Since I started using Super User a short while ago, I've been wondering how to comment on a user's attitude, spelling or similar without getting into a long off-topic comment thread which doesn't belong with the question asked.

As I understand it the only way to do so is asking the user to come on meta or the chat; am I correct in that assumption?

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    Seems so. I have six characters left, so I'm just going to use them up here by asking you my dislike of you abbreviated SuperUser as SU. Please change it back to SuperUser. It's about as annoying as those pagan nonbelievers who call the birth of our Messaiahh x-mas. – digitxp Dec 11 '10 at 21:16
  • Good point. I will refrain from doing so in the future. – oKtosiTe Dec 11 '10 at 21:20
  • @digitxp @oktosite for the record, it's Super User, not SuperUser [ ` As a name, Stack Overflow, is always written "Stack Overflow" (two words, capital letters). The website domain name is always written stackoverflow.com (no CamelCase, single word capitalization rules apply). Currently, all Stack Exchange Network sites follow this convention: Server Fault (serverfault.com), Super User (superuser.com)` ] superuser.com/legal/trademark-guidance – Sathyajith Bhat Dec 11 '10 at 22:56
  • @Sathya: That's how I wrote it. I think I came across that guideline before. :-) – oKtosiTe Dec 11 '10 at 23:15
  • I forgot the /s mark xD – digitxp Dec 12 '10 at 4:20

As I understand it the only way to do so is asking the user to come on meta or the chat; am I correct in that assumption?

The preferred way is contact a moderator ( Ask A Moderator ) or Flag for Moderator attention and explain what the issue is about. In my experience, some people don't like being "told" what to do or how to "address" by "mere mortals" and it might just start a flame war for nothing.

However, if you feel that user will not take offense to it, best would be head over to Chat and click on Start a Chat with user X

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  • Excellent! That's the answer I was hoping for. – oKtosiTe Dec 11 '10 at 23:13
  • @oKtosiTe Glad to know the answer helps. – Sathyajith Bhat Dec 11 '10 at 23:16
  • Oh, good to know that you can start a new chat with a specific user. I'll keep that tip in mind. – nhinkle Dec 12 '10 at 4:52
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    No freehand circles? – Ivo Flipse Dec 14 '10 at 8:54

Is this something you can say to that person publicly? If so, do leave a comment. It's good that you're concerned about derailing the discussion: if you think your comment is risky, just don't leave it.

If you think that person's attitude is not proper, call it to the moderator's attention. Again, this is not something you can (well, should) do over a trivial matter. This is by design.

If that person chose to participate in chat (which is public, but less exposed) or to put a contact address in their profile, you can contact them privately. If they choose to participate only by asking and answering questions, respect their wishes.

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