Part of the "Closed" message is shown below, followed by a current example.

enter image description here

Change the sentence "I don't know you" into a compound sentence

In my opinion "... and clarify the problem being solved" is not well-expressed and should be replaced by "...and clarify the question to be answered." The purpose of the site is not to solve problems, but to answer questions.

Upvote this post if you agree, downvote if you disagree.

  • True, it is to answer questions, but ultimately to solve problems, innit?
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 12:38
  • 2
    Although answers here can suggest improvements, this one is not a site-specific close reason, and the suggestion would be better made on M.SE.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 13:06
  • 1
    Whenever there is a problem, there is also the question "How can this problem be solved?" If there is anything in the banner that does not quite fit this site it is, not so much the choice of the word problem, as the formulation being solved. It is probably well suited to those Stack Exchange sites where people typically post questions when they are stuck in the midst of trying themselves to solve some problem, and not so much to the sites like this one, where questions are often asked out of pure curiosity.
    – jsw29
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 15:48
  • @NVZ. It is true in a general sense that someone who would like an answer to a question has a problem. But the button at the top of the page is Ask Question not Post Problem. And the first instruction in the question form is "Be specific and imagine you're asking a question to another person". So it would seem consistent that the Closed message should be clarify the question, not clarify the problem.
    – Shoe
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 18:53
  • @Andrew Leach. I hadn't realized that this is the same Closed message across all SE sites. I only visit a couple of language sites where it is clear that it is questions that are expected to be posted. It may be on other sites that posters outline a problem and are looking for advice how to solve it. If, nevertheless, this site's moderators feel that a change in the message SE-wide is justified, maybe one of them could make the suggestion on SE-Meta. It would carry more weight than if I did it.
    – Shoe
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 18:55
  • 1
    @jsw29. Yes. When I claimed in my post above that the message is "not well-expressed" I was referring not only to the problem with "problem" but also to "being solved". For the asker, the problem is not "being solved", hence their posting of the question. And the problem is not going to be being solved because the question has been closed. However, if others do not see a problem with "problem", then the message should read "...clarify the problem to be solved".
    – Shoe
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 18:56
  • @jsw29 I felt it odd too -- "being solved" -- but, if the native speakers didn't notice it, then maybe it is just me I thought.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


Six months ago, an official MSE post was released where they explained some proposed changes to the closure notices. Though I'm not sure when these new messages will be implemented, the part you've highlighted is planned to be changed. Quoted below are the relevant snippets:

Since we updated the close modal text and post notices a few years ago, I've known that there are concerns about whether they're sufficiently clear for users and whether they're giving the correct guidance. We want to improve the text in these cases to ensure that we're guiding users as best we can.

Needs details or clarity
Field Current Proposed
Post owner guidance Add details and clarify the problem you’re solving. This will help others answer the question. You can [edit the question]($EditQuestionUrl$) or [post a new one]($AskQuestionUrl$). [Edit the question]($EditQuestionUrl$) to add relevant details and clarify your question. Adding more specific information will help others understand your issue and provide a better answer. If edited, your question will be reviewed and might be reopened.
Guidance to others Add details and clarify the problem being solved. This will help others answer the question. You can [edit the question]($EditQuestionUrl$). As written, this question is lacking some of the information it needs to be answered. If the author adds details in comments, consider [editing them into the question]($EditQuestionUrl$). Once there's sufficient detail to answer, vote to reopen the question.

The word 'problem' is replaced with 'issue,' which I think is maybe slightly better.

  • Yes. I agree that "issue" is slightly better than "problem". But while I'm willing to defer on the "problem" issue, I am not going to budge on the "being solved" issue. See my response to jsw29 above.
    – Shoe
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 19:01
  • 1
    At least, clarify the problem you’re solving is changed to clarify your question from the post-owner's perspective.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 16:26

First of all, I will vote to close any question that issues orders, like
Change the sentence "I don't know you" into a compound sentence.
That's rude. We are not your students. And our students are better behaved.

Second, I will vote to close any question that demonstrates that the questioner does not understand what the question means, or what an answer might look like. "Changing" a random sentence into a compound sentence is useless, unless you have something else to say. What?

That's just me, of course. But this is not the site to post your homework or complain that you don't understand it. Ask your teacher if you're in school. If you're not, do your research first.

  • 4
    This meta-question is about the wording of the closing banner. The particular substantive question that this answer is about is provided by Shoe only as an example of the use of that banner; any of the many, many other questions that have the same banner would have served the purpose equally well. Shoe is not asking whether that particular substantive question should have been closed, all things considered, so elaborating on the reasons for closing it does not address this meta-question.
    – jsw29
    Commented Oct 28, 2023 at 16:15
  • 2
    So much anger. I think calm and factual is better for everyone. Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 21:43
  • By the way, John Lawler's funeral is tomorrow. Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 23:29

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