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If I write a post with a title ending in an exclamation mark, it gets replaced with a question mark. That makes sense for Stack Overflow, but less so for MSO, since posts here are not necessarily questions.

Please disable that filter for the metas, or at least don't apply it on the second try.

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Why do you need to have a title end in an exclamation mark! –  user149432 Aug 17 '11 at 19:50
@Mark: E.g. if the title ends in "Eeeeek!". Even though most such titles probably would be better without the exclamation mark, it doesn't make sense to suddenly change it into a question mark. –  user157130 Aug 17 '11 at 19:56
Yeah, better to block the question even than change it I would think ... a lot of cases where that doesn't make sense. –  Matthew Read Aug 17 '11 at 19:58
@Tim The canonical form is "EEEEEK! Blah blah blah?" so an exclamation point is only needed in the middle. –  Adam Davis Aug 17 '11 at 19:58
@Adam: I see. What if the intended original was "Eeeek! Blah blah blah!"? We'll never know. –  user157130 Aug 17 '11 at 20:01
@Tim All questions have to be in the form of a question? –  Adam Davis Aug 17 '11 at 20:06
I'm not even sure how it makes sense on SO; I wasn't aware that that filter existed. You can't turn an arbitrary sentence into a question by appending a question mark; the hit rate is probably even worse for sentences that end in exclamation points –  Michael Mrozek Aug 17 '11 at 20:08
I'd suggest using the !? comic book idiom: Blah blah blah. Eeeeek!?. (Only on meta, of course, this would get edited/downvoted rather quickly on SO.) –  Frédéric Hamidi Aug 17 '11 at 20:09
@Frédéric I just tried it on this question and it was edited out, so they've taken care of that case, apparently. –  Adam Davis Aug 17 '11 at 20:15
I personally like the idea of a title like "Where did my X go? Eeeek?" –  NickC Aug 17 '11 at 20:16
Now that I think of it, we're not going far enough with the current filter. Proper capitalization is also important in a good question, we should fix that too. I'd also suggest randomly inserting commas every few words and replacing all instances of Jon Skeet with The Best Among Us All or He Who Must Not Be Named, at your discretion. –  Frédéric Hamidi Aug 17 '11 at 20:23
I am resisting the urge to edit the title: Pleaseǃ removeǃ theǃ s/?/!/ titleǃ filterǃ fromǃ Metaǃ –  Adam Davis Aug 17 '11 at 20:39
@Adam It would sound silly with all those retroflex clicks. –  user157130 Aug 17 '11 at 20:41
@Tim I prefer to enunciate ! as BANG –  Adam Davis Aug 17 '11 at 20:43
Yahoo!.stackoverflow.com! might! have! problems! –  Flexo Oct 6 '11 at 22:42

3 Answers 3

up vote 28 down vote accepted

You can end your question with ǃ U+01C3 (Latin Letter Retroflex Click). I once wanted to end a question with a period so I had to resort to a Japanese period。

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I don't think people are going to take too kindly to your figuring out ways to skirt the system... –  Cody Gray Aug 18 '11 at 8:16
This is a mostly developer community. If there is a workaround we will find it. Down vote all you want. –  bkaid Aug 18 '11 at 18:25
+1 This is such a bizarre feature, it needs a workaround. –  Pëkka Oct 6 '11 at 21:31
I recommend using '‼' U+203C DOUBLE EXCLAMATION MARK instead‼ The more, the merrier‼‼‼‼ –  Mechanical snail Oct 7 '11 at 2:24
Unfortunately the retroflex click and Japanese period show up as boxes in Opera Mini on my phone. But @Mechanical snail's double exclamation mark works. –  Hugo Oct 7 '11 at 8:19
Pretty sad that Opera Mini doesn't support unicode. –  bkaid Oct 7 '11 at 15:03
@OffBySome: Since U+203C works, it probably supports Unicode but just doesn't come with a font containing the other 2 characters. –  Mechanical snail Oct 8 '11 at 4:41

Give a warning when the site is going to change something I typed. I almost missed it and I was never aware of this feature. That's from a usability point of view. Same reason I hate iPad's auto suggestion feature where it overwrites what I typed unless I tell it NOT to do it.

SE changes '!' changes to '?' in title

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I agree. A machine should not try to pretend it's smarter than a human unless it actually is smarter than a human. –  Marti Oct 6 '11 at 22:26

The canonical form is "EEEEEK! Blah blah blah?" so an exclamation point is only needed in the middle.

And yes this -- and by this I mean conversion of the title "foo bar baz!" to "foo bar baz?" -- is intentional.

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That's a weird choice. I totally understand removing the ! altogether, but I'm not sure I follow the logic in converting it to a ?. There's more to an interrogative sentence than the punctuation mark at the end. –  Cody Gray Aug 18 '11 at 8:17
Was there really a torrent of harmful questions that ended in ! and that are significantly improved by having a ? instead? Is this not taking all this filtering stuff a step too far? –  Pëkka Oct 6 '11 at 21:37
We find that exclamation points at the end of titles are a distraction! No question is so urgent it "needs" an exclamation point in the title! So this conversion is definitely by design! In fact I can't recall ever seeing a "valid" question title with an exclamation point at the end! In every case it was better either left out or converted to a question mark! I think you'll agree if you look at the historical titles! –  Jeff Atwood Oct 6 '11 at 21:51
Hmmm.... I guess I can see the point. I'm not sure whether converting is ideal, though? Would it not be an option making it a submission-blocking message á la "please do not end question titles with exclamation marks"? –  Pëkka Oct 6 '11 at 21:55
@jeff OK change the '!' but let the user KNOW you did it. Don't treat your users like naives who always need hand holding. A suggestion: don't let the post go through and notify the user they need to change it. The same way you block posts with very words in them (don't know what the limit is) –  Tony_Henrich Oct 6 '11 at 22:35
What if I wanted to ask about "More efficient way to calculate N!"? –  Ben Voigt Oct 7 '11 at 0:01
Or "Should I use safe-bool or overloaded operator!"? –  Ben Voigt Oct 10 '11 at 14:08
@JeffAtwood You realize that changing your sentence to "We find that exclamation points at the end of titles are a distraction?" doesn't make it better, right? –  Michael Mrozek Dec 8 '11 at 16:49

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