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I have been involved in answering a question about font rendering (nothing brilliant, just gathering and ordering information from many sites into one place).

When the user first asked the question, they didn't know the exact cause of the issue (a botched Windows update).

Now the cause is identified beyond doubt. There is a fix from Microsoft, and the question is high on Google Search for this issue and is in fact getting a lot of traffic.

Is it appropriate to edit the question itself, and change the title to better suit the issue, something like:

Terrible font rendering after Windows Update

This seems more useful for future reference, but I wonder if I should instead respect the way the original user posted their question?

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    I think your proposed title is appropriate. – Ramhound Feb 20 '15 at 15:22
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  1. The title should be helpful in finding the question when someone with a similar problem does a search. You have a valid point that including random diagnostics in the title doesn't help and probably hinders.

  2. Putting Windows Update in the title introduces the same problem. It presupposes the cause and may deflect people who don't recognize that a Windows update might be behind their issue. In fact, the OP assumed that updated everything was the solution.

I would suggest something like:

Terrible font rendering recently in some applications but not others

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    I like your logic and suggestion. – pgr Feb 20 '15 at 22:28
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    @pgr As a person that thinks that titles should be questions (this being question/answer and all), I would rephrase the title to, "Why do some applications recently suffer from terrible font rendering?" The body then lays out the details that belong in the body. This also provides a benefit with search engines for which partial and total phrase matches get weighted higher than other matches that just happen to have the right keywords. Often I "ask" Google (or other) a question and find an answer because someone titled their thing with the same or similar question. (I hate non-question titles) – killermist Feb 26 '15 at 19:03
  • @killermist - I seem to recall another school of thought expressed previously in Meta that titles shouldn't be weighed down with superfluous words. Some people were on a run to eliminate the "question" words because they were redundant. Plus questions can be problem statements. You also have to be careful of the word choice. "Why" tends to flag a "too broad" question, and the question is really "How do I fix..." rather than "Why". Guess that's why there's both vanilla and chocolate ice cream. – fixer1234 Feb 26 '15 at 19:47
  • @fixer1234 Sometimes "Why is [x]?" and implied "How do I fix [symptom of x]?" is exactly the right way to characterize the problem. If a title is a statement of some sort, then it's just an statement. I can't do anything with statements. Statements don't inquisition desire to fix things. In a question/answer forum, someone stating a statement, and a not a question, is more likely to be treated with apathy because they're not looking to know anything. "Great, your [x] is doing [y], causing you problem [z]. Why should I care?" – killermist Mar 1 '15 at 20:58
  • @killermist - I don't disagree with you. My point was more about the hazard of using words that tend to be problematic on SU. Some users are very sensitive to off-topic "flag" words. Superlatives (best, fastest, etc.), trigger opinion-based close votes. "Why" seems to often trigger "too broad" votes. It's just an observation, no rigorous study. If the question actually is "why", there isn't much of an option. If it isn't really "why", it's safer to word it more precisely. – fixer1234 Mar 1 '15 at 21:23
  • My problem regards hazard of using users that tend to be problematic on SU. Some users are violently sensitive to specific words. Some words trigger some users to (opinion-based) cast close votes. "Why" is not a loaded term. For it to trigger "too broad" votes as a knee-jerk, is wrong (against those users). The title is, and should be a question. The body lays out the details. Wrong-acting users should be repudiated. – killermist Mar 5 '15 at 16:11
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I think it's better as is - Windows update comes in thick and fast, and the existing title is pretty explanatory.

Or perhaps just appending 'after Windows Update' to the original title should do

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    But Chrome/Firefox/Word are just the apps he tried, the problem is everywhere. And Vista is not the only system affected... – pgr Feb 20 '15 at 13:23
  • @pgr +1. The relation to Windows Update is secondary at best. The person asking the question didn't know that Windows Update was the issue. If that's where the solution is, then that's where the solution is. But it isn't clearly and distinctly tied to the question for which the title is written. Moreover, there may be some other answer that will resolve the problem in its entirety regardless of windows update level. To arbitrarily limit such answers by mutating the question feels inappropriate to me. I could be mistaken. – killermist Feb 26 '15 at 19:11

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