Most specifically referencing this: Does a natural 20 on an animal handling check do anything special?

The stated question is more general than the one asked (and answered) in the post body. In this case, we have a general question, then some context around it, concluded with a different question about the context, not about the general concept. The accepted answer addresses the context as well without touching on the primary topic.

Obviously it's the asker's prerogative to accept whatever answer they'd like, but the result here could be uninformative or misleading if someone goes looking for an answer to the general topic. Would it be correct to edit the title to reference the specific here?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the dissonance you're reacting to the implied "any animal" (in title) vs. Grick (in body) one? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 1:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's that the specific situation basically trumps the broader question. The big bold line atop the accepted answer is appropriate for the context but not correct for the primary question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 2:08

2 Answers 2


Usually, the specific question. Titles have to be short and usually don't take into account the details. In addition, you could submit an edit to the title to add "on a grick" and voila it's all good.

In general we're interesting in solving the problem the poster has, not artificially generalizing it. So this isn't the place to do that IMO.


The post body is the actual question, and the other part is just the title. Questions regularly have their titles adjusted to match the real question in the body, while the reverse (changing the body to match the title) is done only in unusual circumstances.

Answers should answer the question — that is to say, the body, not the title. In this case, it would be fine to edit the title to make it more precise.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Back when education had meaning, we had English teachers and teachers of composition and creative writing who taught us how to write the title to a theme paper, an essay, etcetera. The rule I used to do the least rework was to write what I was going to write, and then try to come up with a title to match. That process is used, or there is evidence of its use, in about 1/3 of the questions here. The other 2/3 seem to imitate the non sequitur style of modern media headlines: something vaguely related to a story as an eye catcher, with little to no fidelity to the actual content of the story. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The implication of that habit is that we need to edit question titles. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I mostly agree — I do try to edit titles when they need to be more precisely or accurately describe the question. When you edit that many though, a certain amount of “close enough; people will read the whole question, right?” becomes clearly necessary just because of how many there are, and how awkward perfect accuracy can make a title. And fortunately, not answering the question and instead answer the title does get penalised by voters. The end calculus I see is a title is good enough when it gives a decent hint on the front page at what will be found by clicking it and is searchable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:45

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