I'm not sure if the Meta is the right place for sharing ideas, but I couldn't find any better one (let me know if I should have proposed it somewhere else).

What I would like to suggest is to mark questions of a low lingual quality with a common tag (for example: "poor-english"). Because you already wonder, why this might be useful, let me explain some of benefits.

  • Using such tag would allow it to easily find questions that need editing due to grammar mistakes. Just browse such tagged questions, edit (or rewrite them, though very carefully - but only if that is possible without changing or guessing the meaning), and remember to remove the tag after applying corrections.

  • If you feel a question you've just seen contains serious mistakes, but either a) do not know how to correct it b) prefer a native English speaker would fix the mistakes in it, or c) do not have time to edit it, simply mark it with the tag, and someone else will take care.

  • If we used such tag, even users with little reputation might mark questions, to help cleaning-up, instead of (or while?) informing moderators.

  • If non-moderators would be able to browse & edit questions marked as "poor-english", more users would help the mods to edit these questions.

  • We might also somehow suggest new users to add such tag to their question, if they feel their message may be difficult to understand (instead of writing: "i'm sorrying for mine badly englisch", or anything related).

The point in this everything? I've just noticed that there is quite a lot of questions that are never answered, because of their terrifying language. Maybe this way it would be way easier to manage grammatically incorrect questions.

  • 7
    Meta is the right place for this :) Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 6:26
  • 4
    more like a poor English flag.
    – Alvar
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 21:56

3 Answers 3


Some things here:

First off, if we were to add "poor-english" tags on incoming questions that would include nearly all of them. We're getting popular now and getting horribly written questions. Usually the worst ones are from native speakers. :)

I cover some grammar stuff in my editing guide here:

I think the best thing to do instead of doing "meta work" like tagging and reviewing stuff is to just fix the question on the spot. You don't even need editing rights to fix a question, it'll just go into a queue and get approved.

If you're not sure that your edit overly changes the meaning then just leave a comment. Besides, we don't need a tag for overly poor questions, you can do things like:

  • Search for generic words like "ubuntu" "11.10" "question" "problem" in the title. Questions like this almost always need an edit.
  • Search for common mispellings or text speak. (You'd be surprised.)
  • Look at the tumbleweed tag and edit them, they have low views for a reason.
  • Browse around the data dump and look for queries that point out horrible questions/answers.

Just doing these four things will get you pages upon pages of questions to improve, no new tags needed.

We need more people fixing questions and answers, constantly improving them is a key to our long term health, so I hope this just encourages people to go fix more stuff.

  • You can always take a stab at revising a question, even if you can't totally clean up the grammar and syntax.
    – Amanda
    Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 16:26
  • Did you misspell the word mispellings [sic!] on purpose?
    – pLumo
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 7:43

There's a general policy that outlaws "meta tags". These are tags that don't describe the content specifically. E.g. , , . These are all unwelcome.

A good tag is one that a question could have, with no other tags. Like or .

If you come across a poorly phrased question, you can either just quickly improve it yourself, or - but only if it's seriously bad- flag it for moderator attention.

Which is a long-winded way of saying: Please edit <3.

  • 1
    There aren't really many good situations, if any, where you can flag a question simply because it is low quality. At any rate, the option for flagging as "very low quality" was removed a while back. But certainly questions that are not clear what they're asking about or are offensive should still be flagged as such. Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 3:43
  • 2
    Yes indeed, I should stress it again, flagging for moderator attention is almost never appropriate, except if the question is utterly incomprehensible. Not however, if you don't exactly understand what the questioner means. Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 7:16

I would suggest: "English as second language" or 'non-EN speaker'.

The intent is fine, but has to get past the non-PC trolls.

  • or: en2lang
    – david6
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 10:44
  • I think "grammar assist" or "needs semantic assist" is the very most neutral.
    – Amanda
    Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 16:25

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