My question is listed below. I have made necessary changes and I do not think it should be put on hold.

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____” [today placed "on hold" for the 2nd time]

As for being put on hold, I do not believe my question is "off-topic"(which was the reason listed). After all, my question relates to English. It is clearly not Physical Education! It is about word choice and usage (as I am questioning my word choice of the word shit, and am trying to find a better one that can be used in a more clear way), which is fine to ask about, according to the help center. So could you let me know why my answer was put on hold? Also, I have changed the part about it being too easy to answer.

As I went through the steps listed in the help center, I noticed that my question in fine for all of them.

  1. duplicate – My question did not duplicate any other questions, I checked

  2. off topic – My question is about word choice and usage

  3. unclear what you're asking – I am clear what I am asking, I say it in a way that does not allow confusion.

  4. too broad – I am only asking for one word. This is in no way broad.

  5. primarily opinion-based – I include links to the research I have done.

  • I am fine with any downvotes/criticism you give me! Just make sure you have a reason to support whatever choice you make! – Taryn Lambert Feb 22 '18 at 18:52
  • Looks like your question is too broad. – πάντα ῥεῖ Feb 22 '18 at 18:54
  • @πάνταῥεῖ I seem to think it is specific. After all, I was asking for an alternative word, for a single word. Personally, I do not feel that my question is too broad, but if you do, I am fine with suggestions. – Taryn Lambert Feb 22 '18 at 18:58
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    Too broad does not mean you, the OP, are asking for more than one answer. It is saying that there are too many possible solutions, the fact you accepted "atom", which has nothing whatsoever to do with the term "shit" kinda proves it. – Mari-Lou A Feb 22 '18 at 19:16
  • @Mari-LouA - I understand that accepted answers just reflects OP preferences and are not necessarily an indication of the “correct” answer, if there is any. – user240918 Feb 22 '18 at 19:25
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    Yes, I understand that too but I am disputing the OP's claim that their question is not too broad, the fact that "atom" which is not a cleaned-up version of "shit" was accepted after nearly 40 suggested answers were submitted proves my point. That answer has now (when?) been unaccepted. In any case, one user alone provided a list of 18 solutions, which also included "atom", but nobody had noticed because the list is far too long. This is further proof that the question is too broad. – Mari-Lou A Feb 22 '18 at 19:32
  • @Mari-Lou Actually I don't agree with your statement that the two words in quotation marks have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. We're looking for an expression that means "I don't care even a little bit." So the word in the blank is something of minimal value. Would it be too broad to ask for a word for something of minimal value? It seems to me that questions like that are routine. – Chaim Feb 23 '18 at 15:54

Too broad does not necessarily mean you, the OP, are asking for more than one answer. It is saying that there are too many possible solutions, the fact the OP accepted "atom", which had nothing whatsoever to do with the term "shit" kind of proved it.

The OP's question is specific, clear, well formulated, and it shows research but it is too broad and invites users to submit answers in lists. One user submitted an answer that contained 18 solutions, which also included the term "atom" but nobody noticed that the last suggestion was copied from another user's earlier answer. This is further proof that the question is too broad.

To be clear I did not cast any vote to close or reopen the question, but the answers are pretty easy. In fact, the two top answers were submitted, immediately, after the OP had posted their request on Feb 14 at 3:27. The answer "whit" was posted Feb 14, 3:33 and "not a bit" one minute later.

  • What makes you think I needed to accept a word that related "shit"? And you are correct about the easiness to answer. Though a simple google search is not what I intended for people to do, it was not a smart decision on my part to think that would not happen But, all is well because my poem has been submitted to the teacher. Thanks for your clear and very detailed answer! – Taryn Lambert Feb 23 '18 at 18:52
  • @TarynLambert the title "non vulgar" perhaps? Or this bit The only thing I can think of is the word shit, but that word is too offensive. I have tried looking for inoffensive alternatives at Real Life English's Not so Offensive Alternatives to Bad Words in English, and wordhippo if any word can do then you seee, the question is really too broad or opinionable. Your question is asking for a word that would fit in your poem, well... "whit" and "a bit" both rhyme with "shit" which is why they were so highly upvoted. "Atom" does not. – Mari-Lou A Feb 23 '18 at 18:55
  • While I have looked for alternatives, ALL words that are not vulgar would fit my title. I wrote, "Most worked literally, but I am looking for a more clever and poetic word or words that could be used in a way that relates to my poem." This does not imply I needed shit alternatives. Just a word that sounds good (which, I realize, is an opinion, so don't bother saying anything about that) . – Taryn Lambert Feb 23 '18 at 19:02
  • I didn't vote to close, but if I had, it would have been on the grounds of opinion based. I don't think it is too broad, but there are a lot of answers that work fairly well. Someone suggested quark, which I upvoted. A better answer would be quack, which would (a) demonstrate that you learned nothing and (b) be understood by anyone as a worthless amount. – ab2 Feb 24 '18 at 2:31

Regarding the Main Purpose of Closure

Hi Taryn: It's me, Tonepoet again: I was the person who advised you on how to get the question reopened the first time. I was worried this might happen and I hope to be able to help you get it reopened again, if it is possible. Although I can not speak on MetaEd's behalf, I surmise that it should indeed be possible.

I know this is frustrating, but please don't be too discouraged by this, because we intend for closure to be a cyclitic process designed to prevent bad answers from being posted, and overrated while a question is in need of refinement. If a question can be edited to be within scope, we really do want to encourage such edits. As I said before, War of the Closes explains everything. It helps you to get the most thoughtful and useful answers if you follow our procedures, which is the main reason we have them in place. Well, maybe not you personally at this point: Part of our goal here is to build a library of answers for the future reference of others.

Questions which do not comply can be problematic for us. As you see, your first formerly accepted answer "don't care a whit" has 88 votes for it which gives it the appearance of winning by a landslide and burdens more suitable answers with insurmountable odds to beat, even though it may not seem to really be what you are seeking based on the fact that you unaccepted it. This is detrimental to the intended purpose of voting, which is to serve as a system of peer review.


You can not cure a disease without knowing what it is. Now personally, I think the question is good enough in its current state, but others disagree. Based upon the comments, I see a few complaints and I shall try to explain them for you:

General Reference

Originally, the only thing that suggested to me that the question might be off-topic is that the answer seemed too easy to find, as demonstrated by a comment by Edwin Ashworth. We discussed this in great detail already, and you have mostly fixed the problem through the inclusion of some research. However, Edwin seems to maintain his complaint:

(a) Find the obvious possibilities yourself (though they have been googled for you now). (b) Delete the question here and ask for suggested less obvious alternatives to 'don't care a whit', 'don't care a [wild] fig', 'don't care a bit', 'don't care a dime', 'don't care a feather' over on Writers SE, asking further which of all the alternatives best fits your poem.

Primarily Opinion Based

If you reread the closure reason, you should see that this particular closure reason is not really about whether or not you did research, so much as the types of answers it solicits:

… but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

I am not really of the opinion that this is primarily opinion based, because most of the answers are backed up with at least a rudimentary reference, per the closure reason text, and while there are some answers which transgress our usual expectations, that is to be expected with such a popularly viewed question.

However there are a couple of red flags. Although the strongest community consensus suggests that poetry is not strictly off-topic, we tend to place it under much greater scrutiny due to the tendency to break prosaic rules for the sake of prosodic causes. We don't really want to compromise the semantics of the answer to syllabify it smoothly. English Language & Usage mostly just concerns itself with the grammar of English prose, and we expect answers to take the usual systematic of the language into account.

Additionally, "creative" can be interpreted as meaning just about anything. Somebody could suggest that using a word like whale ironically would be a creative solution, and it is wholly unique, but I assume that is not the effect you desire.

More information about what constitutes the difference between an acceptable and an unacceptable answer under the Primarily Opinion Based closure standards can be read at Good Subjective, Bad Subjective, and What Types of Questions Should I Avoid Asking?

Too Broad

MetaEd alluded to the prior closure text of this closure reason, and MariLouA's answer addresses this matter, and I won't retread too much ground. However, for some reason the text of this closure reason was not provided, which makes it difficult to understand, so I shall do that.

First it is worth noting that because the ultimate goal of Stack Exchange is to build a sort of reference work, that we want the competing answers to be relatively digestible, and easier to sort through than going through every website on google. That is why the closure reason used to read as follows:

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.

Recently, the text of this closure reason has been changed, in a manner that I do not think is really helpful because it seems like a duplicate of unclear what you are asking:

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.

For our purposes, I am going to assume that it is the former wording that is the cause of concern, due to the sort of analysis given.

A Few Suggestions for Improvement

Remove Reference to Vague Notions of Creativity

It is really unnecessary, and while it does encourage unique answers, it encourages primarily opinion based ones too. I suspect this was mostly overcompensation for the fact that the question was closed as being general reference anyway. You may want to consider soliciting explanations, rather than creativity.

Show Us All of the Autofill Suggestions & Explain Why You've Dismissed Them

This would help to further demonstrate that a somewhat reasonable research effort would have been more difficult than it seems and show us that you are not just looking for any old answer. It would give us an idea of what factors mitigate against against a choice, which does not only rule out the suggestions made, but all suggestions which share those factors in common.

An additional benefit is that people who want to suggest one of those answers anyway would then need to provide additional explanation regarding why you were too hasty to dismiss these answers in order to justify it. Maybe don't care a whit actually is the right answer for instance, but the single entry at The Free Dictionary does not adequately explain why it is the right answer. All it provides after-all, is the barest explanation of its meaning. This helps us to make better explanations than the ones already out there.

It would help if you included a screenshot of the options provided, like this:

This screenshot shows that the most readily found options on The Free Dictionary in this context are fig, hang, hoot, whit or whoot.

Read How Do I Format My Posts Using Markdown or H.T.M.L? for some information regarding how to do that, and feel free to use the screenshot I have provided. I know that getting it can be a little tricky: I had to use a timed screenshot to snag it without dismissing the suggestions.

Tell Us More About What Kind of Meaning You Want The Word to Signify

You are the poet, and only you know what type of word it is that you want. What we are here to do is to help you find it. If you did this, it would further limit the list of applicable answers to the one which communicates that concept. It encourages our users to try and prove that their word is the closest match to the meaning you want to communicate and in an easily found in pre-existing resource.

I know it may be hard to figure out how, but your poem seems to involve the subjects of labor and nuclear power. Perhaps you could explain more about why you chose that subject, and how your word should fit that particular context, instead of leaving it up to community discretion to decide for themselves what constitutes creatively fitting into the poem. As the poet, it is your responsibility to determine what it is you want to express: We are just here to help you determine what the best way to express it is after you decide that.

Miscellaneous Notes Regarding Moderators & Reopening Procedures:

I am mostly just writing this as a guide regarding how to optimize your odds of reopening the question:

As you can see from the diamond next to his name, MetaEd is a moderator, so pursuant to the procedures mentioned in What If I Disagree with the Closure of a Question? How Can I Reopen It? you may raise a custom flag the question for reopening. This helps to balance out the disproportionate voting power moderators have, without compromising their authority. I would only recommend doing this after you have performed the sorts of edits I already suggested, so that the moderator reviewing the flag sees a reason to change his verdict. However, the moderators here also do not seem to like to go over each other's heads, so instead of flagging the question, you may want to ping MetaEd directly in a comment by typing @MetaEd at the start of a comment. He is now the main person you need to persuade that the question should be reopened, and as such you should definitely heed the advice he gave in the comments.

If the moderators are still reluctant to reopen the question after you have implemented the suggestions I gave, ping me by commenting under this answer. I'll consider if you heeded my advice well enough, and if you have, without creating other unforeseen problems, then I'll cast my own vote to reopen. The community was already receptive towards opening the question in its present form, so it should not be too hard to get it reopened again, and it should be quite easy to get them to do so again if even more improvements are made.

Although sometimes moderators have the ability to exercise some exceptionalism if they deem it necessary, which is part of why we have moderators in the first place, the moderators here are usually elected by our members, based upon their understanding and ability to carry out the community's overall will, and hence they tend to yield to the discretion of the general community, so if the community votes to reopen the question again, I doubt we'll see more moderator intervention to the contrary. I can't guarantee it though.

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    It's not clear, the post is very very long, but do you think the OP's question is on topic and should be reopened? – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '18 at 14:28
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    There is no need to cite in its entirety the "too broad" explanation because the OP's question was never closed for that reason in the first place. It is now on hold for POB, which, by the way, is a lot harder to argue against. – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '18 at 14:31
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    Hi @Mari-LouA You might not be sure of my opinion on closure status, since I'm not entirely sure myself . Although it was closed as P.O.B., MetaEd also alluded to Too Broad in his comments, by referencing rationale only ever found in that closure reason (too many answers), so I think explaining it is necessary. I don't think you're rude: You're just trying to help me. Still, deleting opinions does transgress the distinction between clarifying and changing meaning. I'd provide more rationale regarding why I used this rhetoric, but there's so much that it'd require extended discussion in chat. – Tonepoet Feb 26 '18 at 2:09
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    Well... your choice to rollback. And mine to retract my upvote. The post is really is too long winded, despite the good suggestions. – Mari-Lou A Feb 26 '18 at 2:33
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    @Mari-LouA Hmm, that is indeed your prerogative, although I think that is inadvisable if you are otherwise in full agreement with it. I really only hope to persuade one specific person with this answer anyway, and that's Tayrn, who lacks the years of experience with this website we have, and the implicit understanding which comes with it. It seems to me that the additional explanation really is necessary in consideration of that, and even moreso now since he already tried to be a good contributor and fix the question. I fear he may be fed up with our demands without sound justifications. – Tonepoet Feb 26 '18 at 3:11

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