Please don't use "Taking ... seriously" as a topic name

A very popular topic title on this forum seems to be “Taking ABC seriously”, just use the search on this forum and enter “Taking seriously” and you will see a large list. Although a lot of interesting and fruitful discussions have resulted in these topics, I personally think that this is not a good way to start a topic because is implies that whoever has done the previous implementation of ABC was not serious about it. So at least in my non-native english mind this creates an overly negative picture of the previous work.

I would suggest to use rather neutral titles like “Suggestions to improve ABC” or “A more coherent way of implementing ABC” etc instead, or to already mention the exact point to be improved in the title. This would give more respect to the previous work and does not imply people were not serious about what they were doing.


That phrase is a tongue in check reference to, which is a major cultural point in the history of Julia. It seems a bit unfortunate and ahistorical to try banning that.


Can I rename your topic to Taking “Taking … seriously” as a topic name seriously?


As @johnmyleswhite pointed out, this is an inside joke/running gag for the Julia community.

I think it is neat and the tradition should be kept up, but without overusing it. Perhaps it is best to use it in the spirit of #4774: important conceptual unifications based on accumulated experience that have an overarching effect.


I’m a big fan of inside jokes / running gags, but I must admit I am not very fond of “taking seriously” either. It’s unwelcoming to newcomers (huh, there’s some inside joke going on which I don’t get?), and it usually does not describe very well the actual topic of the discussion. In particular, “taking … seriously” to me often sounds like the kind of title I would come up with five minutes before leaving the office when my brain is dead and I’m running out of time, which does not do justice to the often very deep and insightful discussions hiding behind these titles.


I didn’t know about the history and running gag. The issue is that majority of new users won’t know that so it can be misinterpreted especially over the internet.

For examples, I wouldn’t be very happy if someone wrote “Taking Virtue Signialling seriously” and references my post here.

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Yeah, let’s not leave folks behind. Maybe just reference the gag at the beginning of the post? E.g.: “In the spirit of the long-running and illustrious Taking Vector Transposes Seriously JuliaCon talk and thread (, I’m hoping we can deep dive into issues about flip-flops. How bad is it to wear socks with them? Do you ever clean yours? How long do you wait before determining that this new pair will never really break in and become comfortable?”

Because I loved that talk/thread (thanks @jiahao!), I smile when I see a nod to it.


Maybe there could be a committee that can pre-approve jokes and other attempts at humor, to avoid the risk that someone doesn’t get it?

I, for one, would be wary of joining a community that had in-jokes I was previously unfamiliar with.


Taking humor seriously? Seriously? :upside_down_face:


An oft repeated joke ceases to be a joke.


Mhm, yes a Julia ministry of pre-approved humor is a great idea. In fact, I think we should really just replace the text-input field on Discourse with an interface for choosing between pre-approved comments.

That way we can ensure that people aren’t saying anything new that needs to be checked and approved post-hoc.

I always say that repetition is the key to humour.


Thanks for the clarification. I have to admit that though being a regular Julia user since 2013 (before 0.1 was released) and creator and maintainer of several packages it was not known to me that the phrase is used as a joke. As stated by others here, if the phrase irritates someone who is using the language for many years, it might as well irritate a lot of newcomers.

The issue you linked to was of course known to me but I did not remember it had this title. In my opinion it is absolutely ok to use this phrase when referring to previous work that you or your close peers have done yourself, but I find it unwelcoming using this phrase to criticize work by people you don’t know closely.

Given the history I would not suggest to ban this expression from the forum, but would still people posting to think about what reactions this could cause with people that are not so closely involved in the community and their inside jokes.


Personally, I find the trope a little tired. I’m still a huge fan of movie-inspired punny super-issues, however.


Regardless of the title or choice of words, let’s maintain the spirit, address issues in depth with a lot of brainstorming and scientific inquiries. Julia has a unique scientific community that constantly questions prior art. Leveraging that property wisely is the recipe to success IMO.

I am sure that people writing “taking … seriously” posts didn’t have any intention to diminish the work of others. They just spotted possible improvements to a method as good scientists, and are most likely not even thinking about who did what. As usual let’s assume that people have the best intentions :+1:

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Could this be addressed in part by providing guidelines and/or a template for more informal, RFC-like discussions? Then each “pre-Julep” (or whatever one wants to call it) could have a “taking X seriously” subtitle/nickname for flavour if desired, but is primarily addressed through its primary name or ID.

I definitely agree with this part. I just think it falls out from a broader principle of “be charitable towards other people’s work”.

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I like the phrase “Taking X seriously”.
One of the most cited papers in economics starts w/ the words:
This paper takes Robert Solow seriously.
It does not imply previous economists did not take the Solow model seriously. The authors mean that they take it seriously enough to directly estimate the model’s parameters and test its predictions.


What about the topic

Let’s not take … seriously

There probably wouldn’t be much to discuss

(in context of a programming forum)

So taking it seriously is a kind of given premise

Sometimes it makes sense to spell out the premise, so I’m not necessarily opposed, but the discussion is amusing