[[quoteright:300:[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/leonardmccoy_5742.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Can't you see from my expression how inhuman this so-called "logic" is?!]]

->''"By God, [[TheKirk Jim]]! You can't seriously be considering this! [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight Screw the]] [[{{Alien Non-Interference Clause}} Prime Directive]], [[NoTimeToExplain there's no time for debate!]] We have to act now to [[SaveThePrincess rescue the]] HighPriestess; [[FriendOrIdolDecision forget]] the MacGuffin and think about doing what's'' right!

->''"What's that, [[TheSpock Spock]]? '[[StrawVulcan Logic]]?' If we listened to your cold reasoning, you'd have us look for that stupid CosmicKeystone while innocent people suffer! [[EmotionsVsStoicism The greater good]]? Better in the long run? [[AlwaysChaoticEvil The Klingons]] will kill us in five minutes if we go to rescue the high priestess unprepared? Dammit man, dare we call ourselves [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman human]] if we'' don't?! ''[[InsultBackfire What do you mean 'Thank you?]]'''"

The [=McCoy=] is part of a FreudianTrio along with TheKirk and TheSpock. Where the former is rational and [[TakeAThirdOption intuitive]], and the latter is [[TheStoic cold]] and logical, the [=McCoy=] is [[HotBlooded emotional]] and [[TheHeart humanistic]]. He cares about others deeply; for him doing the right thing is not a question of convenience or moral relativity, but about the concrete reality ''right now''. Which is to say, someone like TheKirk cares about saving people; the [=McCoy=] cares about making things ''right''. This often leads the heroes into hot water as this concern for others blinds him to complications in the MoralDilemma of the week and leads him to advocate (or take it upon himself to do) "the right thing", regardless of how disastrous it would be in the short or long run.

That said, they help keep the drama of a situation ''personal'' both for the characters and the viewer, reminding us just why the LittlestCancerPatient deserves for TheHero to use the phlebotinum that [[ItOnlyWorksOnce only works once]] on him rather than to [[YouCantGoHomeAgain get them home.]] To be fair, the [[TheSpock Spock]] can be just as compassionate, but is tempered with detachment and enough forethought to realize that [[EmotionsVsStoicism the right answer might not be the correct one]], ([[StrawVulcan illogical as that sounds]]).

The [=McCoy=] is frequently a target for reminders about the [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]], and one or more episodes might focus on how having his heart on his sleeve can actually cause [[TheCaretaker quite a bit of damage to the people he "helps" with the best of intentions]].

The [=McCoy=] still functions as an admirable character, however, due to his absolute devotion to his Moral beliefs and his refusal to give in to what others may tell him. For him, there is no such thing as acceptable losses. And if you start claiming that [[WeHaveReserves numbers can be lost]] or that AMillionIsAStatistic, you can expect a thorough [[WhatTheHellHero chewing out for your coldness]]. In the [=McCoy=]'s mind, every life matters and everyone deserves to be saved. While TheSpock sees people as numbers in the greater picture, The [=McCoy=] sees people with real lives and emotions.

Also, the [=McCoy=] exists as a counterpart to TheSpock. If they are the moral center of the team in general too, then they are TheHeart as well. Likely to be the Red Oni in a RedOniBlueOni combination. Closely related to the [=McCoy=] are HotBlooded and AgentMulder. Probably sides with the Romanticists in RomanticismVersusEnlightenment.

The [=McCoy=] is the HonorBeforeReason {{trope}} personified, and may occasionally be a StrawmanEmotional. Will sometimes use ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The main characters of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' fit directly into this {{trope}}. Rather than listening to logic, they prefer to [[BeyondTheImpossible screw the (Physical and otherwise) rules]] and dive right into a situation. They kick reason to the curb because that's the Team Gurren way.
* [[TheCaptain Murrue Ramius]] from ''GundamSeed'' is a more reasonable [=McCoy=] in a command position, with a SergeantRock as her Deputy Captain, and TheKirk as an AcePilot and both of their primary advisor.
* Kallen and Suzaku from ''CodeGeass'' fill this role for their respective sides.
* This personality archetype is, with a few exceptions in certain characters (namely Usopp and Robin, and then only occasionally for either), a prerequisite for joining the Straw Hat Pirates in ''Manga/OnePiece''. It also seems to be the default personality for the majority of the characters aligned with good, period.
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', Sayaka and Madoka are the [=McCoys=] to Homura and Kyuubey's [[TheSpock Spocks]]. In this way, it almost seems to TakeAThirdOption when it comes to the EmotionsVsStoicism debate: Sayaka lives by her emotions and ends up paying for it [[spoiler:in every possible universe becoming a Witch in the main timeline]], Madoka [[spoiler:ends up rewriting the universe into a happier place through the PowerOfLove]], Homura is by far the most competent MagicalGirl outside Madoka and none of the latter's achievements would have been possible without her [[spoiler:and vice versa if her BackStory is any indication]], while Kyuubey has an arguable point in the goal he's working towards, but [[spoiler:does so in an inarguably cruel and heartless way]]. In other words? Neither is specifically better than the other, and in fact both may be necessary, depending on the situation.
* Umi Ryuuzaki in ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' takes this role. It's not enough for her to defeat Ascot--he has to ''apologize'' and take responsibility for his monster friends, dammit! [[spoiler:And when he does, she smiles and encourages him to make a complete HeelFaceTurn, resulting in him developing a huge crush on her.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* According to co-writer Roberto Orci, the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film maintains this {{trope}}, but swaps [[TheCaptain Kirk]] and [[TheMedic McCoy]]:
--> "[[TheMedic McCoy]] in a way represents for us, or represented for us, the extremes of [[TheCaptain Kirk]] and [[TheSpock Spock]]. If [[TheSpock Spock]] is [[StrawVulcan extreme logic]], ... extreme science, and [[TheCaptain Kirk]] is [[StrawmanEmotional extreme emotion]] and intuition, here you have a very colorful doctor, essentially a very humanistic scientist. So he, in a way, is literally and figuratively a representation of two extremes that often served as [[TheKirk the glue that held the]] [[FreudianTrio trio]] together."
** Though it comes off in a very similar manner to the show, and is very well played.
* [[Franchise/StarWars Anakin Skywalker]] shows elements of this {{trope}} in the {{Prequel}} Trilogy. Especially since this was the reason he turned to TheDarkSide.
* Mr White of ''Film/ReservoirDogs'', in comparison to the cold and logical Mr Pink and the psychopathic Mr Blonde. He tells the dying Mr Orange his name and defends him all through the movie from accusations that Orange is a rat, based purely on the fact that he likes the guy.
* ''Film/TheAvengers'': Iron Man fits TheKirk, and Captain America fits TheMcCoy. Given that Thor is calculative and likes control, and that Banner (when he's not Hulk) is calm and logical, either one could be TheSpock.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheBrothersKaramazov'', the brothers form a FreudianTrio: Alyosha as an idealistic [[TheKirk Kirk]], Ivan as the cold, rational [[TheSpock Spock]], and Dmitri is the emotional [=McCoy=].
* Marianne Dashwood in ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', in contrast to her sister [[TheSpock Elinor]]. Possibly the TropeMaker, considering this is one of the first known intentional uses of it (Austen intended the sisters' EmotionsVersusStoicism to be a metaphor for RomanticismVersusEnlightenment). Also notable as one of the few cases where the [=McCoy=] is wrong and has to learn to be more reserved, rather than the other way around.
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books, Harry, Ron and Hermione start out as TheKirk, The [=McCoy=] and TheSpock respectively. Throughout the course of the novels, they all grow out of and beyond these labels, often switching around (Hermione's dedication to house-elf liberty is very [=McCoy=]-ish, for example) or not quite fitting any of them.
* Ned Land from ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' is an emotional harpooner who isn't excited about going around the world on the ''Nautilus'' and simply wants to return to civilization, in contrast to Aronnax's [[TheKirk Kirk]] and Conseil's [[TheSpock Spock]].
* In the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''StarTrekVulcansForge'' Rabin (an earlier friend of [[TheSpock Spock]]'s) is like this, though more [[BewareTheNiceOnes friendly]] and less crotchety than ...the real [=McCoy=].
* Anne Shirley in AnneOfGreenGables
* Matteo in ''Literature/SomeoneElsesWar''.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': In ''Literature/ColdDays'', [[spoiler:Titania]] states that she acts according to "the wisdom of the heart", compared to [[spoiler:Mab]], who she says acts according to [[TheSpock "Reason. Logic. Calculation. The cold numbers. The supremacy of the mind."]].
** Harry also acts as this at times, most prominently in ''Grave Peril'' (where he absolutely refuses to abandon his girlfriend even knowing that it could mean an all out war with [[OurVampiresAreDifferent the Red Court]], [[spoiler: and it does indeed cause a war that nearly gets his own side wiped out]]), and ''Changes'' (where he goes against pretty much every piece of advice he'd previously given himself or others for the sake of rescuing [[spoiler: a daughter he hadn't even known existed until a day before]]).
** However, it should be noted that this mindset is heavily deconstructed in all of those examples; [[spoiler: Titania's]] "wisdom of the heart" makes her unhelpful even when all of reality (including her own domain) is at stake if Harry fails, and Harry's actions have truly disastrous repercussions for the world and the people he cares about (predictably for TheMcCoy, the latter hits him much harder than the former).
* Cassie in ''Literature/Animorphs''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The [[TropeNamer trope is named for]] [[TheMedic Doctor Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy]]. He not only stressed humanism, [[StrawmanEmotional he was all but dominated by his emotions]], to the point that he seemed to find ''no'' value in logic whatsoever, even in situations where it would fit... um, logically. There are many ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episodes wherein, had they listened to the Doctor instead of Spock, the ''[[CoolStarship Enterprise]]'' would be a cloud of space dust. In fairness, that came with his position and area of responsibility, as well as his Hippocratic oath, and is why he was in charge of running the medical division and not the ship; but he often served as [[TheKirk Kirk]]'s [[TheConscience conscience]][[note]]And one of the novels implied that he was partly this as a semi-deliberate counterbalance to Spock -- in one take on the ''Yesteryear'' timeline, where Spock did not exist and the first officer was the Andorian Thellin (Andorians being stereotypically passionate), the good doctor was a great deal more logical and rationalistic in his outlook.[[/note]].
** There's a clear ideological bent this way in Starfleet medical school in general -- an inclination to take "first do no harm" as far as the [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]] allows it; this may be because subsequent series are a GenerationXerox of the first. (Starfleet members from [[DeepSouth the American South]] are also frequently like this.) Examples include [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Dr. Crusher]], who quite often would ignore rational ordeals and run into the battleground to try and save someone, and the more obnoxious Dr. Pulaski, [=McCoy=]'s DistaffCounterpart. They definitely take an oath like the Hippocratic one, perhaps a modern modification of the oath like [[http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_modern.html this one]], or perhaps something unique to the Federation.
*** ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' had Kira Nerys, while Odo was usually the more logical one.
*** ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' used [[TheCaptain Captain Janeway]] in this role, while Tuvok and Chakotay would ''try'' to balance ''her'' out with logic. Tom Paris also had his [=McCoy=] moments.
*** ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' had engineer "Trip" Tucker.
* ''{{Firefly}}'': [[GenkiGirl Kaylee]] often was the one who was more about the right thing, like not abandoning [[ChildSoldier River]] and [[TheMedic Simon]].
** [[TheMedic Simon]] is a [[TheSpock Spock]] in most cases, but he turns into a [=McCoy=] about [[BigBrotherInstinct anything involving his sister]]. He gave up his career for her, after all.
** Wash also plays a more pragmatic version of this role at times: "Can we vote on this whole killing people thing?"
* Jack O'Neill in ''Series/StargateSG1'' was more often than not the [=McCoy=] in addition to TheKirk; playing a {{foil}} to the more rational Samantha and Daniel (Teal'c had his [=McCoy=] moments as well). He'd sometimes choose to help others, or incessantly bug Sam and Daniel to explain to him ''why'' they shouldn't help others.
** Daniel himself is more often the [=McCoy=], especially when he feels the current situation is SG-1's fault. O'Neill was more often the calm, rational military leader and Daniel has to convince everyone else on what was right.
*** Both Jack and Daniel could turn into [=McCoys=]. They'd often get into arguments, not about whether to help, but HOW to help. A prime example: in "Scorched Earth", an alien wants to terraform a planet so his civilization can be rebuilt there. The terraforming would kill the population already living there. Daniel wants to talk to the alien and reach a compromise. Jack wants to blow them up.
*** While Teal'c is usually the Spock, he has had his time as the [=McCoy=], usually when someone does something sends him on a RoaringRampageofRevenge. There was an entire episode dedicated to such an event.
* ''LostInSpace'' had its own FreudianTrio with Will Robinson, the Robot and Doctor Smith. Ironically, the most logical of them all, the Robot, would frequently prove his great titanium alloy heart by performing a HeroicSacrifice for the crew.
** Although Doctor Smith was closer to TheSpock with his self-serving interests, he had quite a few PetTheDog moments of humanistic behaviour himself.
* Vila Restal from ''Series/BlakesSeven'' had his moments.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Willow and [[TheHeart Xander]] alternated -- and often tag-teamed -- as the [=McCoys=] of the Scoobie Gang, wanting to do what they thought was right, no matter how stupid or reckless it was, and occasionally put [[TheSpock Giles]] down for trying to stay rational in emotional situations, calling him heartless.
** When Willow was kidnapped, the Scoobies (especially Oz) were the [=McCoy=], Giles was TheKirk and Wesley was TheSpock.
*** Buffy herself was the [=McCoy=] more than anyone else, often thinking with her heart rather than her head, such as her reluctance to kill Angel in season 2, endangering the world as a result, her refusal to kill Dawn in season 5, endangering the world as a result, her refusal to kill Spike in season 7, endangering the world as a result... Sensing a theme here?
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has a tradition of this, when the companions usually act as the heart and the moral compass for the often aloof and alien Doctor. Barbara was the first companion to somewhat "humanise" the unpredictable and sometimes callous First Doctor. In the new series, Donna lived and breathed this {{trope}}, especially as the Tenth Doctor's characterisation grew darker and darker.
* Ironically, Jack [=McCoy=] of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' is not the [=McCoy=] for the show. That role is typically filled by the female A.D.A., except when Angie Harmon played that role as a conservative Republican, so they made the new D.A. a female college professor, and made ''her'' the [=McCoy=]. Of course, some can take it too far: Serena Southerlyn was too much the [=McCoy=], which resulted in her being fired. This also led to an example of SuddenlySexuality.
* Sheldon, from ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', insists that since he's [[TheSpock Spock]] and Leonard is [[TheKirk Kirk]] then Leonard's girlfriend Stephanie must be [=McCoy=].
* Wilson from ''Series/{{House}}'' is a stark contrast to House himself, who doesn't give a damn about anyone. In the words of his snarky counterpart, "You love everybody. That's your pathology.".
* Sam is very much the [=McCoy=] of the ''ICarly'' FreudianTrio, right up to her constant arguing with TheSpock of the trio, Freddie, and being swayed by TheKirk of the trio, Carly.
* Delenn in ''Series/BabylonFive'' is definitely a [=McCoy=] with her romantic and mystical outlook and her often spectacular displays of HonorBeforeReason. B5 doesn't really have TheSpock to balance her. Sheridan is a [[TheKirk Kirk]] and Franklin, who is TheSpock or something close, doesn't interact with Delenn enough to balance her. As B5 is something of a [[RomanticismVersusEnlightenment romanticist]] work, that is reasonable.
* PowerRangers. In general, all the colors are this, although Reds tend to be the most [=McCoy=]-ish. (Cole, Casey, and Conner all get special mentions, though really any rookie Red counts.)
* Zhaan, Chiana, and to a lesser degree Jool served as [=McCoys=] most often on ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. John did as well sometimes (especially in the first season), although he became more TheKirk as the series went along. Aeryn and D'Argo were usually Kirks, but on occasion they delved into [=McCoy=] territory, usually when it came to their loved ones (John, Pilot, and to a certain extent her mother for Aeryn, Jothee and Chiana for D'Argo).
* "Doc" Soto in ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}'' seems to be slipping into this role in opposition to Hauser's [[TheSpock Spock]].
* Both Harm and Mac in ''Series/{{JAG}}'', but most especially Harm, typically functioned as the [=McCoy=] of the series.
-->'''Mac [to Harm]:''' ''Look, you run on emotion. It's what makes you a good lawyer!''
* George, the main character of ''DeadLikeMe'', in contrast with Reuben's TheKirk.
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': Quinn and Abby both serve as this for the rest of the team.
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'': Archie Kennedy is the show's heart and soul, especially in "Mutiny" and "Retribution". He's very humanistic and always wants to do what is right and just. Archie is the first one who speaks about Captain Sawyer's [[InsaneAdmiral incompetence]], his [[ATasteOfTheLash unjust abuse]] of [[PluckyMiddie Midshipman]] Wellard horrifies him and is generally dissatisfied with the lack of discipline on the ''Renown''. [[note]]The three lieutenants together form a nice Freudian Trio: Archie is the id (emotional, intuitive and quicker to act), Horatio is the ego (heroic, mediates between the two, rationally evaluates the situation but hesitates to act) and Mr Bush is the superego (logical, calm, rational, and slower to act).[[/note]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* Fittingly, several doctors fill this role in Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG. Dr. Alan Pierce is arguably the most notable, with Wade, Carver, and Shaw behind him. Crusher, Copper, and Hale are more practical, and Medic is... well... [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Medic]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre]]
* In ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix'', John Adams is a [=McCoy=] protagonist, incredibly passionate about American independence. He starts a stick-fight with Dickinson at one point and nearly jeopardizes the entire vote over the anti-slavery clause, but he's an absolute {{Determinator}} about wanting freedom from England and rights for all citizens.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', this role is shared by [[TheLancer Yos]][[ButtMonkey uke]] and [[TheChick Ri]][[MissionControl se]].
* Garrus Vakarian of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series evolves into this over the course of ''Mass Effect'' 1 & 2. By the second game, he forms a team of [[CowboyCop Cowboy cops]] to combat the corruption on the station in Omega. [[spoiler: True to the "Get into hot water" portion, his whole squad ends up massacred.]]
** Starting in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Joker ends up pairing off as The [=McCoy=] to [[SpaceshipGirl EDI's]] TheSpock, appropriate as EDI is a Artificial Intelligence. Jacob and Miranda have a similar dynamic as the two senior Cerberus officers aboard in [=ME2=], along with [[WrenchWench Tali]] and Legion. {{Bioware}} seems to enjoy this character dynamic.
* [[EnsembleDarkhorse Merrick]] from ''DawnOfWar Retribution'' objects violently to the notion that he and his men are cannon fodder. After an incident that ends with thousands of soldiers dying in a cataclysm, he attacks his commanding officer, and has the balls to tell him off whilst a commissar holds a gun to his head, itching to pull the trigger.
* Tidus practically embodies this {{trope}} in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', frequently throwing all respect for the alien culture he finds himself washed up in to the winds in order to do what he perceives as the right thing, particularly when it involves stopping people from dying.
* The titular character from ''SonicTheHedgehog'', in contrast to [[TheKirk Tails]] and [[TheSpock Knuckles]].
* [[TheHero Lloyd Irving]] in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' has spades of this. While [[TheChick Colette]] is [[TheChosenOne The Chosen]] and works hard to bring about the regeneration of the world through a set quest procedure [[spoiler: until it turns out to not be the case at all with Cruxis]], Lloyd doesn't follow tradition and urges others, in his own [[IdiotHero short-sighted viewpoints]], from [[FantasticRacism half-elves discriminated]] to Exspheres [[spoiler: and [[PoweredByAForsakenChild what they're used for]],]] to make their own decisions and accept/help each other along the way.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Durkon and Elan]] sometimes fall into this, in contrast with V's TheSpock.
** Mostly Elan, as Durkon usually takes a more passive role. And has more common sense. Durkon is the [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame party Scotsman]], though...
** Miko Miyazaki was also sometimes like this, although she mostly expressed her concern by [[KnightTemplar slicing the cause of the problem to ribbons]].
* Conrad from ''HannaIsNotABoysName'' is not a very [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway humanitarian/sentimentalist]] example, but he is the only part of the main triad (himself, [[TheKirk Hanna]] and [[TheSpock Zombie]]) that is freaked out by the general supernatural weirdness of the comic. He's pretty much a staple OnlySaneMan who questions everyone else's logic and peculiar calmness in the face of things that should scare the crap out of normal people like him.
* Arcturus Winrock from ''SuicideForHire'' pulled a HUGE [=McCoy=] on Hunter when he killed a cancer patient.
* In ''{{Harkovast}}'' Scatterpod plays the [=McCoy=] to Quinn-Tain's Spock over the morality of Quinn-Tain killing [[http://www.drunkduck.com/Harkovast/index.php?p=719524 BrightLeaf]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* In the ''[[GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Global Guardians]], both Arachne and Ultra-Man fill the roll of the [=McCoy=]. Achilles, the team leader, is TheSpock, while Guardsman is TheKirk.
* Mudd from ''TheBookOfStoriesOCT'' was this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Katara from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. She once detained the group for three days by essentially poisoning Appa (well, she just fed him berries to turn his tongue purple, but she had no idea whether he could safely eat them) to help a village who lived on a polluted river, even destroying the factory that polluted it, in spite of being on a tight schedule.
* Sam in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' forces Vegan meals and steals frogs from being dissected in her school, displays her disguise on a BeautyContest to bring individuality to the girls, and other humanitarian beliefs she has up her sleeves. When she's not doing that, then she makes sure Danny is going the right path.
* Mikey Blumberg from ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''
* Brattus from ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* WinstonChurchill was a [=McCoy=], while [[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] was a Kirk. Whether Marshall or [[JosefStalin Stalin]] was TheSpock depends on how you view Stalin.
** [[TheSpock Spocks]] seem to end up as a NumberTwo in RealLife as much as Hollywood.
* Maria Theresa often seems to come off as a [=McCoy=]. Like [[WinstonChurchill Churchill]], she had her [[LadyOfWar ruthless side]] though. It comes with [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask the job]].
* A number of political controversies seem to be about [[EmotionsVsStoicism McCoyness versus Spockness]]. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement No Examples Please!]]
[[/folder]]

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