(Especially new) users often use redundant tags in the title redundantly. In fact, by far the most common edit reason I use a the moment is “removed tag from title”. There’s a consensus that tags don’t belong in the title (see Using tags in question titles) – common sense also dictates this: in general, repeating tags in the title serves no purpose.

Is there a way of educating (new) users not to do this? For instance, could Stack Overflow not recognise when somebody starts or ends their title with “in X” (or worse, just plain “X”), where “X” is also used as a tag?

(And yes, I realise the irony of repeating two of my tags in the title – but the alternative title “Discourage use of in” simply didn’t have such a nice ring to it.)

Addendum: I’ve just found that Jeff Atwood explicitly encourages some of this use, e.g.

How do I tell what OS I am running on in Python?

… I actually disagree. Given that this question is tagged , I fail to see what “… in Python” adds to the question title, and I think that Jeff’s answer isn’t thought through very well: his remaining points are decidedly dodgy, as has been pointed out in the comments.

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    "in X" is actually considered acceptable in some cases. It is when the title starts with the tag and does not read like a sentence does it incur the wrath of John Saunders. – psubsee2003 Sep 4 '13 at 11:44
  • Of course this is not to detract from Old Pro’s answer here: meta.stackexchange.com/a/179969/1968 – Konrad Rudolph Sep 4 '13 at 11:44
  • @psubsee2003 Well, this very question shows an acceptable case. But “in many cases” – here I disagree. Most uses that I see are really just redundant and add nothing. And the question you link to is a bad example since its title still starts with a redundant tag. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 4 '13 at 11:45
  • Fair point, I edited my comment to say "some cases" instead. I don't disagree with this point, but I just wanted to mention the exceptions that are sometimes considered acceptable, – psubsee2003 Sep 4 '13 at 11:47
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    Just a gentle reminder like avoid tags in title is enough.. if system finds tags in questions.. IMHO... – CRUSADER Sep 4 '13 at 11:52
  • @CRUSADER Yes, clearly automatic removal doesn’t work in these cases. I’m not advocating that, rather a message such as suggested by you. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 4 '13 at 11:57
  • As far as i know are title of questions unique in the whole system and i think new user will then, if the title already exists, add a keyword (tag) to the title to give their question a unique name. – Jehof Sep 4 '13 at 12:05
  • "in Python" adds context for people coming from Google. If I need a Python solution, I might skip over a link to "How do I tell what OS I am running on?" (Unrelated: Damn, we have a lot of duplicates of that question.) – Bill the Lizard Sep 4 '13 at 13:27
  • @Bill But “Python” will be added to the title for SEO purposes anyway! So now the Google user sees “Python - How do I tell what OS I am running on in Python?” – to be honest, that’s one of my main reasons for opposing tags in titles. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 4 '13 at 13:53
  • "Python" is added in the title attribute of the document if it doesn't already exist in the title. If it does, another tag is chosen for SEO. i.stack.imgur.com/8Yp8J.png – Bill the Lizard Sep 4 '13 at 19:09
  • @Bill Still, I don’t think artificially adding the tag to the title offers a benefit for search engine users. Either way you see the involved technology. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 4 '13 at 19:15
  • Many many duplicates – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 4 '13 at 12:31

The system already detects the use of tags in titles to some extent because the most popular tag is added to the question title in search engines, but the tag is omitted if it already appears in the title.

The same logic could be applied to creating an automatic John Saunders. John is famous for a canned comment:

Welcome to Stack Overflow! I have edited your title. Please see, "Should questions include “tags” in their titles?", where the consensus is "no, they should not".

A variation of this canned comment, suggesting the OP edit their title to remove the tags, can be put on any post where the system detects the presence of the most popular tag in the title.

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    +1 for "Automatic John Saunders" – Mansfield Sep 4 '13 at 12:19
  • Automatic...?? how will this work anyway.. Welcome to Stack Overflow! I have edited your title. for questions which makes less sense without those keywords.. – CRUSADER Sep 4 '13 at 12:28
  • @CRUSADER generally speaking, when the most popular tag is included in the title, it isn't necessary. But I didn't mean to imply that the editing should be automatic and I have corrected that. – psubsee2003 Sep 4 '13 at 12:31
  • I think an "Automatic John Saunders" is what we need very badly. Like 90 % of my edits and comments are related to removing tags repeated in question titles. – Ondrej Tucny Jan 2 '14 at 21:56

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