It was pointed out to me in this comment that the question's title boxes in the main site display the message: "What's your math question? Be specific."

I think it is consensual in the community that the title shouldn't at all act as the first line of a question.

Some questions make for awful titles.

For these reasons I think that message should be changed.

My suggestion is something along the lines of "Give a descriptive title for the question".

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    $\begingroup$ Should feature request be a tag here? $\endgroup$
    – Git Gud
    May 22, 2014 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if this change would not lead to increase of the number of titles like 'Combinatorics question'... $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    May 22, 2014 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ ...And I think that a good title indeed should contain (the essence of) the question. In particular, IMHO, the linked question's title is (not spectacular, of course, but) OK. $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    May 22, 2014 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @GrigoryM I guess this question is the place to optimize the message box. But as it is, it's my opinion that it is really bad because "some questions make for awful titles". $\endgroup$
    – Git Gud
    May 22, 2014 at 18:56
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    $\begingroup$ I think it is consensual in the community that the title shouldn't at all act as the first line of a question. I actually don't mind this at all, as long as the title is descriptive and specific. Is there a thread you can point to where community consensus has been reached? $\endgroup$
    – 6005
    May 23, 2014 at 6:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Goos I don't mind either, if the title is good. (Isn't this clear from my question?) But lots of people use it as a way to replace the first line of a question. I don't have a thread to support my claim, but I have this google search of me repeatedly telling users not use the title as the first line of their question, often getting many up votes and never being contested up until the linked question . $\endgroup$
    – Git Gud
    May 23, 2014 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ I should not have to read the title of a question to understand the question. I, for one, exceedingly dislike reading the question and saying "This doesn't make sense at all! Where do they define ____?", only to find that some necessary information is found solely in the title. I don't mind the title being a copy of the first line of the question (so long as it is descriptive), but I do mind if the title replaces the first line. $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    May 25, 2014 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


This can't be done. There's a preset string that describes every site, and that gets fed into the title box. Some pseudocode:

print("What's your %@ question? Be specific.", site.descriptionStr);

This has come up on several other sites I participate on, and although it would be nice in some cases (because it ends up sounding kind of awkward), it's not something that can be done with the way the system is currently set up.


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