If you add a question where you start the title with "How do I", you will get a list with a lot of non-relevant questions because there are a lot of questions that starts with "How do" in the title. There are already a mechanism to avoid this in the SE search system, called "stop words" that have some words that should not count in a search phrase. It would be good to include "How do" in this stop-word list.

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I definitely agree, but I'm unsure how we could do this without specifically blacklisting particular hard-coded phrases.

Although if you ask me, question titles are better off without filler like "How do I.." in the front anyway:

Would the Stack Exchange network be better if titles contained complete, grammatical questions?

And more generally our advice on excellent titles:


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  • Over on Security SE we do change them if we come across them whilst doing something else to a question, but often the community corrects them. Encourage that sort of edit. – Doktor Mayhem Jan 26 '12 at 20:22
  • I agree that for technical sites, it is very unnecessary to start the title with "How do I", but in Music, the questions are often more personal related, and although it is linguistically possible to rewrite to no use these words, it will look kind of strange, and it is not worth the effort to force on a different way to phrase it. – awe Aug 28 '12 at 8:35
  • The potential users on Music are less technical, and a very strict title is not natural for many. It will be a big job to educate all users to follow this norm. – awe Aug 28 '12 at 8:42

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