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Of course when authors write papers they make the title intentionally colorful to generate interest (e.g. Let's get deranged! by John C.Baez). Should this practice be avoided in main even if the user adds background, motivation or appropriate research in the full question?

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    $\begingroup$ As with titles of articles, I would say; we want the titles to be informative. But it is generally difficult to come up with a good colorful/pun title. Most attempts fall flat, and I suspect the same would end up being true in the main site... $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Dec 15 '11 at 6:52
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    $\begingroup$ I actually think that boring, uninformative titles are a more common problem on this site. You know, threads like "A combinatorics problem", "Calculus Help" and ilk. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Dec 15 '11 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin I agree that there is also a risk of the questions being ill-formed especially if one runs amok with puns. $\endgroup$ – user18325 Dec 15 '11 at 7:22
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M. It would be then be a matter of...ready for this?... moderation. In all seriousness, while questions such as: Can one both have and eat his pi? dealing with, say, 'non-constructive proof of irrationality of pi' may add the needed gloss/advertisement esp. to outsiders of the field, it would also open up many meaningless, soft, phil. questions? $\endgroup$ – user18325 Dec 15 '11 at 7:22
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    $\begingroup$ It's a bit hard to speculate, I'd say. Like I said, most titles here are pedestrian (which is fine) or uninformative (not so fine). $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Dec 15 '11 at 7:29
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I wouldn't worry about it in general; at worst, the title could be changed. As opposed to an article published in a journal, if it does fall flat it is easy to change the title.

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They should be used when they help the reader understand something; they should be avoided when they distract from the topic. Thus ''Hearing the Shape of a Drum'' (a famous paper) helps the reader understand what the topic is about.

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