I had asked this one the Meta SE before, however due to many titles involving code from SO, it was not taken too lightly. I am going to reform this question and ask it here as it is really mostly relevant here.

When a user is submitting a question, just as the 'bad title' pop up comes up, another pop up, which tells the user that their first letter in the sentence is not capital (upper case).

There is literally no reason why a title should not start with a capital letter. The only reasons I can think of are:

  • If the title starts with math. In which case is bad practice anyway however this is a separate issue.

The benefits of this is that many questions are in need of edits however only have the first letter of the title to be capitalised. This will save editing time for users and keep the site cleaner in a non-harmful way.


2 Answers 2


many questions are in need of edits however only have the first letter of the title to be capitalised

In fact [if that's the only problem] they are not in need of edit. I see that you're bringing old questions on the front page (both on Main and on Meta) by just capitalising the first letter in the title (or just adding one word before math). Please stop — IMO, such edits are more annoying than useful.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I agree, except when the title is all TeX, because of reasons elaborated here. In such cases, editing may be warranted (though not too many at once). $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see how this answers my question? What I am proposing removes the need for such minor edits to be done by catching them out before hand. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 18:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And I disagree that such questions are not in need in edit. The the main priority of SE is to generate good quality questions and answers not be comfortable for users. I don't go hunting old questions for capitalisation. If I see a question on my screen that should have its title edited, I edit it. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ If you think it doesn't answer the question, consider this a separate meta post, related to your question. $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Am I editing too much? $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 18:48

This is an interesting idea, but it's already been considered and (sort of) declined on the SE Podcast #60: Are We That Predictable? They know that first-letter-lowercase correlates with a poor question, but decided against a warning message telling the user about it.

we don’t want to just tell people not to use certain words, because then they’re only learning not to say “thanks”, not how to write a good question.

(This is from the blog summary; someone says the same thing specifically about first-letter-lowercase during the podcast.) Rather, the idea is to use a combination of such signs so that

the low quality algorithm can flag your question to be sent to a review queue before it can show up on the homepage. [emphasis mine]

Until that happens...

  • If there is nothing else to improve in the post, I can live with the first-letter-lowercase; from some points of view it is not incorrect (a sentence fragment need not be capitalized).
  • If there is something else to improve, then I consider the uncapitalized title a useful warning sign. Similar to how URGENT in the title is a useful sign.

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