What is the title standard check based on? Length is the only criteria apparently.

I made the title "evangelism vs evangelicalism?", it would not allow me to post, saying it does not meet your "quality standards", whatever that is, the pop up gave no indication of what I need to do to meet your ambiguous or probably non existent guidelines, then I changed the "vs" to "versus", nope.

Then I added some random letters on of the home row, so the title becomes

"evangelism vs evangelicalism? aoeutsnhaoeusnthaoesunthaoesntu"

Then the title serendipitously it met your sanctimonious "quality standards", which obviously contain only one criterion, and that's length apparently.

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    Why didn't you just try asking "What's the difference between evangelism and evangelicalism?" That's actually a real question and unless your illiterate, doesn't really take much longer to read than your original title. – fredsbend Aug 6 '15 at 4:29
  • Sanctimonious? You should go blow the sand from your nooks and crannies. – Won't Aug 6 '15 at 19:12

There are other criteria, but length is a pretty big indicator of a lousy title in the absence of anything else that would indicate a good one.

In this case, you didn't bother capitalizing anything, and wrote all of three words... One of which you abbreviated. Ideally, you'd have put something else meaningful in your title - say, the question you wanted to ask - instead of gibberish, but as it stands you were at least successful in communicating your complete lack of patience, something that may also be useful to those who read your question.

In a perfect world, the quality-checker would be carefully tailored to each site's topic and would interpret such nonsense as a clear sign of bad faith on the site in which you were posting. But in this one, we have to allow for titles on sites for programming and SciFi, where it is conceivable that those random letters might actually mean something and/or be the name of a major character. So it goes...

  • My questions was about the differences between two words, three words is enough to convey what I need to ask in the title. The title should be succinct and parsimonious. Ever heard of Ockham's razor? – Ben Aug 6 '15 at 3:14
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    If occam's razor were to suggest we allow anything - up to and including "question" - as the title for questions, assuming that all will be revealed to those willing to click through... Then we might as well dispense with titles entirely. Incidentally, you've now spent much more time and effort and words explaining what you meant by that terse title than you would've just writing a full sentence to start with. – Shog9 Aug 6 '15 at 3:22
  • Are the criteria publicized anywhere or are they kept secret to avoid issues? I'm curious because I'm sure I've seen shorter question titles than the one at issue here and I wondered what the length requirements are. – Catija Aug 6 '15 at 4:14
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    @Catija If I were designing it, it would be an algorithm that accounts for character length, word count, repeat words, lack of caps, lack of a question mark, and excessive punctuation. In this case, my algorithm would see a near repeat word, only three words, no question mark, no caps, and a period right in the middle. That would certainly count as bad in my book. – fredsbend Aug 6 '15 at 4:27
  • @fredsbend And how does adding "asntaehuosaehtusnta" without fixed any mentioned disqualifying characteristics suddenly makes the title acceptable? I tell you, the system is dilapidated. – Ben Aug 6 '15 at 4:33
  • @fredsbend So, as an example, what about this? – Catija Aug 6 '15 at 4:36
  • @Kuromusha There's a lot of SE sites and "asntaehuosaehtusnta" may be a real word for all we know (e.g. some character's name, some obscure physics term, an archaic English word). But if "evangelism vs evangelicalism? aoeutsnhaoeusnthaoesunthaoesntu" was exactly the title that it would take, then I agree there's something wrong because of the question mark placement and near duplicate words. But I didn't design the engine that checks titles. – fredsbend Aug 6 '15 at 4:41
  • @Shog9 Though I suspect your answer will be mostly the same, I've asked the question in an appropriate way: Did the title quality checker fail in this circumstance? Can it be improved? – fredsbend Aug 6 '15 at 5:00

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