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I wish to ask a question with a similar (or identical) title to a question that is closed. But I'm not able to do this.

It seems to me that this is a mistake.

If the previous question is closed for a reason that doesn't preclude it being a perfectly valid question (e.g. a moderator felt the description wasn't clear enough), then why shouldn't the same question be asked again, with a different description? After all, no answers can be provided to the first question, and yet the question merits being asked, and being answered.

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    $\begingroup$ Closed questions are searchable and readable--they haven't completely disappeared. English is a sufficiently rich language that it's always possible to find a unique way to title your question. $\endgroup$ – whuber Mar 19 '19 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ If you want help choosing a just-different-enough title, I think that would be fine to ask here $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Mar 20 '19 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ It's perfectly possible to use a different title, but it might not be as good. $\endgroup$ – user664303 Mar 22 '19 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ Cross-posted to Meta SE: Question titles cannot be similar to those of a closed question $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Mar 23 '19 at 6:56
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First of all, this is not something that we (neither the moderators, nor the community) can solve. This is how the platform is built, so if you wanted this to be changed, you should post a feature request for the whole StackExchange.com network.

Regarding using the same title, as was already suggested to you, you can simply use a slightly different title. Furthermore, an SE question can be either closed or deleted. Questions that seem to be off-topic are closed, so they cannot be answered any more, but are still visible on the site. If they don't have up-votes and answers, they are automatically deleted after a period of time. Otherwise they stay, as it is assumed someone may still find them helpful. So there is a point in not allowing for duplicate titles.

Moreover, I guess that this problem would arise if using a very general title, and you shouldn't typically use very general titles. It is better to stick to titles that are descriptive and specific for your problem, rather than general. If you have a general question and the general title is taken by a question that was closed, or asks for something that is inconsistent with the title (unlike your question), then you could always suggest an edit for the previous question, and then after that edit is accepted, post your question using the title.

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    $\begingroup$ The answer to the question "why shouldn't the same question be asked again?" is that "someone may find the original question [without answers] useful". They might well do, before it is deleted (which it will be), but whether it is visible or not, the new question would surely be visible too (and without the [closed] tag in the question). The user can look at both questions. When looking for answers, I often look at multiple questions. I assume that's normal. $\endgroup$ – user664303 Mar 22 '19 at 1:39
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    $\begingroup$ @user664303, if the original thread at issue is closed without any answers, upvotes, or comments, it will be automatically deleted by the roomba eventually. (But of course it is still in your way now.) So, if it's really inevitable that it will be deleted & is blocking the creation of useful content, you could flag it & we (the moderators) could delete it straightaway. If it isn't inevitable that the roomba will delete it, the situation differs. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Mar 22 '19 at 13:29
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[W]hy shouldn't the same question be asked again, with a different description?

This sounds a lot like you are asking a duplicate of a closed question. If the question was closed because it's unclear, the best course of action is to have the OP refine their question sufficiently so that it may be reopened. (If the duplicate, closed question was off-topic or otherwise unsuitable it is not advisable to ask the same question again; it will simply be closed again for the same reason.)

In the interim, nothing stops you from asking the same question with a different title. If you find that it is difficult to come up with a title that is not already taken by an existing question, it's worth pausing to consider whether your question is a duplicate of any or all of those questions.

If the OP is not forthcoming about making edits, the question will eventually be deleted by automated cleanup scripts (affectionately called the "roomba"). Downvotes can accelerate that process. Once the closed question is deleted, this will make available the unique title that you desire.


This question was also posted to Meta.SE. I believe that the answer there hit the nail on the head, so I'm paraphrasing the core advice given in that answer so that it can reach this audience.

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