I was about to ask for clarification to this question (like someone else already did), but the answering advice that pops up when you click the text field for the answer says to avoid that:

answer pop-up

So if I'm not supposed to ask someone to elaborate etc., how to respond to this kind of question?

Just leave them to the abandoned void?

1 Answer 1


Depending on how bad it is something in the range of:

  • Fix it yourself (if you can just about understand it - but only if you're sure you're not altering the meaning)

  • Leave a comment telling them you don't have a clue what they're talking about and that they should edit their question to explain a bit more.

    When I say comment, I mean comment - not answer. You'll need 50 rep before you can do this.

  • If it's so bad that there's no rescuing it (and/or the OP seems to have no interest in fixing it) mark it for closure as Not A Real Question. If you don't have that ability yet the lazier moderators (ME!) would appreciate it if you left a comment for the OP to fix the post and gave them some time before flagging it for our attention.

    If it's already old (and the OP has ignored any prompts) when you get to it, flag it up.

  • If asking for clarification is a good first step, then there is something wrong with this "Your Answer"-prompt (see the screenshot I added). Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it seems to tell me that in my answer, I should avoid asking for clarification. Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 23:30
  • @Bennypr0fane Ah, yeah that's an answer box, not a comment box. You'll see comment links pop up everywhere when you hit 50-rep.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 0:04
  • @Bennypr0fane If you need clarification you could pop into chat and ask someone to add a comment for you..
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 15:14
  • Ok, so to sum it up: it IS good to ask for clarification when questions give too little detail, BUT only in the comments, not in an answer. So, I can't do that yet, but I can ask someone to do it in chat. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:37

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