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The question has been put on hold as too broad. Actually out of the 10 answers posted. after 5k plus views, users seem to suggest that just three are on spot and useful. OP is asking for the more common expressions and the choice doesn't seem so broad in the end. I think that the question and the answers are useful and productive for present and future users. As a side note, there are hundreds of questions on ELU that have attracted more than 10 answers, should we VTC them all?

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“If this is not Too Broad, nothing is”

I did not believe that the question under discussion was a good one for our site or format, and I thought this for more than one reason alone, but I can honestly assure you that its number of views forms no part of my reasoning and position in this.

Its asker asks us two “questions”:

  1. The first of those two questions asks whether the 3×2 suggestions given there “sound idiomatic to native speakers”. Boolean proofreading questions that just need to run something past a native (or indeed, simply a competent) speaker of English are never a good fit for “our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts” as our site-description runs.

  2. The second of those two questions invites whether “there’s any better alternative(s)” to the 3×2 possibilities already offered by the question. If there exists a clearer example of the sort of questions which the Too Broad close-reason was invented for, I am unaware of it. It is soliciting suggestions, and everyone and their dog will have one, as the ten answers given to date prove, not to mention the scores of comments.

These are not questions: instead, they are respectively requests for proofreading and for writing advice, even conversation advice. Requests for suggestions can have no correct answer. They are lightning rods for drive-by posters from across the network and across the world.

Naming no names, I would ask that our members without prejudice please look over the various existing answers on that question for the effort invested in crafting those answers, the scholarship and original words behind them. Does that seem fitting and proper—right, to you? Are their scores indicative of appreciation for the effort, for the quality of those answers, or are they merely a “yeah, man!” popularity festival of agreement?

Notice how many of those so-called “answers” are in fact nothing but curt copypasta snippets, a linkfest elaborated upon with little to no reasoning, explanation, or original words.

In short, nothing that contributes to the quality of our site. If that question is reöpened, then I’m sure we can easily triple its answer-count in no time flat.

So what?

That doesn’t make this a question that fits our site well, and it doesn’t make its supposed answers ones we should admire as sterling examples of the sort of thing we wish to see more of. Indeed they are almost all of them the very opposite of that.

Everyone has an opinion, an opinion which they are perfectly happy to provide us with in spans fitting well within the trademarked 140-character stultiloquence of the Twitterverse, with room to spare.

But that is not why we are here. Network-wide, the Stack Exchange Q&A format aims higher than one would expect of Yahoo Answers or Twitter, and our site is no exception to that.

Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

  • 2
    +1 Agreed. I think the question could have potential, if edited correctly, but does not deserve a VTR in it's current state. – Hank Mar 3 '17 at 14:52
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    I am voting against this answer because question 2 is basically a request type question, and I'm not sure to what extent, if any you plan to limit the "too broad" descriptor to those by it, and the answers seem fairly nominal by those standards. Also, we have a separate close reason for opinion based questions. – Tonepoet Mar 3 '17 at 16:25
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Although I disagree with some of the already presented reasons, I actually agree that the question should not be reopened in its current form. However, I deeply believe wherever it is reasonably possible, that the community should strive to get questions reopened since in The War of the Closes post by Stack Exchange's Vice President of Community Growth, Jay Hanlon one of the main reasons for closure is this:

The goal was always for some closures to drive an edit, improve, re-open cycle. The user gets helped, gets better at asking, and the community gets useful content. Unfortunately, since there was no way to know when a question had been improved, this almost never happened.

 The question is defective, and until it is improved I think it should remain closed. The remainder of this answer will explain some of the reasons I think it is defective, and what might possibly to fix it in the hopes of facilitating our edit to improve and reopen principle:

 The comparative analysis of the six phrases in question seems to be a daunting enough task that none of the existing answers tried to address it, instead deciding to skip the matter entirely in favor of only proffering answers to the second question. Despite only technically answering half of the question, these answers garnered many votes for them. Now I am not strictly of the opinion, that there is a strict finite limit to how many comparisons you may request in a question. After all, we generally prefer longer answers, with facts, reference or [express] expertise to back them up. However there is a vague limit to what's reasonable to expect of us, and what's fair to other people competing for page space and the top answer, which is laxly defined as needing less than the length of an entire book to adequately explain the answer by our help center. Now I don't imagine that both of the questions, even when combined do that much, but nevertheless, when all of the people answering are willing to skip one half of it to answer the other, and the voters find that generally acceptable, it seems to me as if you are asking for too much of us all at once.
 Also, I am not presuming that the high vote count is strictly because it is an especially meritorious question, but because like the now retired Rathony has often suggested to me, that many questions become "Hot Network Questions" and receive a disproportionate amount of attention as a result of being on the front page. This compromises the fidelity of the raw voting results as an indicator of the sort of questions we want people to ask on this website it is meant to be. We should preferably compare questions with a a similar number of views, so we know just as many opportunities to vote exist. Moreover, because votes for a question and votes for its answers are separate counts, I think the votes for the question should be the ones counted as being representative of its quality, and not the votes for its answers. When I checked:

 Now a sampling of three probably is not the best for making this determination, but I'll stop there because it's time and space consuming to provide more examples. It seems to me that view to vote ratio is comparatively bad for this question. However, if we applied the view to vote ratio to some of the answers, this does weigh out favorably and for the lowly rated questions, it's harder for late answers to garner votes, so I think tchrist's assertion that the answers are just bad is a little odd.
 I even wanted to write an answer myself, regarding which of the words I think were better, and which I think were worse, although I decided against it when I realized I did not possess enough of the explicit knowledge necessary to give them the proper treatment, since it seems more syntactic than semantic to me (I can't quite express why "I'm bad for you" feels like something's missing, for instance).
 However there is another problem, which I also learned from Rathony. Strictly speaking, we have a one question per post rule on the Stack Exchange Network. The two distinct questions should either be presented as one if possible, or one of the two questions should be eliminated before this question should really be considered for reopening. I would suggest something like this:


A context:

I've heard that you won. I'm happy for you.

An opposite context:

I've heard that you lost. _________________________

I want to fill in the blank that should have the opposite sense of "I'm happy for you". What's a good expression for this?

Tags:


 I think this would sufficiently narrow down the scope of the answer to reopen it, without invalidating any of the answers. If O.P. reduces the post to just this much, I do not think this question is inherently worse than what we require of the .
 Now I realize that many of us have our gripes about S.W.Rs. but much of that is because we disagree with the manner in which they are being asked than anything else. More relevantly and importantly, they are also presently considered as valid category of question for the website, so it would be only fair to treat this question like other topical questions of its sort.
 It has to be the O.P. that edits the question though. Our editing guidelines forbid changing the meaning of a question, and the portion I suggest gutting out is almost assuredly the main question. Unfortunately, I doubt the O.P. will be motivated to do this when there is a highly rated accepted answer.
 As for the O.P's. other question, maybe it could be split off made into a valid . I vaguely remember wanting to answer it until I realized that I lack the express knowledge to convincingly explain why a phrase like "I'm bad for you." seems like something is missing, and I felt as if I should not even try because of it. However, exactly what else, if anything, needs to be done to fix it eludes my comprehension.

In summary, this question is closed as too broad, because it is too broad, and should stay closed as too broad, until is no longer too broad, if it is ever not too broad, and then it should be reopened.

  • I'm very much in favour of the "closed => improve the question" philosophy you quoted. The only problem is that when people see "closed", they don't normally think "let me rephrase". They tend to think "What! Why!?" This is based entirely on impressions and isn't a scientific statement, of course, but I offer as support the enthusiastic praise occasionally heaped on the rare individuals that rephrase in response to closure. – Lawrence Mar 6 '17 at 13:56
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    I know that a comment to an answer isn't the best place for this, but I suggest Needs Improvement as a replacement for Closed, or at least for On Hold. "Needs Improvement" invites editing, whereas "On Hold" simply invites waiting, and "Closed" invites protests. – Lawrence Mar 6 '17 at 13:56
  • @Lawrence If you read the whole War of the Closes post, you'll note that improving the language is why the On Hold message exists. There is more or less no other difference between On Hold or Closed. However, the close message seems to be an S.E. wide feature, so E.L. & U. probably can't do much about it. I'd suggest checking to see if there is a proposal for On hold for improvement on Meta Stack Exchange before making one there. You'll probably need to explain why if changing the language didn't work once, why it'll be any better now though. – Tonepoet Mar 6 '17 at 14:11
  • I haven't done the necessary research (at least, not recently), so I haven't posted the suggestion as a question / feature request on Meta.SE - or here, for that matter. Just jotting down some thoughts for now. It's not a matter of softening the language, but of phrasing things in such a way that naturally invites the desired response. – Lawrence Mar 6 '17 at 14:15

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