Is LMGTFY unacceptable snark?

I hate it when posters clog up the first page of GQ with questions they should be able to answer themselves with a 5-second google search. I think Uncle Cecil’s staff feels the same way.

There’s a great website, Let Me Google That For You that plays out a little scene for the person. Like so:

Now this could be considered a little rude or condescending. Probably because it is a little rude and condescending. But by god the OP deserves what he gets when he posts questions that should be googled instead. Is this okay? Does it cross the “jerk” line?

I think LMGTFY is acceptable. Whenever I use it, I use it in jest. It also makes a point, that your answer could easily have been googled. It’s along the same lines as Google is your friend.

In my view, it does not qualify as “being a jerk”.

ETA: and note that whoever posts a LMGTFY link has actually made an effort to find the correct terms to search for that leads you to a satisfactory answer.


Let’s put it this way. It’s not the sort of thing that would garner a official warning (unless someone started doing it persistently), but it’s also not something we wish to encourage.

From the General Questions Rules:

We prefer that posters not clutter up GQ with very simple and easily researched questions (e.g., What’s the capital of North Dakota?). On the other hand, if you have done some research and you have some additional questions, that’s fine. Personally, I am unlikely to take action unless a poster has made a habit of opening such threads.

ETA: A certain degree of snark is acceptable in GQ. Where it becomes a problem is when people start to take offense and a fight begins to break out. If that looks to be a possibility, I may say something to get the thread back on track.

There’s also the fact that, although it may be easy to find the answer in Google, there is sometimes more information, or a different take on the answer, when it is opened up to posters here.

I recently started a thread on an aspect of using Windows. I googled it, and although there were many links, I was sure that there was a better answer than those that I got from Google. Sure enough, a Doper came up with it - and that was because he looked at the problem in a different way to how I did.

That’s fine. We don’t ask that you only rely on Google or Wiki, just that you take a stab at finding the answer before coming to GQ. This may either answer the question to your satisfaction, or else clarify in your mind the questions you really want to know the answer to.

Even if you find the answer, if you think it’s interesting and want to discuss it further you can always open a thread in MPSIMS. “Did you know that …?”

Now that we have an official answer - I would be curious how dopers in general feel. Would it be better to open a thread in IMHO or continue the discussion here?

I think continuing the discussion here is fine.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

IMO it is does cross the jerk line. If you don’t want to answer a question, just don’t. Not to go on too big of a rant, but there seems to be many times when it would simply be easier for a poster to just not join a discussion.

I remember someone posting IMHO that the answer to the question was “none of your business.” Although I often think that in response to a poll, my action is to simply not give an answer. And I feel this is like that.

Also, as someone else noted, it is often nice to hear from Dopers. Sure, I could google it, but sometimes a doper has the background to give me an answer and an interesting new take.


I read a lot in GQ and post there occasionally, usually to offer answers to other people’s questions. I think LMGTFY is a little snarky as an answer, but I think it’s fine as long as the thread remains open for others to contribute to the discussion/answer. One possible weakness of LMGTFY is that for some questions, a layperson or novice might have trouble identifying the more authoritative and trustworthy sources from amongst the list of links that come up as hits from the google search.

Let me Google that for you.

This site (LMGTFY) is what the OP is referring to, not a direct link to Google search results:


See, 99% of the time I agree with you. I’m only ever tempted to use LMGTFY when the question is glaringly bad:

Yes, there could be valuable threads on these topics, but they’re not GQ material. For these examples, here are, IMHO, the proper threads to start:

Usually, someone posing a stupid thread doesn’t hurt you. Ignore it. Skip it. No one is forcing you to open it. However, by posting stupid questions, people clog up the first page of GQ, and steal valuable real estate from better questions. This does hurt you, if only in a very small way. Yes, I know we can notify a mod when this happens, but it seems like a waste of mod time to deal with this.

On the other hand, it might waste more mod time by borderline-junior-modding, so I guess I can see both sides there.

I, personally, am in favor of the LMGTFY response. When I see “dumb” questions (and by “dumb” I mean easily answered with a quick visit to Google or Wiki), I want to get them answered as soon as possible to move them along and get them off the page.

If it only takes me a minute or two to Google something for another poster, I might put in the couple minutes to “clear the land” for “better” questions. If they have further questions or if their question is more complex than they let on, they can continue the thread asking more questions. If not, I’ve answered the question and that thread can fall off the face of the board.

In my opinion, it’s slightly better than Just Fucking Google It, which serves no other purpose than being patronizing. LMGTFY actually gives results.

If it popped up in the Game Room, I’d OK it, barring extraneous snark. For instance, a single LMGTFY link in the post would go through but a “LMGTFY link, dumbass” wouldn’t.

Of course, I’ve been brought up with the “google twice, post once” rule. YMMW.

I thought it was the “kinder, gentler” way to respond.


Whatever happened to the snarky but non-confrontational: Google Is Your Friend.

Is it Snarky to respond to LMGTFY with Doctor Google?

Personally, I think that the priorities are getting the answer for the OP, and educating the OP on how to get the answer (not necessarily in that order). LMGTFY does both. Yeah, it does it in a snarky way, but we’re all in the shadow of Cecil here, so I think a certain level of snark comes with the territory.