I simply have to ask, and lash out (a tiny bit), about some of the comments and messages I have received on answers I've provided. I've had at least one moderator (I think?) and another senior member hounding me about my answers for the 8 days or so I've been on the ELU site. I will not name names as there is no point and it adds nothing to this discussion.
I have been scolded for improper citation. What is the proper citation form? I do try to cite all of my references when possible or relevant. However, citing a source does not somehow magically protect you from copyright laws. There is a fair use clause for copyrights. I mean come on. Who doesn't know that? And, 'aha!', Google it? Yes? Sigh.
I have been told that I've answered questions which really should not be answered for any of the following:
- They could be looked up on Google.
- They are direct dictionary requests.
- They should be answered and/or asked on the ELL site vs the ELU site.
Fair enough on #2 and #3. But by this logic, especially #1, then what in God's name (I'm not religious by the way - that's emphatical on purpose and metaphorical) is a proper question to be answered? By the very nature of the limitation that it must be something you can't Google then virtually no question should be asked.
Listen up folks. I'm not being pedantic and I'm not trying to play a semantic word game. This is illogical. Plain as day. What it comes down to is senior members and mods get to decide what they think is "appropriate" and anyone else, no matter how virtuous their efforts, or intentions, is relegated to some "bastard" status for having answered an obviously ineligible question. My God. Virtually 100% of questions should be ineligible in that case, using this logic, or this vague, "well you have to use an educated guess", terminology (which is really just code for: be an elitist member) for determining a valid question or answer post.
You can find ANYTHING online. So what in the world is the purpose of virtually ANY question that is posted? Why not tell every user to go research it? Seriously, not just a dictionary request. But virtually anyone who is not an ELL type should be able to go online and find their answer...period.
Don't get me wrong. I've said in comments on ELU, and I truly mean it, I absolutely do not mind constructive criticism, nudges, helpful hints, etc... In fact, I welcome those most of the time (as evidenced by very helpful members such as Mari-Lou, English Student, Lawrence, Jim, Yosef Baskin, RaceYouAnytime, sumelic, Andrew Leach, ab2, etc - apologize if I didn't mention you). But this has gone far beyond that and it's very unnerving.
What I'm fed up with (and was even commenting to Mari-Lou about that has me ready to leave altogether) is this apparent favoritism and elitism that is going on.
So what exactly are the factors for determining what is an appropriate question? I've answered questions which have multiple upvotes and still gotten flack for that too! It appears to be obvious favoritism and I think it erodes the point of this site, the ability to help it's members who are asking questions, the ability to garner new, useful members, and it takes away a very valuable tool from the users (all of them - askers and answerers).
My observation and hypothesis thus far is that there aren't any rules. It's up to any of the senior members, or anyone in the senior member's circle of "elitist" friends, to decide if they think it's appropriate. I find that quite despicable to be honest; so should anyone else reading this if that is the truth.
I would very much welcome thoughts, ideas, experiences, and so on.