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If I write a post with a title ending in an exclamation mark, it gets replaced with a question mark. That makes sense for Stack Overflow, but less so for Meta sites, since posts there are not necessarily questions.

Please disable that filter for meta sites, or at least don't apply it on the second try.

17
  • 7
    Why do you need to have a title end in an exclamation mark!
    – user149432
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 19:50
  • 4
    @Mark: E.g. if the title ends in "Eeeeek!". Even though most such titles probably would be better without the exclamation mark, it doesn't make sense to suddenly change it into a question mark.
    – user157130
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 19:56
  • 3
    Yeah, better to block the question even than change it I would think ... a lot of cases where that doesn't make sense.
    – user154510
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 19:58
  • 12
    @Tim The canonical form is "EEEEEK! Blah blah blah?" so an exclamation point is only needed in the middle.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 19:58
  • 1
    @Adam: I see. What if the intended original was "Eeeek! Blah blah blah!"? We'll never know.
    – user157130
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:01
  • @Tim All questions have to be in the form of a question?
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:06
  • 10
    I'm not even sure how it makes sense on SO; I wasn't aware that that filter existed. You can't turn an arbitrary sentence into a question by appending a question mark; the hit rate is probably even worse for sentences that end in exclamation points Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:08
  • 2
    I'd suggest using the !? comic book idiom: Blah blah blah. Eeeeek!?. (Only on meta, of course, this would get edited/downvoted rather quickly on SO.) Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:09
  • 1
    @Frédéric I just tried it on this question and it was edited out, so they've taken care of that case, apparently.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:15
  • 7
    I personally like the idea of a title like "Where did my X go? Eeeek?"
    – Nicole
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:16
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    Now that I think of it, we're not going far enough with the current filter. Proper capitalization is also important in a good question, we should fix that too. I'd also suggest randomly inserting commas every few words and replacing all instances of Jon Skeet with The Best Among Us All or He Who Must Not Be Named, at your discretion. Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:23
  • 3
    I am resisting the urge to edit the title: Pleaseǃ removeǃ theǃ s/?/!/ titleǃ filterǃ fromǃ Metaǃ
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:39
  • 1
    @Adam It would sound silly with all those retroflex clicks.
    – user157130
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:41
  • 1
    @Tim I prefer to enunciate ! as BANG
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 20:43
  • 4
    Yahoo!.stackoverflow.com! might! have! problems!
    – Flexo
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 22:42

4 Answers 4

33

You can end your question with ǃ U+01C3 (Latin Letter Retroflex Click). I once wanted to end a question with a period so I had to resort to a Japanese period。

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  • 1
    I don't think people are going to take too kindly to your figuring out ways to skirt the system... Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 8:16
  • 25
    This is a mostly developer community. If there is a workaround we will find it. Down vote all you want.
    – bkaid
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 18:25
  • 12
    +1 This is such a bizarre feature, it needs a workaround.
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 21:31
  • 12
    I recommend using '‼' U+203C DOUBLE EXCLAMATION MARK instead‼ The more, the merrier‼‼‼‼ Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 2:24
  • Unfortunately the retroflex click and Japanese period show up as boxes in Opera Mini on my phone. But @Mechanical snail's double exclamation mark works.
    – Hugo
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 8:19
  • 1
    Pretty sad that Opera Mini doesn't support unicode.
    – bkaid
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 15:03
  • 2
    @OffBySome: Since U+203C works, it probably supports Unicode but just doesn't come with a font containing the other 2 characters. Commented Oct 8, 2011 at 4:41
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Give a warning when the site is going to change something I typed. I almost missed it and I was never aware of this feature. That's from a usability point of view. Same reason I hate iPad's auto suggestion feature where it overwrites what I typed unless I tell it NOT to do it.

SE changes '!' changes to '?' in title

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    I agree. A machine should not try to pretend it's smarter than a human unless it actually is smarter than a human.
    – Marti
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 22:26
2

Somewhere along the line this restriction was dropped! I think the only site that still filters it is Stack Overflow main! Now you can stop retroflex clicking like you're speaking ǃXóõ!

-7

The canonical form is "EEEEEK! Blah blah blah?" so an exclamation point is only needed in the middle.

And yes this -- and by this I mean conversion of the title "foo bar baz!" to "foo bar baz?" -- is intentional.

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    That's a weird choice. I totally understand removing the ! altogether, but I'm not sure I follow the logic in converting it to a ?. There's more to an interrogative sentence than the punctuation mark at the end. Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 8:17
  • 8
    Was there really a torrent of harmful questions that ended in ! and that are significantly improved by having a ? instead? Is this not taking all this filtering stuff a step too far?
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 21:37
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    We find that exclamation points at the end of titles are a distraction! No question is so urgent it "needs" an exclamation point in the title! So this conversion is definitely by design! In fact I can't recall ever seeing a "valid" question title with an exclamation point at the end! In every case it was better either left out or converted to a question mark! I think you'll agree if you look at the historical titles! Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 21:51
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    Hmmm.... I guess I can see the point. I'm not sure whether converting is ideal, though? Would it not be an option making it a submission-blocking message á la "please do not end question titles with exclamation marks"?
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 21:55
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    @jeff OK change the '!' but let the user KNOW you did it. Don't treat your users like naives who always need hand holding. A suggestion: don't let the post go through and notify the user they need to change it. The same way you block posts with very words in them (don't know what the limit is) Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 22:35
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    What if I wanted to ask about "More efficient way to calculate N!"?
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 0:01
  • Or "Should I use safe-bool or overloaded operator!"?
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 14:08
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    @JeffAtwood You realize that changing your sentence to "We find that exclamation points at the end of titles are a distraction?" doesn't make it better, right? Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 16:49

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