I've come across some questions that say things like 'I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this...'

While the apologies are.. appreciated, I guess, should they really be included in a question? If the question is not suitable for the site, it will presumably be closed or migrated to a different site, right?

So, is it okay to remove such apologies? Or should they only be removed if the question is, in fact, on-topic?

One such question can be found here, where the author apologised three times throughout the question, including one parenthetical apology that asked if you were still reading.


3 Answers 3


Yes you should.

If it's the wrong place then the question will be closed or migrated. If it's the right place then the apology is meaningless.

More generally, Everything that is in a question post should pertain directly to the question itself. Anything else is just unnecessary noise.


  1. Signatures, hellos, thanks, taglines.
  2. Editorialization. "I don't think this should have been closed, because..."
  3. Ongoing discussion and dialogue with other users.

All of which can be accomodated with comments.


Removing fluff improves the question as a whole.

"I am sorry if..." or "feel free to edit this" do not add anything at all to the quality of the question.

If you think you can improve the quality of a question by editing it, then do it. If that means removing fluff, changing wording to be more clear, change the focus slightly to bring it more on-topic, go ahead.

The only caveat is at your rep level (less than 100 at the time you asked) your edits will need to go through peer-review. Many members who perform those reviews will reject simple edits. Not because they are bad edits, but because if we have to peer review every little spelling or grammar fix it is a waste of time.


I would say "it depends". In most cases, when the apology comes before or after the question, it should be removed for the reasons stated by you and the other answer - it's meaningless and not constructive. However, if the apology is parenthetical, I wouldn't go around editing the text itself and possibly restructuring it just to remove what might be considered a stylistic choice.

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