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I am constantly annoyed when people frame comments as questions. Hence on Stack Overflow where it says:

How to Ask
Is your question about programming?

It's actually not a question. What it should say is something like:

How to Ask
Your question must be about programming.

And then you could add to that, I guess, with something like, "otherwise use Super User, Server Fault, or Experts' Exchange."

[I'm kidding with the Experts' Exchange thing, of course]

No wonder we get so many non-programming questions on Stack Overflow. For many non-native English speakers, that question-as-comment thing is hard to grok. ("Why did you hack their server?" = "You should not have hacked their server.".)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm personally not feeling the world's end supernova difference between

Is your question about programming?


Your question must be about programming.

I don't really have a preference either way -- but I strongly suspect a person who can't figure out the former is not going to figure out the latter any easier.

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World's end supernova no, but the question form does not actually express what we WANT. It just asks a question. "Is your question about programming? We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed." Do we prefer programming questions? – Dan Rosenstark Aug 29 '09 at 9:44
I meant, "we prefer programming questions." :) – Dan Rosenstark Aug 29 '09 at 9:47
I understand yar's concern as its an "advanced" english structure. I myself understand its meaning, but could see many of the "sorry by bad inlish" people could have problems with it. And they are going to be coming here more and more. You need to know english to be a good programmer, but the world is full of us, mediocre programmers. – perbert Aug 29 '09 at 11:27

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