I sometimes see people removing question marks from the end of the questions. Should question subjects have question mark at the end?


Does it matter?

The title of the question is just that - a title. It doesn't have to be a question.

If it can be interpreted as either a question or a description, then I don't have much of an opinion.

I wouldn't remove a question mark unless the title was not grammatically a question.

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Yes, if the subject/title is a question as well. There are a very large number of questions with titles that are not questions (highly voted example here). It just wouldn't make sense to stick a question mark at the end of that.

In the two edits you've linked, the titles are not questions, so they should not end with question marks.

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  • Why those titles aren't questions? They look like questions to me. Maybe, it's because my English isn't good enough – Andrei Botalov Oct 24 '12 at 19:30
  • It appears that in this case it is an English/translation issue. When a phrase is a question, it's inverted from its use as a subject/object (meaning the verb and subject are switched around). In other languages, these two are identical (no swap). This leads to non-native speakers using the non-question form of the phrase as a question. It's simpler (from an editing perspective) to remove the question mark and use the phrase as a title than it is to invert the phrase to form an actual question needing a question mark. – yoozer8 Oct 24 '12 at 19:48
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    @AndreyBotalov: To make this concrete, as questions those would be something like: "What should we do with badly written comments posted by other users?" and "How can I find the time spent inside loop?" – Jon Skeet Oct 24 '12 at 20:59

Questions in the English language end with a ?. If you don't end a sentence with a question mark, it is per definition of the language not a question. Internet didn't change this.

That being said, the title of a question post doesn't necessarily need to be a question.

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Strictly they should to keep to normal written English style. However I think that leaving them off on this site in a title is ok.

Either way editing just to remove or add the '?' is just not enough. If the edit was reviewed I would mark it as too minor (but then I see many edits approved where I have said it was too minor).

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    The only way to make an edit that minor is to have enough rep not to need your edits reviewed (otherwise the edit must add/change/remove at least six non white-space characters) – yoozer8 Oct 24 '12 at 18:10

It's an issue of style more than anything. Certainly, if you can express your issue in a succinct question that other users can view via the title, it's preferred. Having an identifiable title will help your question get attention on the front page, where there is no other description besides the tags.

However, if this is not possible, a descriptive summary of the subject/issue at hand works just as well. Remember, in the Questions tab, users can see N of the first characters of the question anyway.

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