Some time ago, I decided to post a Q&A self-answer question explaining some of the basics of point group usage. I titled the question:

What are point groups, and how can they help me at a low level?

Today, I realise that this title was edited. The edit summary read

Change title (remove "help")

Of course, we are trying to remove buzzwords from titles; it is a recurring series that one of our moderators initiated. Help was also on that list.

I am perfectly okay with edits to titles that previously read ‘Help with pH calculation’ — that is not descriptive. However, I think my title is different because it is not a request asking for help but merely stating what is going to happen in the question (‘and this is how point groups will help you.’).



3 Answers 3


There's no rule saying that everything must go. It's simply because "help" tends to appear in a lot of non-descriptive titles, and therefore it makes for a good search query.

Personally, I'm ambivalent towards the edit. I don't think the old title was bad, but I also don't think the second part ("how can they help me at a low level") was really needed. If you feel that it was better before, then just rollback.

While we are on this topic, I would like to suggest something to all editors. Questions should strive to be about a conceptual query. Therefore, the title should ideally reflect the conceptual query within. For example, the title "pH of sodium acetate buffer" is not conceptual. I've constructed several different questions that are all conceivably about the pH of a NaOAc buffer:

I mixed 20 cm3 of 2 M Ethanoic acid and 500 cm3 of 3 mol/dm3 Sodium Ethanoate. What is pH of buffer formed? PLs answer fast thx.

I propose "Calculation of pH of sodium acetate buffer using Henderson-Hasselbalch equation".

I am trying to set up a buffer system to measure the hydrolysis of aspirin. I know that one possibility is an acetic acid/sodium acetate buffer but I am not sure what pH ranges I can use this for. Plz help

I propose "pH range over which acetic acid/acetate mixture has maximal buffer capacity".

I want to do reductive amination of ketone what pH acetate buffer can I use? Plz help

I think the fact that this is a HOAc/NaOAc buffer is not even relevant. As such I propose "Optimal pH for reductive amination".


In your specific case, I'd go with a synonym of "help" and add some specifics from the body of the post:

What are point groups and how can they assist me in predicting physical properties of molecules?


What are point groups and the benefits of using them?


What are point groups and how are they used?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I like these suggestions very much. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, with the caveat that such rewording is preferred in this case because it makes the question more specific/descriptive, and that we're not rewording just to remove "help" from the title. (Though some may argue that "help" is pointless, and rewording to remove will always make the title better.) $\endgroup$
    – R.M.
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 18:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While these are great suggestions, I decided to accept ortho’s answer since it answers the conceptual question behind the specific title in question more, which your answer somewhat glosses over. Since this is meta, there is no rep to be won anyway ;) $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan - No worries! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 3:49

I remembered Martin's earlier question (on doubts) and the list of (meaningless) buzzwords from earlier campaigns.

I took that as an invitation to change and improve the situation. Consequently, I edited some of the questions. Apparently, one was yours.

If you think that the edit vandalized your question, please feel free to revert :)

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for doing so many of the edits, Klaus. (I've been keeping an eye on the front page...) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 16:03
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Counter says you made 138 edits this week. That is awesome :D One man TRE ;) $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 19:50

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