(I realize that this is probably not something that the JLU mods have control over, but maybe it can be submitted to the general SE people if enough people agree with it)

The current minimum length for a question title is 15 characters. This would probably be reasonable if weren't using a lot of Japanese characters. This minimum length was problematic for me when I created at least two questions.

Desired/Original title on left (number of characters) → Final title

いえ vs. うち (9 characters) → Difference between いえ and うち

すぎ vs. すぎる (10 characters) → Using すぎ vs. すぎる

Personally, I think the original titles were fine. But I could not submit them since they were under 15 characters. If I would've written the Japanese in romaji, the second title would've been 15 characters even.

Because we are JLU and our titles usually contain Japanese, I think it would be reasonable to ask for the minimum length to be reduced since one could argue that Japanese can express more in fewer characters.

  • 3
    By the way, downvotes on meta are special. They don't affect your rep and just indicate disagreement. – Troyen Apr 27 '12 at 20:40
  • @Troyen There's a small side-effect though: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/91377/… – Pacerier May 25 '12 at 5:10
  • @Pacerier Are you sure that applies to these metas and not just MSO? They're a bit of a different system, I was under the impression that your privileges here are based solely off of your privileges on JLU. – Troyen May 25 '12 at 5:48
  • @Troyen Yes it applies to site-specific metas as well, however the stats don't mix between sites. So you may be banned from posting in meta.abc, but still able to post in meta.efg, and vice-versa. – Pacerier May 25 '12 at 6:35
  • @Troyen I believe the way it works is, if it's fixed, it will be tagged status-completed. If it's not going to be fixed, it will be tagged status-declined. Otherwise, it suggests that it is currently not fixed but there are "plans in the future". – Pacerier May 25 '12 at 6:37

Personally, I think the "final titles" look better than the original. I would have even taken the extra step to make it read like a full question: "What is the difference between いえ and うち?" or "When should I use すぎ instead of すぎる?"

I suppose it's possible for someone to write a question title purely in Japanese and encounter the minimum character limit due to the nature of the Japanese writing systems. However, the limit was originally introduced to encourage people to make their titles more meaningful. I've seen some titles on this site that are basically "{some Japanese} question", which is only marginally helpful for anyone else searching the site for an answer.

If someone encounters the minimum character limit, I recommend just adding more detail into the title.

  • After looking over my questions, it seems the ones with full sentence questions have the most views. So, in the end, I think maybe it is better to keep the limit as it is. – atlantiza May 8 '12 at 18:57

Sorry but I disagree. いえ vs. うち is not a fine title, it's vague and unclear. By writing that, you can mean a lot of things, and titles should explain exactly what is the subject. Sometimes it's not possible, I concede it, but what I do not concede is that in these cases, it's possible to be clearer.

Sure, you might ask for any difference, but what if not? What if I just want to ask about the grammar difference? ABout the usage? About the meaning only?

In these cases いえ vs. うち doesn't help me to understand what you want to ask. Besides, I don't see the problem in typing 15 characters instead of 9...

  • I don't see how "Difference between いえ and うち" has more information than "いえ vs. うち". "vs." means that there is some sort of comparison, which is the same as asking "difference between". – atlantiza Apr 28 '12 at 20:22
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    @atlantiza In that case, they roughly (roughly) mean the same yes. But I don't see the problem in typing that. Why do you want to type vs at all costs? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm serious. – Alenanno Apr 28 '12 at 20:57
  • Because it means the same thing and was the first thing I thought of. I thought of this because I saw many other questions on the site with a title in the format of "X vs." Y". "いえ vs うち" was my first question here, so I wanted to follow the example of other questions I had seen. – atlantiza Apr 29 '12 at 1:19
  • @atlantiza Ah I understand that. You could set a new trend of more specific question titles. :P In any case, the solution you can use is: type all question titles as if they were questions. This way, you won't have problems anymore, or much less. :) – Alenanno Apr 29 '12 at 10:32

I think I agree with you. The titles are clear, I know exactly what you're asking, and I think that if we are looking at this in terms of this meta post on how we can improve our findability, I think these titles are search-engine friendly without sacrificing any substance or clarity.

  • Actually, I'd expect reasonably long titles to be much more "findable" than short titles. When I search on a site, I always get tons of unrelated stuff. If you encourage the use of more keywords, it would help to find the questions in a better way. – Alenanno Apr 28 '12 at 21:08
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    @Alenanno: For all I know that may be the case, I'm not entirely sure how these things work. My reasoning was that if someone searched "when should i use いえ or うち", they might not find "What is the difference between いえ and うち?". It seems to me that "when should" and "what is" and "difference" are all different keywords and would lead to different places...again don't know searches work that way, but in my opinion shorter is better. – silvermaple Apr 28 '12 at 22:26

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