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Don't Ask to Ask

In many chat rooms or private messages I often get questions which take on this form:

Hey, can I ask a question about ___?

The answer will almost always be yes, and in some cases some people might not even respond to you if you don't ask your real question first. However, if you ask them your REAL question directly and specifically, they are WAY more likely to give you a more helpful answer, and it saves everyone's time.

Additionally, if the answer to the above question is no (which it rarely is), you'll be told so and you can copy-paste your question elsewhere instead. Ultimately, you're more likely to get better help for less work! :D