Consider the post Can the human chin have developed to protect against combat strangles?. I haven't read the post because it is too long and I don't feel like giving time to read it. There are two ways I can think of reacting to such long post

  1. Comment that the post is very long and many users might be too lazy to read and it would therefore be strategic to shorten the post as much as possible

  2. Vote to close as being too long

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Too long can definitely make a question lose its point, hence making it unclear. But your reason to close should be that it is unclear (if it is). This linked question is also eliciting a discussion. $\endgroup$
    Dec 25, 2016 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ Good question, these pop up often. In the given example I didn't read past the first paragraph as it has nothing to do with the question. There are 11 ?'s so it's not a single question. Most long questions include multiple questions which I think puts them into the "unclear" basket. $\endgroup$
    – Michael_A
    Dec 27, 2016 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


I think it is good that yet SE site doesn't restrict anyone (not sure; just upto the highest amount I've used) to certain number of word for questioning or answering. But at the same time there should exist a manual guideline or manual-instructions to keep the question not too lengthy.

If the word count is constrained; there would appear following problems:-

  1. Among the word count; certain portion will be eaten up by codes (commands), hyperlink.

  2. wordcount eaten up by hyperlinks; is indefinite. Especially Google book results sometimes could be very big.

  3. If elaboration is required on a rare yet urgent basis; we would face froblem. As well borderline amount, inflexible word count could decrease spontaniety in writing first and then trimming into smaller and user friendly form.

  4. there is place of doubt on "how much is too-much"; (because photos, graphs, calculations etc sometimes may eat up good amount of space); certainly the amount same as a research paper, a book or a dictionary; would be too much.

But these problems would affect mostly on the answering; not much on questioning .

However; We need to keep question size within reasonable range because:

  1. if the question is very specific (As fit to SE Model) ; it would not take too-much place or too-many words. In reverse; a question used too much words that doesn't indicate these made the question clear.

    1. showing too much information or knowledge is usually not required in question. That is better as an answer. Self answering is allowed on SE. Once I saw a question on extinction (I could not find it anymore... may be it is deleted) where the question contained huge images for each fossil-animal-taxa; though that is not part of question. Giving additional information in helpful in answering, but usually troublesome in questioning.

    2. The example cited here by OP; is like a research paper... not like a single question; but rather like multiple question at a time. A question containing many question at a time; becomes unsuitable to this format even if each of them could be understand clearly.

So from these points we could set some guideline that the question should be within a readable range. Any bot will not essentially block typing; yet they have to tell/ indicate why the clear question is not possible to ask in a very confined place. If it is seen that the question is clear , specific yet took fail to indicate any reason to consume big volumes, it may be put on hold .


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