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When I am deciding if to vote for closing a question, and I see that the title doesn't fit the question formulated in the body, what reason should I name? In the list of reasons the closest, as I think, is "not a real question". But its explanation includes:

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ.

I think, that the case of two (or more) principally different questions instead of one is very unpleasant and can cause great misunderstanding and unpruductive discussions. And so, the case deserves being named at least in the explanation. Maybe, as "self-repugnant", but I do not insist on the word.

Edit

Ambiguity supposes having more than one meaning. Not necessarily contradictory ones. And self-repugnancy supposes having no meaning at all, because of the contradiction. At least as I understand it.

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Doesn't "ambiguous" cover it? –  Daniel Fischer Dec 20 '12 at 15:48
    
@DanielFischer QA edited –  Gangnus Dec 20 '12 at 15:55
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I rarely find that such cases require closure. You can almost always fix such cases with editing. If the title and body don't match, as a rule, I tend to assume the body is correct and adjust the title to be in line with the body. –  Servy Dec 20 '12 at 15:56
    
I tried to do it too. But yesterday I found a question, consisting of two that I could not join in one. Today I reread it and understood, what the author wanted to say and edited it. I personally, strongly dislike to vote for close or even to downvote. (you can check it at my profile at SO). But sometimes it is a great work to decipher the text. –  Gangnus Dec 21 '12 at 8:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If the title does not match the question, you should just edit the title to be more appropriate (you can suggest an edit at any rep level).

I don't see how that situation warrants closing the question. If the question is bad, that's a different story. But good titles are tough to come up with sometimes.

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"just edit the title to be more appropriate" + "good titles are tough to come up with" = "situation warrants closing the question" When one can't quickly come up with good title, quick closing (planning for further reopening) is just the way to go. Otherwise, question gets exposed to the risk of getting ambiguous answers, some referring to title, other to body - which in some cases can effectively lock the question from any substantial editing at all. –  gnat Dec 20 '12 at 18:21
    
@gnat I can definitely see you're point there. I just think that, with the number of people that possibly see any particular question like this, at least one of them will have a good title for it pop into their brainz pretty quickly. –  jadarnel27 Dec 21 '12 at 2:39
    
What I was mainly getting at was that writing a good title is tough for some people, so the OP might just need some help in that area. If the rest of the question is good, I say give 'em a chance to not have to deal with the runaround of having a question closed. –  jadarnel27 Dec 21 '12 at 2:41
    
you seem to assume that readers will focus on correcting question title. Quite frequently, they just answer to whatever they misread instead. Here's an example of a good question that was almost killed by garbage answers only because of an ambiguous title. If you're interested, check with Prog.SE moderators how many answers they removed for blatantly ignoring question body. Now that was quite some dealing with the runaround going on there... –  gnat Dec 21 '12 at 7:59
    
...don't get me wrong, if you can quickly figure appropriate title, sure go for it. But if not (and in my experience this was quite often the case), then quick closing may be the best way to salvage a good question and give it a chance to receive relevant answers upon reopening. Sorry for being brief, I need to go to salvage yet another good question that has been closed for a title that invited non-constructive garbage –  gnat Dec 21 '12 at 8:00

As you've stated, the description of Not A Real Question is (emphasis mine)

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ.

If the post is asking two different, conflicting questions, then it certainly is ambiguous. If possible, I'd suggest editing to clear up the confusion. However, if it really is unclear what the real question is (or there actually are two separate questions), it should be closed as Not A Real Question until it can be refined into a proper question.

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Ambiguity supposes having more than one meaning. Not necessarily contradictory ones. And self-repugnancy supposes having no meaning at all, because of the contradiction. At least as I feel it. –  Gangnus Dec 20 '12 at 15:54
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I'm just trying to highlight how a post with multiple different quesitons fits nicely into the NaRQ description. –  Jim Dec 20 '12 at 15:58

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