Origin of "If in doubt, leave it out"

Continuing the discussion from Adding a "fake" release to get the original date for a release group:

It was used for the first time on these forums in May of 2016 by me:

Used for the first time on IRC in September of 2014 also by me:

Though, admittedly, very similar utterances had been done before, e.g. @reosarevok had previously used “if in doubt leave it blank” a couple of times, such as:


I usually say Better no data than wrong data.
That means the same. :slight_smile:

As wrong data is misleading while no data is a call for edits.


It means the same, but the connotation is slightly different. Your phrasing puts the emphasis on the end result (the data), while “If in doubt, leave it out.” puts the emphasis on the editor’s thought process (“doubt”) and actions leading up to the end result (“leave it out”). (I also get the feeling that many (esp. new) editors feel like they have to fill out. every. single. field. So telling them that they can “leave it out” also validates the action of not filling in a given field.)

In the end, it’s the same thing, just from slightly different angles. :slight_smile:

(Language is fun, no? :wink: )


Language is a virus from outer space.

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