# Is 'Proper' English Required in Questions?

In a recent question, the poster used slang. When it was pointed out, his response was 'sorry, I'm from a the hood, tryna learn some math. You feel me'

My instinct was to take the OP for their word, no matter how high the probability that the OP was trolling. I looked around in Meta for a discussion of this, but found only a post encouraging proper English "to the best of the poster's ability."

My thoughts go this way--if the OP is not trolling (and that should be assumed until proven otherwise), then they would be discouraged when told to use 'Proper English' which would be a shame to me. If they really are struggling to learn math while facing difficult circumstances, encouragement or helpful direction on how to improve their question would seem more appropriate.

I'd be interested to hear other people's reactions.

• This question has it all to be closed for me. People should refrain from answering such questions but it is happening nonetheless. – Zaid Alyafeai Apr 29 '17 at 4:08
• Generically, our standards concern the desired final products of various aspects of this site. Ultimately, it would be best if all questions and answers consisted of proper English, and that is "what we expect." But often, passable questions and answers are improved in quality (both English and MathJax) by other users. Great! But it depends on the willingness of others to edit content. This willingness depends on each post, in sometimes intangible ways. I do not answer or edit very badly formatted content. I answer and edit passable content (according to whatever internal criteria I have). – davidlowryduda Apr 29 '17 at 6:37
• Makes sense. Of course everyone has different internal criteria. For me, the post I pointed to either was a troll or someone really trying to improve them self. I notice she or he posted another question with less slang in it, so I'm guessing the latter? – Arby Apr 29 '17 at 6:46
• Although it may be an aside, I have seen over fifty questions from a certain J. Doe, all accounts having single digit reputation and very few questions , and carrying all the hallmarks of a typical troll account (the earlier questions have been deleted). I think somebody should think of blacklisting this user(name) if it's the same person doing this over and over again. – астон вілла олоф мэллбэрг Apr 29 '17 at 6:56
• If that's true, I would agree. – Arby Apr 29 '17 at 8:53
• Let them use slang. But note: if you want an answer to your question, it is to your advantage to make the question as understandable as possible. – GEdgar Apr 29 '17 at 10:56
• @астонвіллаолофмэллбэрг We have dozens of users whose display name is (some variation of, different capitalisation, space or no space, dot or no dot) J. Doe. Many of those aren't trollish, others (also not few) are. Since (at least according to the movies) Jane/John Doe is how persons with unknown name are called in the USA, J. Doe is about the first that comes to mind if a user wants to remain anonymous but change the default userXYZ. – Daniel Fischer Apr 29 '17 at 12:29
• @ Daniel Fischer Thanks for that clarification. – Arby Apr 29 '17 at 12:36
• If you want the notification to work you must not insert a space after the @ @DanielFischer (no spaces) is the most correct form of notifying string. But @Daniel or even @Dan would also work (you need to match the start of the name though. So @Fischer or also @Danny would not work.) – quid Apr 29 '17 at 13:13
• @quid Although @Dan would work, I don't like that. I very very much prefer to be addressed by my name. – Daniel Fischer Apr 29 '17 at 13:16
• @DanielFischer Thank you for clarifying this. I intended it as a technical remark, using the instance at hand as example, not as a suggestion how to address you. – quid Apr 29 '17 at 13:29
• @quid Yes, I understand that. But just in case somebody thought it would be a good idea, I found it prudent to clarify that it isn't. – Daniel Fischer Apr 29 '17 at 13:33
• @DanielFischer I did not know about the fact that this is how people with unknown names are referred to in Hollywood movies (I don't watch Hollywood movies, Indian languages are more to my liking), so my apologies on that. However, the number of such accounts is staggering. I think I'll intimate you the next time I see two or three such questions one behind the other, because the quality of the questions coming from J.Doe is usually poor, but inevitably users with low reputation pounce on such questions and answer them. – астон вілла олоф мэллбэрг Apr 30 '17 at 3:23
• Keep in mind that corrections to spelling and capitalization are valid edits, at least as long as there is actually a tangible math problem underneath the overly casual original post. If not, the Question should presumably be flagged and closed anyway for "very low quality". – hardmath Apr 30 '17 at 4:20

It is near impossible to imagine circumstances in which the following is "to the best of the poster's ability."

trig problem using limit