At first sight, this question is sufficiently different from this later question to not be a duplicate. The first asks about the meaning of "anatta", the second asks about the best English translation. However, when you look at the main texts of the questions, they're pretty much identical, and both are asking about meaning. As a result, there's been a bit of back and forth in the comments about whether it should be closed. Based only on the titles I considered them clearly different, but then looking at the content I changed my mind. As a result I cast a close-as-duplicate vote. My assumption is that the OP will either change the text to match the title, in which case I'd remove my close vote (assuming I can do that -- at very least I'd discourage others from closing), or they'll let the content stand and change the title to match it, in which case I think it's clearly a duplicate.

Or they may just leave it as is, with title mismatching the content. Any thoughts on assessing a question when its title doesn't match its main text content? Overall, I think that's problematic, in terms of keeping the quality of Q's and A's high, and should be fixed.

2 Answers 2


If a question title doesn't match the question content and the OP doesn't respond to comments asking for clarification, then I think it is ok to edit and improve the question title yourself.

However, before you do this I think you should look at the answers that are already given. In my experience most people base their answer on the question text and not on the title, but sometimes people will add an answer that only deals with the question title. If that's the case it may be better to try and change the question title so that it covers both the original title and the question text (if they don't differ too much).

  • In this case the only answer given (by @Andrei) answers the title, not the content, and as a result is fine. The only problem here is Suminda's question content is a duplicate of (my) earlier question. If he fixed that to match his actual question, it would be fine. I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill though. Andrei's answer is a good one, so it's all good.
    – tkp
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:33

The above question aims to reconcile the different translations/ interpretations rather than what it is or what it means and choose the best.

This will differ from the definition of the concept.

Also some concepts different definition based on linage, so answers will not adequately cover all the variation. Many will provide what they are familiar with which is also acceptable in the definition context. In my question evaluate alternatives and choose the best translation.

The bar is higher in this context.

  • 1
    Suminda, that's the whole point of this meta question. You are correct that the title of your question asked about translation, but the content does not. For example, in your content you offer a 28-word phrase as a possibility. Clearly the single word "anatta" isn't going to be rendered as 28 English words. Your title makes it seem as if you're asking about a translation, but then you instead effectively ask about the meaning of the concept.
    – tkp
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:31
  • This trys to rectify a common miss translation. Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 1:36

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