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Following this question could it be added to the FAQ about writing in coherant english? I'm not trying to be a grammer/spelling nazi, and I realise that it does depend on location (i.e. colour/color) and english literacy levels but still...

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    Irony is misspelling the title of your post. Or perhaps proving that he's not a spelling/grammar nazi... s/coherant/coherent/i; Proper capitalization is optional too... – gWaldo Oct 12 '10 at 12:24
  • just testing! eh..damn. – tombull89 Oct 12 '10 at 20:22
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    Although as he says, he's not trying to be a spelling nazi. The rest of his post is coherent. – Stefan Lasiewski Oct 13 '10 at 0:35
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    In addition to coherent English I think proper capitalisation should also be required. Consider your own question title. – John Gardeniers Oct 13 '10 at 21:00
  • done, but it's one step missing a captial letter or having a spelling mistake compared to a question that needs two or three read-throughs to make sense. – tombull89 Oct 14 '10 at 7:51
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Personally I think that writing to the best of your ability is very obvious and adding notices all over the place really won't help.

Also, if someone doesn't know how to write well, how will telling them to write well help?

On the page to ask a question. The How to Ask already tells people to "Write clearly and simply."

A person needing to write a question that communicates what they want to the best of their ability seems too obvious to be added to the FAQ.

The how to ask page has links to several good articles that all try to make this point.

English not being the posters first language, should we really tolerate the level of illiteracy, sometimes deliberate, shown in some posts? I would assume a certain level of literacy would be require for any technical job. – John Gardeniers

So if you don't wish to tolerate it, you can choose to:

  • ignore it
  • add a comment asking the poster to fix their question
  • down-vote it
  • vote to close as not a real question. (It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.)
  • edit it and fix it

Are those options not enough for you, or did you think there was something else that needs to be part of the system to help weed out the bad questions?

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  • There is no vote to close as unclear option. Perhaps this should be added. As it stands the nearest option is to close as not a real question, which in many cases is quite inappropriate, as the question may well be real but written in a manner that makes it unreadable. – John Gardeniers Oct 18 '10 at 0:11
  • @John Gardeniers, sorry, I paraphrase the close reason. I was thinking of not a real question which has the description: It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. – Zoredache Oct 18 '10 at 3:09
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Taking a stab at it...

I'm going to guess that nothing to this effect to that will be added to the FAQ due to the fact that much of the world does not use English as a second language. Adding to that, many of the people who do, in fact, claim English as their primary (or only) language do so badly. And even the best among us make mistakes occasionally.

It could be mentioned in the FAQ that

if somebody asks for clarification, it's because your post is unclear, so don't get offended. This is the community trying to help you.

"Help us to help you."

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  • Yes, we do all make mistakes at times and I'm confident I make more than my share but, after making allowances for English not being the posters first language, should we really tolerate the level of illiteracy, sometimes deliberate, shown in some posts? I would assume a certain level of literacy would be require for any technical job. – John Gardeniers Oct 14 '10 at 21:45
  • I suppose that's what the Strunk & White and Copy Editor badges are for... Yes, I HATE poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but I don't think that there is any reasonable way to enforce it. I suppose that instead of a red squiggly-line for assumed misspelled words, something more obnoxious could be done, but why bother? – gWaldo Oct 15 '10 at 12:31

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