Lately I have come across several questions where the users have posted code that has trivial syntax errors such as missing a semicolon ;.

And I got a feeling that it is not that they have not got it if they have reviewed their questions once before posting on SO.

I want to flag them low quality but since the language defining this term goes something like this severe content problems..., I am never sure if I am flagging correctly.

So, first, should such trivial mistakes considered low quality and if yes, I think the definition for low quality should be modified a bit!

These made me lose my temper today: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10836299/c-reading-if-char-being-typed-is-in-array-and-printing-something-else and https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10883318/else-is-unexpected

  • 3
    That's not "very low quality", that's a typo. Comment and ask them to fix it, or edit minor things in yourself. Trivial mistakes do not a poor answer make.
    – Ry-
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 3:29
  • Note that the flag is not "low quality", it's "very low quality". The former feels a whole lot different than the latter. Even if I hadn't read the extended description you mention above, I'd know that a missing semicolon doesn't qualify. Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 3:47
  • I think asking them to fix it is ok as if I edit the question that is the solution.
    – Ankit
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 3:48
  • Related: When to use the flag "low quality"?
    – Palec
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


A "Very Low Quality" question is one that cannot be salvaged by editing. That means that the quality problems are so severe that you can't figure out what the OP's intent is.

Raising a flag is akin to requesting a close. As irate as I get over spelling and grammatical errors (they are an indicator of laziness if they occur too frequently), they are seldom a valid reason to close, unless they make the question unintelligible.

  • is there an alternative way to deal with such mistakes as missing semicolons or it is a burden destined for reviewers and moderators. :P
    – Ankit
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 3:46
  • If it doesn't change the meaning of the question, @Ankit (maybe the missing semicolon is the cause of all the OP's problems, after all), then fix it! Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 3:48
  • Hi Robert, I think it is important to recognize that sometimes spelling and grammar issues are due to language barriers/education/opportunities and are not always an indicator of laziness. If the person is from a native English speaking country, then I'm inclined to agree; otherwise, it may be because he/she is doing the best he/she can. I want to emphasize that we should all use judgement when reviewing posts with these particular issues, as I've seen some of them turn around into decent questions with some editing.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 5:28

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