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I ran across two questions with vague titles, but had a clear version of the question in the body which I copied verbatim into the title like so:

Is it undefined behaviour if multiple operands in a compound expression modify the same object?

Is this undefined behavior?

became

Is it undefined behaviour if multiple operands in a compound expression modify the same object?

Can I ignore the gcc warning: ‘Foo::m_bar’ should be initialized in the member initialization list [-Weffc++]

Can I ignore this gcc warning?

became

Can I ignore the gcc warning: ‘Foo::m_bar’ should be initialized in the member initialization list [-Weffc++]

Should I edit question titles to include the verbatim question asked in the body if the titles are too vague?

UPDATE: Maybe the site should detect the word "this" in titles and suggest people be more specific... if they're not already being specific?! I think more often than not an occurrence of "this" in the title is a quick clue that it is vague especially if the question is short!

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Yes, if you remember to capitalize the I's :) –  Pëkka Dec 28 '12 at 10:59
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Heh, nice edit! You walked right into the trap i set for you! ;) –  aculich Dec 28 '12 at 11:56

2 Answers 2

If the title is very vague and you think that you have a better title for the question, then yes you should.

However, something that may appear vague to you may be clear to someone else. Also, there is also the chance that what you interpret to be the correct title may not actually be what the OP intended to ask. So in those scenarios, you might have an edit rejected, or get some whining. This is rather subjective and depends on the case at hand, so go ahead only if you believe your edit is completely justified.

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I'd say: whenever you think you're sure, just go ahead. If you interpreted wrongly, then others might have read it just the same way you did: good moment for the author to fix that, rather than to whine about it. Like for the 2 examples in the question: no doubt whatsoever that the original titles were useless. If the new title is wrong, then let the author fix that. –  Arjan Dec 28 '12 at 11:28
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@Arjan ' If you interpreted wrongly, then others might have read it just the same way you did:' is fine if you have the domain knowledge that the question requires. If not, then you might alter the meaning. –  AsheeshR Dec 28 '12 at 11:31
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Maybe. But titles such as "Is this undefined behavior?" and "Can I ignore this gcc warning?" are just plain useless for future visitors, and the author is to blame for that. At that point I could either downvote, or interpret the English text and improve. Of course, when in true doubt, don't edit. But I disagree about "go ahead only if you believe your edit is completely justified". –  Arjan Dec 28 '12 at 11:43
    
If you can't actually figure out what the "this" in a title is referring to, then it's probably a candidate for editing, or so I felt in these two cases. I felt stronger about the edits because the body contained a very specific question that I could copy verbatim, so I wasn't guessing at the meaning, just using their own words to make the title clear. –  aculich Dec 28 '12 at 11:59
    
@aculich I am not referring to specifically these two cases. Your edits are fine here. I am making a more general point. –  AsheeshR Dec 28 '12 at 12:01

Yes, you should if the title is Too vague and As long as it helps the OP find better answers and does not alter the meaning of the post..

Also, it should be avoided for low quality posts because it's no good to flood moderator queue with low quality edits..

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