TH. what stops that is that there's a moderator tool "Suspicious vote patterns" where we can spot you doing that and remove all those votes (or something, I don't think that this has been used yet here. Compared with some SE sites, we're a pretty sedate lot!) Dec 27, 2010 at 19:53
  • @TH.: Maybe we've talked at cross-purposes. Your comment has been edited twice. I had been wondering why the "possible duplicate" comment hadn't been added to the question. Now it has been added (after the actual closing, I guess), and it even has capitalization and punctuation (although the question doesn't show it has been edited). I'm even more puzzled! Dec 28, 2010 at 9:48
  • @Andrew: Ah, okay. The faq makes it sound like the moderator tools and the access that high rep users get is similar and I never saw anything like that (back when I had access). Not that I want that sort of thing.
    – TH.
    Dec 28, 2010 at 10:28
  • @Hendrik: After using this site for months, I just now noticed that you can see that a comment has been edited! When you first vote to close, a comment gets added in your name that you can edit. That's exactly what I did. I don't know if I edited it twice, or if it got edited again.
    – TH.
    Dec 28, 2010 at 10:32
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    I'm not really satisfied with Jeff's answer. This is just a string in code somewhere. Similar to the double hyphens instead of an em dash issue that this site was ridiculed for a little while back, I think it reflects fairly poorly on our web site about typesetting that we choose not to use basic punctuation correctly.
    – TH.
    Dec 28, 2010 at 10:43
  • @TH.: Ah, finally I understand your post above, it's about an extra comment. There I think the "possible" is good, but I do agree with your other points. (I can't really believe that your comment got edited by anyone else but you.) Dec 28, 2010 at 11:09
  • @Hendrik: It's possible that a moderator edited it, they have that power. That said, you're probably right that I did it.
    – TH.
    Dec 28, 2010 at 11:14
  • @TH.: I forgot to say that I'm also not satisfied with the answer. What you'll have to do, I guess, is to prove that it's indeed better to have capitalization (probably not of "Duplicate" as here) and punctuation although it's not a sentence. Do you know of any good references? Dec 28, 2010 at 15:16
  • @Hendrik: I should have put a bit more effort into writing that comment, I suppose. =) I'm afraid I don't know any good references. I think it should become a complete sentence though which would make the point moot.
    – TH.
    Dec 28, 2010 at 16:44
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a system design that has since been redesigned entirely.
    – Werner Mod
    Jan 31, 2014 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


If you make the comment containing the link first, the system doesn't create an automatic comment for you. Then you can phrase the comment as you wish, which is probably easier than editing.


This is by design; that's not a sentence in the same way the tab headers are not sentences.

Also, Antal, when you edit that comment you are preventing those comment(s) from being auto-deleted in the event the question is closed as a duplicate.

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    It's almost a sentence. "This question is a possible duplicate of Other Question Here." would be great. Is there a technical reason this couldn't be done? Like Antal, I have edited these comments before.
    – TH.
    Dec 24, 2010 at 5:46

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