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So new users are encouraged to ask their most likely separate question as a, you know, separate question.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Question marks are a horrible indication of this kind of thing. Despite all intuitive sense, they aren't required to make a question, so it still won't catch those who just don't use it.

But importantly, there are users who may posit questions in their answers. Not a question to the site, but generally directed at the question asker. For example, if someone asks about using one kind of parser, an effective answer might begin with "Have you tried using this XML parsing method?". It may also begin with "You should try this XML parsing method", but the former version is neither invalid, nor is it treating the site like a forum. It's simply how a user might approach answering a problem, and how they want to express the answer.

Giving a warning to low reputation users for using a mere question mark would subsequently make the experience extraordinarily confusing.

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What about users who often use hypotheticals? This would interfere with their rhetorical style. –  devinb Jun 16 '10 at 14:54
    
maybe add a scan for "too"? Yes, I see your point, but is a hoverbox like "Is the question you are posing potentially a new question?" really so bad? –  Tobias Kienzler Jun 16 '10 at 14:54
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@devinb often suggests that this user has already gained some rep, say 50 or 100, and therefore wouldn't be bothered anymore. It could also be a one-time reminder. –  Tobias Kienzler Jun 16 '10 at 14:55
    
@Tobias A hoverbox like that is bad when it has extreme opportunity to confuse new users who are posting legitimate answers. It's already problematic in asking questions: I can't use "you" without being warned that I'm asking something subjective, when the question may be "How do you distinguish a SharePoint file update as being from a file upload?". Putting it in answers will make it that much more of an aggravating experience that may cost us good users. –  Grace Note Jun 16 '10 at 14:58
    
@ccomet I haven't noticed that feature before you pointed it out and I'm sure that gets annoying after a while. For this reason my request is for low-rep users how are really likely to be new to the system, e.g. at SU there are so many "I have a similar problem with [other OS version], can you help me?" answers which could possibly be reduced that way –  Tobias Kienzler Jun 16 '10 at 15:03
    
@ccomet Of course it won't catch all, but still better than none –  Tobias Kienzler Jun 16 '10 at 15:04
    
@Tobias Single-token detection is simply unfit for this purpose. The majority of tokens that can be used to indicate that an answer would be better off as a new question can be commonly found in legitimate answers and are never necessary when proposing false answers. You may be able to reduce the amount, but this double-edged implementation is pretty much equally likely to make the first few reputation of a user extremely uncomfortable. –  Grace Note Jun 16 '10 at 15:08
    
Not all answers have to be in declarative form, and sometimes examples of questions are useful in illuminating the issues surrounding a complex issue. I agree with ccomet. –  sysadmin1138 Jun 16 '10 at 17:08

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