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Commonly, you see questions that state the problem (in very bad, lowercase Engrish) followed (or proceeded) by (lowercase) "c#". Can we do something about this?

Maybe ban C# from titles? is sufficient to indicate you're working with C#.

It's worth noting that this problem isn't specific to C#. It's just the most common one (from my perspective) at this time. Maybe ban programming languages from being in the title? We don't need "reading xml file php" with a question that screams encoding error. What we need is titles like "Possible encoding error while reading XML file". The tag of is sufficient to indicate it's for PHP.

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marked as duplicate by Cody Gray, gnat, yhw42, Tobias Kienzler, Jim Jul 21 '13 at 15:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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If the language name is included fluently in the natural language of the question, it's perfectly suitable to keep. Having a definite ban is not the right way to go, in my opinion. –  J. Steen Jul 21 '13 at 9:56
    
@JSteen I'm not suggesting a total ban, but I'm suggesting that we do something about it. I'm open to suggestions. –  Cole Johnson Jul 21 '13 at 9:57
    
Well, do what then? You've suggested a ban (second paragraph ;), which you obviously aren't comfortable with. So, did you have something else in mind that might actually spark a discussion to begin with? =) –  J. Steen Jul 21 '13 at 9:59
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I guess they just think those who can't see sharp will miss the tag –  gnat Jul 21 '13 at 10:00
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@gnat Ouch. That's bad. –  J. Steen Jul 21 '13 at 10:00
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@J.Steen It's not unprecedented. –  Cody Gray Jul 21 '13 at 10:06
    
@CodyGray Never said it wasn't. =) –  J. Steen Jul 21 '13 at 10:07
    
@JSteen I suggested banning. I didn't say we had to. –  Cole Johnson Jul 21 '13 at 16:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Banning words from titles is not the answer. We've experimented with that already, and it's been downright infuriating if not an abject failure.

Besides, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to have "tag" words in a title. Good titles work those words into the question organically. This has been discussed before.

The only problem is when they tack them uselessly onto the beginning or the end. I can only assume that this practice comes from people emulating the system-generated page titles, to which the name of the most popular tag (well, basically) is prefixed along with a dash. Like how this question, with a good title:

Can I reliably turn a string literal into a symbol name using templates (or fancy macros)?

becomes

c++ - Can I reliably turn a string literal into a symbol name using templates (or fancy macros)?

Apparently, this is done for SEO reasons, although there is some recent debate about whether this is even helpful.

So if we're stuck with the system-generated titles, how do we fix this problem? The same way we fix all other problems with post content: edits. Trusted users can make unlimited edits to posts, and users who still have their editor training wheels on can suggest edits for community approval. These are a great way to remove those pesky tags from titles, and improve the title while you're at it. Not only are you improving the site, you even stand to gain a reputation boost if your suggestions are approved.

There are established community standards for this already that are strongly in favor of removing these title warts:

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