On What do you call the process of combining two words to create a new one?, a new user posted as an answer something that was deleted by a mod, but which might even have picked up a few upvotes if it had been posted as a comment.

For those without the rep to see it, Clayton wright posted Two words combined .... = Tword

As it happens, I was laboriously typing a message to the new user, welcoming him to ELU, but warning that his answer/comment wasn't likely to survive long. In fact, it was deleted before I could post my comment.


My question is: in such situations, should it be standard practice either for such deletions to always be accompanied by "stock text" explaining the reason, or for the answer text to be converted to a comment? Given the spate of recent complaints about ELU being "unwelcoming", it seems to me we're shooting ourselves in the foot if we don't do something like that.

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I might be misunderstanding you here. But if the purpose of the "stock text" is to provide feedback to the user, isn't it pointless as s/he will never see it? –  coleopterist Feb 1 '13 at 18:23
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I don't know how much rep you need to see deleted answers, and I don't know if the OP can perhaps always see his own deletions. But if not, the mod could always add another comment before or after the one containing the "moved" text, telling the OP what's been done, and why. –  FumbleFingers Feb 1 '13 at 18:46
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Comments always appear in the notification thingy, even if the answer has been deleted. So provided the comment is short enough not to be truncated, it can be seen. It's 10k to see deleted answers, and I don't believe that users can see their own answers when they have been deleted; that's come up here before. I don't see why that's the case. –  Andrew Leach Feb 2 '13 at 10:30
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@coleopterist: I believe that all users do see their own deleted answers. –  Marthaª Feb 14 '13 at 17:09
    
@Marthaª Ah. I didn't know that. Thank you. –  coleopterist Feb 14 '13 at 17:17
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2 Answers

When I first joined just last week, I had to earn a certain amount of rep before I could even add or vote on comments, so I could only put answers in the boxes like this one. When I realised I could then do comments, I now do where I think it's appropriate. Other new users may try to comment too, but can't until they've earned however much rep it is.

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In the circumstances I almost hate to say it, but this looks more like a comment than an answer than can be meaningfully voted on! –  FumbleFingers Feb 2 '13 at 22:27
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I think the point to that is that you're not supposed to leave comments until you have enough rep. But that empty box is just calling out to be filled! Well, anyway, you're not supposed to leave something that is not a answer in the answer box. –  Mitch Feb 2 '13 at 23:21
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Apparently, per this answer on the meta meta, all users can see their own deleted answers, presumably including any comments that were deleted along with the answer. The deletion automatically adds a link to the "why was my post deleted" section of the FAQ, but it certainly can't hurt to add a "Welcome to ELU..." type of comment as well, on the premise that we need to take every opportunity to be more friendly and welcoming if this site isn't to degenerate into a den of grumpy old descriptivists.

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Ah. Perhaps it's deleted questions which users can't see, then. –  Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 18:48
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Actually it can hurt; an automatic 'Welcome to ELU' when your answer has been deleted is both hypocritical and patronising, as at least one 'sufferer' has commented recently. If somebody (mod or otherwise) is prepared to take the time to explain why this particular post was deleted, that is both kind and helpful; but it can't be mandated, and can't really be automated in any way that will help a new user. –  TimLymington Feb 15 '13 at 22:26
    
@TimLymington: I wasn't suggesting an automatic comment. I agree, there's really no way for an automatic comment to come across as anything better than patronizing. I'm saying that it's OK to go ahead and add a comment to a non-answer that you know is going to be deleted, because the OP will be able to see it. –  Marthaª Feb 15 '13 at 22:35
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