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Why are some questions marked as duplicate?

Once the question is closed as a duplicate, these comments are deleted and the duplicate information is automatically edited into the question itself. Some duplicate questions may eventually be deleted, but often they are left as a signpost pointing people towards the canonical answer to that question.

Duplicate info is no longer added into the body, it's a banner at the top now.


What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?

If you're simply unsure about the validity of the closure, the best place to ask is on the community's meta site. Asking in the meta site allows those who took the action to comment, and will help others to learn about the issues being discussed. You can find a link to a site's meta in the two place in every site's top bar: under the "help" menu in the upper right, and in the Stack Exchange site switcher in the upper left.

Should be "two places" (no the either).


What are tags, and how should I use them?

Each question may only contain 5 tags at a maximum, so choose the ones that best describe your question. Spaces are not allowed in tags – create compound tags using hyphens rather than spaces (like [visual-studio]) rather than multiple tags separated by spaces ([visual] [studio]).

The [tagname] looks like tags need [] around them. Maybe use the markup?

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  • Hm, how could this stay unnoticed till now?
    – nicael
    Jul 5, 2015 at 21:53
  • 3
    @nicael hmm no-one reads the help center? :P like I haven't for 3 years!? (and I'm now going through it). And screenshotted it!
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2015 at 21:53
  • Got that one right. ;) I wonder how many people who'll be reading this question have visited help center later than a year ago.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 5, 2015 at 22:10
  • 2
    "the two place" should be replaced by "two places". Jul 5, 2015 at 22:34

1 Answer 1

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I've fixed the issues you pointed out with those first two help center pages (/help/duplicates and /help/reopen-questions) network-wide.

I've also made substantial updates to the former (the duplicates help page) to correct other inaccuracies and bring it up to date. Please take a look at the updated help center article to make sure it's accurate.


As for the tags help page (/help/tagging), I don't think that is really an issue. If a user does try to use brackets in tags, they just get ignored anyway. The "How to Format" section of that article immediately below the portion you quoted also says to avoid punctuation in tags anyway, so it seems unlikely that a user will think that brackets are required.

In addition, I don't think using the tag link markup there (e.g. if you type [tag:this-is-a-test], it creates a link to the page ) would be an improvement. It seems like it would just create more confusion, as then people (on non-SO sites) would inevitably try to click on those links and then be confused about why there's a link to a nonexistent tag page on their site. (Judging from the preview I see below the editor on that help center page, it doesn't look like the tag link markup works on help center pages anyway.)

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    "Please take a look at the updated help center article"... challenge accepted! 1) Plurality issue for sites with one-vote close; second bullet point starts "It takes 1 close votes ..." 2) Redundant "In general" from right before "the original question generally ..." 3) Your official policy says to use Oxford commas but one is omitted in "replace, add, remove or rearrange". Yes, I annoyed my friends copy-editing their essays to pieces, why do you ask? :)
    – bobble
    Jan 22, 2022 at 3:45
  • @bobble: For #1, that's not really worth fixing. The only way to fix it would be to add a site-specific override of that article for each site that requires only 1 vote to close (I'm not sure whether there are any others besides Hardware Recs), but doing so would mean that future changes to the network-wide version of that help center article wouldn't automatically propagate to the site-specific overrides of that article. Something would really need to have a strong justification (not just a pluralization "bug") for us to create such a site-specific override.
    – V2Blast
    Jan 24, 2022 at 16:38
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    (Also, the relevant phrase in #1 wasn't changed in my edit to the article.) For #2, good call; I meant to remove the "generally" when I added "In general" to the start of the page". #3: I love Oxford commas; one of the assorted fixes I've made to help center articles recently was to add them as needed, and I've now added it here too. (I had copied part of that line from the post I linked in that sentence of the article.) And I'm the same way... Except now I copyedit all the documentation I get my hands on :P
    – V2Blast
    Jan 24, 2022 at 16:43
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