This is pure speculation and discussion for egotistical purposes. Do you think that EL&U will become an unofficial authority on the English language? As in, will be given the trust to coin new phrases or words? Will our research be strong enough to be the first and last stop for people pondering certain phrases and meanings?
For example, here are some interesting borderline cases already occurring (heavily tilted toward Q/As I belong to since those are the ones I remember):
- Is there a word to describe a highly desirable cursed treasure? — The answer was more or less no but a few interesting suggestions for the term arrived and the OP chose one he was happy with.
- How are “yes” and “no” formatted in sentences? — The consensus seemed to be "follow a style guide" but no one brought forth a style guide to start from. People asking the question in the future will find... us?
- What's the difference between “null” and “void” in legal language? — The research in the answers to this question is astounding (particularly Billiare's answer.)
- Is it okay to say and write “ain't” yet? — I can easily see people pointing to EL&U as an authority for this style of question. (This particular example is a little weak on answers.)
The followup questions that really matter in this discussion:
- Should EL&U become such an authority?
- What can we do as a community to strive toward or steer away from this end?
- Whatever end we desire, where are we currently heading?
Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that English needs authorities. I am more referring to the idea that EL&U may become the place people go for the real answers, just as we currently go to our own lists of resources.