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From the Help Center:

Marking a question as duplicate is part of the question closing procedure, except when a question is closed as duplicate, the title is appended with "[Duplicate]" rather than "[Closed]".

I'm a native English speaker and not a scholar of English. When I look at this sentence, I see three phrases separated by two commas, and something is striking me as so discordant that I can not figure out, unambiguously, what this sentence is actually saying.

I think the problem centers around the word "except".  Does "except" apply to marking or to is part of?

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The problem is indeed with "except" because the exception is not to something in the quoted sentence but rather to something in the linked explanation of closing. The situation is, as far as I can tell, as follows. Questions can be closed for any of several reasons, listed and explained at the link https://english.stackexchange.com/help/closed-questions. Furthermore, the explanation at that link says that closed questions eventually get "[Closed]" appended to their titles. (The sentence you quoted expresses this by saying that titles are appended with "[Closed]", which I think is a misuse of "append".) The sentence you quoted begins by trying to say that marking as a duplicate is one of the options for closing a question. (It says this by saying marking as a duplicate is a part of the question closing procedure, which I think is a misuse of the word "part".) Then it adds that, unlike other options, this one results in appending "[Duplicate]" rather than "[Closed]". So the exception is to the statement, in the linked explanation, that closing a question results in appending "[Closed]" to its title.

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  • Ah, that helps. I never actually clicked through to the link within the sentence, believing that the sentence should be able to stand on its own, and more importantly believing that the sentence was written with the intent (intention?) that it to be able to do so. Thanks for addressing my question so directly! – uhoh Jun 21 '17 at 5:13
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I believe the sentence makes sense, although it is potentially ambiguous because the two commas put equal separation on the clauses.

If you wanted to split it into two sentences to improve readability, the 'except' should not be there, since it is a conjunction and needs to join two clauses.

Marking a question as duplicate is part of the question closing procedure. When a question is closed as duplicate, the title is appended with "[Duplicate]" rather than "[Closed]".

A semicolon may also make readability easier, if they weren't so controversial.

Marking a question as duplicate is part of the question closing procedure; except when a question is closed as duplicate, [and, or in which case or similar] the title is appended with "[Duplicate]" rather than "[Closed]".

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    Thanks for your post. My original title also asked about what it is about the wording that is making it difficult to understand. (It was edited, in part because it asked "...difficult for me to understand?") It looks like you've answered my question as originally asked: "...because the two commas put equal separation on the clauses." My next task will be to do some additional independent research (i.e. read a book) and try to understand just what that means. Thank you for your help!! – uhoh Jun 20 '17 at 18:41
  • @David I'm not afraid of them, simply the original is in one sentence, so I thought they might want a single sentence answer. My comment on your answer about not using a full stop is because the 'except' in the question is a conjunction, not a preposition. – marcellothearcane Jun 20 '17 at 18:56
  • @David I was under the impression that you shouldn't start sentences with conjunctions, but apparently I'm wrong. Sorry for the confusion. – marcellothearcane Jun 20 '17 at 19:09

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