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There's a code in the following text. 5 letters long. Can you find it?

Once upon a time in history, (or actually a few times), some letters became red and some became green. In other places, the reds may have been forgotten forever but not here. Here almost nothing is forgotten unless it (meaning its maker) wants it forgot.

So somewhere in history a word exists. It's neither here or there. Neither red or green. It's not written anywhere. If you look for it later it may be longer, I can't help it. It's part of the ideology of this place, I guess. No one can help it when others make their stuff longer.

When you look for it, you may find many symbols that you didn't see before. Don't panic! they are not really greater than.

I wish you luck. This will require a mouse or a bit of patience.

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  • $\begingroup$ ^ re my above comment: oops :-/ See the final paragraph in my answer. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 11 '17 at 19:45
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The answer is

apple.

Because:

just look for the now-corrected spelling mistakes, and write down the missing letters: A, P, P, L, E.

The fact that this is what we should look for is indicated by the text itself:

Once upon a time in history, (or actually a few times), some letters became red and some became green. In other places, the reds may have been forgotten forever but not here. Here almost nothing is forgotten unless it (meaning it's maker) wants it forgot.

In "history", meaning the revision history of a post. The red letters are those that have been removed, the green those that have been added. Other websites don't show revision history, but Stack Exchange does (unless the history is redacted by moderators).

So somewhere in history a word exists. It's neither here or there. Neither red or green. It's not written anywhere. If you look for it later it may be longer, I can't help it. It's part of the ideology of this place, I guess. No one can help it when others make their stuff longer.

No one can help others editing their posts, and the word we're looking for is in fact not written anywhere.

When you look for it, you may find many symbols that you didn't see before. Don't panic! they are not really greater than.

Looking in the revision history shows a trace of letters which weren't in the original post.

I wish you luck. This will require a mouse or a bit of patience.

A mouse to click on the revision history, and patience to find the right letters.


Unfortunately, the effect of this puzzle was spoiled because

you probably didn't know that edits made within 5 minutes of posting don't show up in the revision history (shadow edits, as they're called). Because I saw this post as soon as you made it, I noticed the edits right off, and also spotted you editing them out one by one. But this didn't show up in the revision history - in fact, I assumed that because you were fixing them, they weren't part of the puzzle after all. Then, after someone else made an edit, you edited the typos back in so that they showed up again, making the answer clear.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just beat you again :P $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Dec 11 '17 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Why would the typos spell the answer? Read the text, it has meaning $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 11 '17 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Dotan I realised some bits of it, but the red/green part eluded me until now. Edited with full explanation. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 11 '17 at 19:50
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Note: I got the answer first - but Rand got the full explanation so go upvote his answer :)

The answer is

apple

Because

There are typos if you click on the edit history - which when fixed give the letters APPLE. The answer also fits as it talks about red/green apples

Typos:

Once upon a time
helq -> help
qlace -> place
kook -> look
requir -> require

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  • $\begingroup$ 13 seconds this time! D-: $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 11 '17 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Why would the typos spell the answer? Read the text, it has meaning $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 11 '17 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Dotan as far as I can tell it just talks about red/green apples. And what do you mean by why do the typos give the answer? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Dec 11 '17 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil the text tells you where to look for the answer. It's not about apples. (You're close though) $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 11 '17 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil See my answer :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 11 '17 at 19:50

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