Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

For the "unclear what you're asking" hold reason, the lack of quotation marks makes the phrasing in the "on hold" box confusing and awkward:

enter image description here

put on hold as unclear what you're asking by definitely made me read twice (I expect that for people new to the site, and not used to seeing close reasons, it would seem like broken English or even spam). Adding quotation marks, to make it put on hold as "unclear what you're asking" by makes more immediate sense to me. Another alternative is to italicize the close reason or otherwise distinguish it from the rest of the text.

As animuson noted in the comments, the simplest solution might be to shorten "unclear what you're asking" to simply "unclear": "what you're asking" seems unnecessary, and no other hold reason uses "you" in the title.

share|improve this question
I think that's the only close reason that doesn't really make sense in the context it's put in, and I don't really like the way it's worded anyways. I'd much rather shorten it to one or two words; perhaps just see "unclear" there. The "what you're asking" part seems so redundant and useless, like it was only put there to make the reason read longer. – animuson Jun 25 '13 at 17:53
Perhaps an additional improvement would be to provide some specific wording for each reason: "Put on hold because it is unclear what you are asking." – George Cummins Jun 25 '13 at 17:53
"If this close reason can be reworded to fit the context, please post on meta." (Which is what you've done here of course, but I'm just trying to be clever.) – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 26 '13 at 17:15
I agree - it's pretty awkward. Lemme think on this for a bit and I'll come back with a proposal for corrections. – Adam Lear Jun 27 '13 at 15:47
I think the other ones are pretty awkward, too. "Put on hold as off-topic" doesn't sound like English unless you mentally translate "put on hold" to "closed", which defeats the point. George Cummins' preferred "because" wording would be better for all of them. – ruakh Jun 30 '13 at 0:03
or replace that as with a colon. put on hold: unclear what you're asking – roippi Dec 16 '13 at 18:06

They should definitely come up with specific phrases for each hold reason as George Cummins pointed out. I would go with a combination of animuson's and George's answer:

Put on hold because it is unclear.

share|improve this answer
My issues with this suggestion are a) The pronoun "it" doesn't have an antecedent ("This question was put on hold because it..." would be better), and b) This would likely be a more involved implementation for the development team, while just changing the reason from "unclear what you're asking" to "unclear" sounds like a smaller change. – David Robinson Dec 23 '13 at 17:22
@DavidRobinson, while I'm fine with just the change to "unclear", I think the antecedent is given by context. – Lance Roberts Dec 23 '13 at 17:23

In regards to the point made by David Robinson in Lance Roberts' answer (that of adding the specific context of "This question" to the note), I am not opposed to something like this:

This question has been put on hold because it is unclear

Or possibly

This question is on hold because it is unclear

share|improve this answer

This might be better

Put on hold because of being unclear.

share|improve this answer
Well, that is unclear to me. – Patrick Hofman Apr 9 '14 at 15:55
More like equally awkward. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 9 '14 at 16:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .