Almost every day on Stack Overflow I see new questions with word "question" in the title. Few example:

I don't know why it's so necessary for some people to add this to their titles, and I'm not sure if this annoying for anybody except me. I personally see this as useless noise in the title.

To show that this is not just a few cases, I create a simple query in the Data Explorer, which shows that there are 21,262 posts with question in the title, so it's a pretty widely used pattern.


Look at this search of a new posts on the Stack Overflow - and tell that this it not looks utterly evil..wait you think that is ok, so looks on this one(I just found this pattern). What's my point!? Some words should just be black listed from the tittles - noob, newbie, (feel free to add yours), and there should be some rules which could 100% sure tell that "question" word is simply noisy. E.g. title consists from only two words one of them is a tag, and other is a "question". In this case system should tell user that his title makes unicorns cry.

  • 6
    But your post has the word question in the title. ;)
    – jonsca
    Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 23:52
  • 2
    nice catch) this is prove that the solution for this problem will not be just easy blacklisting this word
    – Igor Milla
    Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 23:57
  • There's a minimum length for a title: "That title is too short to be useful. Can you add some more detail?" Unfortunately not everyone understands the hint.
    – user138231
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 0:15
  • You edit them and fix the title.
    – user1228
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 14:21

2 Answers 2


My suggestion is to check the title before submitting it to the system, and hint the user somehow that it's not welcome to add noisy words to the title.

There's already a hint:

what's your programming question? be specific.

Some folks can't take a hint. A lot of folks don't really seem to know what they're asking until after they ask it, or after other folks answer, or perhaps decades later, in their death-bed, memories of a rich life washing over them as consciousness fades.

Point being, I think it'll take more than a hint... Perhaps,

still too subtle

  • oh why?! why we don't have team of SO cats to check all new question) but seriously there could be at least some regex for the two words tittle where question is one of the words
    – Igor Milla
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 11:18

Feel positively free to edit the question, update the title and glance at the body.

While it won't help the chronic "question" asker, if you target new questions then some of the new users will see that there's a better way to phrase their title.

I know I hate seeing "Edited" on my posts, and try to see what I could do better when I do see one.

  • I'm trying to do this, but sometimes when you have no, or just a little experience on the topic, it's not easy to put correct title, in these cases, I put some comments to the OP, to be more specific and put good titles, sometimes that works
    – Igor Milla
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 11:13
  • @igormilla I'm sure that's true, because I've had the same problem. If I can't word the question in the title, I definitely don't understand the post, or it has serious issues (with the former being more likely). In those cases I leave them alone and move on to the rest of the overly large pile or flag it and let a moderator decide if it's in serious need of attention.
    – Stephen
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 12:38

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