I've seen a lot of discussion lately based on how a question is asked, not what is asked, and I feel questions are getting unfairly closed because of how they were asked, not because of the actual question being asked.
There seems to be an opinion floating around that users should ask expert questions, as well as provide expert answers, and I don't think that is healthy for the growth of this site.
A Q&A site needs questions to survive, and the users seeking advice are usually not aware of any rules regarding how to ask a question. I think by downvoting and closing questions just based on how they are asked is going to drive users away from the site, and I don't want this site to get closed before it leaves beta due to lack of user participation, like some other sites did recently.
Of course, there'll always be some questions that should be closed as low quality or off-topic, however they should be questions that really can't be answered at all because of lack of information, or are off-topic for this site. They shouldn't be good questions that are badly phrased.
Jeff even has a blog post about how to ask good questions, and it provides some things to look for in a question, not a list of words/phrases that should/shouldn't be used. To summarize, valid questions should:
- provide enough detail so we know what you're talking about
- tell us the reason for your question (note, idle curiosity is mentioned as acceptable)
- don't give us your whole life story - just the basic context for the problem
- share what you've already done/tried/researched
There are other guidelines around about how to ask good questions, but keep in mind that they are guidelines, not rules.
For example, we discourage asking questions disguised as a rant, however asking "wah wah wah, am I right?" is basically saying "I'm frustrated with this situation and am looking for sympathy" and should rightfully be closed, while saying "wah wah wah, what can I do about this" is essentially saying "I'm frustrated with my situation, what can I do about it", which I don't think should be closed. If you care that much about the fact there's a rant there, edit it out, but don't downvote and close an otherwise good question just because of how it's asked.
Similarly, questions asking something like "what is the best way to do X" shouldn't get attacked with downvotes/close votes because they didn't specify the best for whom, or best in what way, but should instead be guided in comments if more information is needed, and answered to the best of our ability. Per Area51, "in a healthy site, questions receive multiple answers and the best answer is voted to the top". Which one is the accepted answer is up to the user.
I mean, you can have a site that requires both expert questions and expert answers if you want, but then you'll have a very small site and need a fairly large editing squad to maintain the question standards, and there's a chance the site won't make it out of beta. I spend a lot of time on SO, and there's no way it would be nearly the success it is now if they decided to limit questions to only well-phrased questions, because of the majority of users seeking answers do not know how to write a good question (by SE standards).
So please, judge questions based on the question being asked, not how they are asked. Many users already do this (as seen by some highly-upvoted, closed questions), however it only takes 5 people who judge a question based on how its written to get it closed.
If you see a good question badly written, and have time to edit it, please do so, but don't downvote and vote to close unless the actual question being asked is off-topic, undefined, or just plain bad. Save your downvotes and close votes for questions which really don't belong here, not for questions that are simply phrased badly.