I read a question somewhere on Meta.SO about people using clever titles but can't find it now to see what was the discussion; my question is related to my own title I used for a recent question: My Xylophone is off key; Understanding this kerning

I wanted to know if clever (I'm so modest, I know) titles like these are encouraged, frowned upon, not allowed or not really worth discussing.


2 Answers 2


I feel exactly the opposite of boblet, and made a point of upvoting the question because of the clever title. Puns, jokes, cleverness, double entendres within reason: bring them on, I say! Boring titles make the site boring and make me not want to read anything.

Granted, we have to prioritize clarity and SEO usefulness, but within those strictures is a world of flexibility for fun wording.

  • 4
    I don't have an issue with jokes in titles, but I think there's a happy medium. Something like "My Xylophone is off key. How can I improve this kerning?" would be an even better choice than the revised title in my opinion
    – JohnB
    Jan 23, 2014 at 17:32

Personally, I am not a fan. It has a level of smartski, and one consideration would be that not all people here are english native speakers, so subtle cleverness is not in GDs interest. Of course also that finding relevant posts in backlogs and SEO becomes a bit of a hassle.

In your example; I would say it would kind of be ok if you added kerning. For example: "Kerning: my Xylophone (font)...." or something like that.

Add a little humour in the post; I think basically keep it away from titles.

Thanks to @JohnB for linking to this, where the answer covers it, basically:


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    From the answer you linked: "Humorous titles are acceptable to an extent, but they should still contain accurate keywords that describe the problem so that other users with the same issue can find it easier." <-- this!
    – hairboat
    Jan 22, 2014 at 15:03
  • Yes, that is the precise and succinct way of what I tried to say; I think that is very important. Humour is OK as long as it contains the essence. "My Xylophone is off key" does not do that.
    – benteh
    Jan 22, 2014 at 16:54

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