I'm looking at this page, which includes an R expression (for the gam function in the mgcv package). The R expression includes two elements (functions?) which do not appear on the help page for that function ('te' and 'bs').

R, of course, almost glories in its perverse unsearchability - a Google search on "te" brings up 4.6bn results!

The obvious resort would be to comment on the answer, asking for clarification.

However, as I understand it, those with fewer than 50 points in the bank are barred from doing this, and needs must remain in ignorance.

Is this a bug or a feature?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ In the meantime are you familiar with RSeek? With it you can quickly find the mgcv manual where gam and te are documented. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Apr 25, 2013 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


It's a feature, present throughout SE, to defend against the hordes of off-topic misguided comments that would appear without such a restriction. (The community closes tens of answers-cum-comments each day as it is.) As a moderator I would just love to be able to grant people like you higher privileges instantly, on the evidence of goodwill and intelligence you have already provided, but I have no such power. About all I can do is cheer you on and encourage you to ask good questions and provide good answers in oder to attain the needed 50 points. It only takes one average answer, actually: five upvotes will do it. (I have been able to use my voting privileges, as a community member, to grant you five of those points. :-)

  • $\begingroup$ +1, this is the right response. However, I don't think the average answer on CV gets 5 upvotes, alas. $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2013 at 23:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @gung No, it's closer to 3.5, but that will exactly do the trick here :-). $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Apr 26, 2013 at 4:48

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