Yes, I am aware that many users including tchrist ♦, and perhaps eight of the nine EL&U mods, really dislike SWRs (Single Word Requests) but for a mod to shut all three questions as Primarily Opinion-Based is unfair.

  1. What is the word for sensing something is strange
  2. Lying to my girlfriend that I'm hot and other girls hit on me all the time

The second one's rather good, I think, and perfect for ELL

  1. He isn't biologically my son but I love him as if he were

enter image description here

This last one passed the review queue and had received three "leave open" casts which were ignored...

Review completed 44 mins ago:
jimm101 reviewed this 44 mins ago: Leave Open
Edwin Ashworth reviewed this 1 hour ago: Leave Open
JJJ reviewed this 3 hours ago: Leave Open
Nigel J reviewed this 6 hours ago: Close

(UPDATE: The question was successfully reopened April 12.)

It would be more honest to just ban SWRs outright if they are the bane of the site.

Can someone provide actual facts and numbers? For example, what percentage of questions asked since January 2018 have been SWRs? How many were closed for being POB? How many were closed within one hour of posting? How many were closed for lack of research? etc.

  • Should we add SWRs to the off-topic list once and for all?

If someone wants to make this proposal here are some of the arguments in favor:

  1. Single word requests, crosswords, and the fight against mediocrity (2011)

With all the resentment poured out here, one might think poor examples of this sort of question would get body-slammed the minute they showed up...

Cheating at crosswords

...Yet... Watching the front page, you could be forgiven for thinking "crossword-solving" was one of the primary functions of this site.

  1. Can anything be done about mean-spirited requests for terminology? (2014)

… questions asking about insults or slurs are questions that deserve to be labelled pejorative. It bothered me how many of these there were, and how they tend to draw bikeshedding list responses with no right answer. It doesn’t look good.

  1. How to save EL&U (2015)

I think one way to massively improve this site would be to start a new Stack Exchange site called something like English Phrase Finder or Word Finder or something like that where single word requests, word choices and phrase requests could be answered along with crossword puzzle solutions and the rest. I'm sure it would be a very successful site, perhaps more so than EL&U, and would grow very rapidly.

  1. Would you support systematic testing of proposed quality improvement methods? (2017)

As an enthusiastic newcomer to EL&U, I quickly noticed a problem most of you have endured for many moons: the plethora of low-quality, help-me-with-this-crossword-clue, single-word questions. I have endeavored to read previous EL&U Meta discussions on this topic, but if my query has been asked and answered before, point me in that direction please. :p)

If not, my question is:

Would you support systematic testing of proposed quality improvement methods?

  1. “What’s wrong with single word requests?” (2016)

My own personal opinion is that we should get rid of these if at all possible, and severely curtail and restrict them if not. It doesn't matter whether the request is for a single word, a phrase, an idiom, a proverb, or any other related “guessing-game style” of request.

No matter what guise they take, these are all a drain on our site quality and a drain on our community’s time, both moderator time answering flags and that of the general community running the review queues. […]

Usually there is no research. People haven’t bothered to look at a thesaurus or even Google. These almost all wind up being thinly veiled requests for writing advice, programming advice, and shaming advice.

  1. Reconsidering the single word request (2013)

In light of the recent launch of our sister site, English Language Learners, I would like to propose that this site no longer accept questions of the "What is another word or phrase for...?"

Single word requests have long been contentious here. They tend to be uninteresting one-offs and rep-feeding frenzies. They also aren't really on topic, are they? English Language and Usage is supposed to be focused on academic questions of English and explaining the nuances of grammar and syntax.

  1. Against single word requests (2011)

The consensus of earlier discussions was that these questions are on the low end, but not specifically disallowed. However, the last few months of experience have started to bias me against these questions, so much so that I think we need to reevaluate our decision to allow them. I'm now of the opinion that single word requests should be either disallowed entirely or subject to much more stringent requirements.

  1. in a comment (2015)

I agree, kill single-word-requests. Questions that use an idiomatic two-word phrase to perfectly describe the desired concept without explaining why that two-word phrase is insufficient are useless.

  1. In an answer (2016)

For the most part, the first-time posters who submit one-word answers followed by a little filler to meet the minimum character count are not interested in anything more than participating in a quiz-show-format guessing game. […] very few SWRs have any staying power. Their contribution to the site is like an all-sugar lunch: they draw a big buzz for a short time, and then they crash. In the language of publishing, they have little or no tail.

Are all SWRs a drain? Do we have proof that SWRS are to blame for the lowering of standards? Would banning SWRs improve our site? Where's the proof? Or are SWRs just an easy scapegoat?

Question: Is strongly disliking SWRs and sustaining they are a drain on our site a sufficiently good enough reason for shutting the three questions listed at the top of the page as POB?

  • Here's a fun activity. Well... if we're becoming a crossword site this is a legitimate game. Guess who the authors are before clicking on the links.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 13:13
  • 5
    Those three should be closed by most any reason. POB is just one. Too broad, unclear, use an effing thesaurus first, etc.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:07
  • 2
    @Mitch I disagree, the answer to the 2nd question for a non-native speaker would be very difficult to look up in a dictionary. And would the OP have found the answer "surrogate" in a thesaurus under the entry for "father" for Q 3?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:16
  • 2
    Re qn 2, bragging may well be what they want but I don't think it matches what they are asking for. The question is underspecified. Qn 3 is more articulate, but still, I don't think there's a word for that specific thing. Vague notions coupled with highly specific conditions aren't likely to be good SWRs.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:51
  • 2
    @Mitch I would like to see how well or poorly this post is received before writing a new meta post. But if someone else wants to write a dispassionate case in favour of banning SWRs, I'm all ears.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:10
  • None of those three questions have sample sentences so why should anyone invest energy to keeping them open? Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:45
  • 1
    @curiousdannii does that make them automatically POB?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:50
  • 2
    As far as I can say, there’s always been on ELU a strong prejudice against SWRs however interesting and well posed they may be. The real reason remains somewhat obscure, probably they think that SWRs are by definition just poor quality questions. I’m not surprised the three questions you cite have been put on hold, probably as a further attempt to discourage users from asking and answering them.
    – user 66974
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:32
  • 2
    What I would really enjoy, would be detailed discussions that tried to discuss, but not necessarily "win", current connotations generally synonymous words carry, especially where the words connotations have drifted from the dictionary definitions which are trailing indicators. While these would have "opinion" the opinion would not be "what is better" but, "keep in mind this is used like this frequently". Also, I'd like "what are some less stilted way of expressing this in English than this formal but infrequently used word" questions. Not a crossword site - a word discussion site
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    As I mentioned in a comment to an answer, I believe most SWR could be rescued by a OP willing to actively and attentively improve and re-frame their question to push it away from "guess what I'm looking for" or "give me a list" to, "help me make this fine distinction between these words to This Audience in this context" - if OP's were better with the idea of 'context' and 'audience' far far more SWR would be language discussions not guessing games.
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 22:36
  • 2
    I've been here only a couple of weeks, but these "What is a single word for ..." questions already drive me nuts. It's one thing to have known a word that you can't bring to mind, for which you can give a fairly specific definition, hoping someone will jar your memory. But many of these cases are wild fishing expeditions approaching the likes of "What is a single word for the feeling you get when you order a sandwich at a deli in a major city west of the Mississippi on a Tuesday and you want it on rye bread without caraway seeds but the only rye bread they have contains caraway seeds?" Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 14:38
  • @GreenGrassoHolm It's perfectly understandable, SWRs are very often as you described. Improving their quality is in many instances, I fear, a lost cause. So what to do? Take the rough with the smooth, or to use another idiom, grin and bear it? Do we focus on helping users improve their questions because we see a gem gleaming in the landfill, or do we just ban the whole lot?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 14:58
  • 1
    Oh, ppl assume SWRs are for solving crossword puzzles, haha. I never would've guessed that. I mean, they have the internet. That's why crossword puzzles aren't fun anymore...and no one does them anymore...except ppl without the internet. This be nice for nothing thing...wearing thin.
    – user294180
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 2:03

4 Answers 4


"It would be more honest to just ban SWRs outright if they are the bane of the site." Exactly so. Sporadically using "Primarily opinion based" as a close reason for single-word requests (and phrase requests and idiom requests and expression requests and proverb requests and—in the old days of this site—word choice [requests]) inevitably involves selective enforcement because, at bottom, all such requests are strongly opinion inflected if not primarily opinion based. And since all questions in this class share the same categorical flaw, using POB as a reason to close some word choice requests but not others can't help but be arbitrary and unfair. Also, taking half-measures to discourage word choice requests will only increase confusion about what is acceptable at EL&U.

When Araucaria suggested (How to save EL&U) creating a separate "Word and Phrase Finder" site within the Stack Exchange network, I endorsed the idea because I thought it offered a way to deal with word choice requests fairly and sensibly, while moving them outside the EL&U answer database, where they have little long-term value (because they are so ill suited to key-word searches). My interest then and now is in promoting EL&U as a searchable database of useful answers to questions of long-term interest to future site visitors.

A Word and Phrase Finder site would be dedicated to questions like the three highlighted in Mari-Lou A's question. It would also provide an extremely convenient destination for the torrent of word and phrase requests that have been pouring into EL&U since the earliest days of this site. Clicking "off-topic because..." > "This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network" > "belongs on wordandphrasefinder.stackexchange.com" would dispatch all such questions to a locale where site participants could happily vie to supply the most appropriate word or phrase or idiom or expression or proverb or word choice to meet the occasion.

I still think that this would work. Clearly, people love to ask and answer and vote on word choice requests; and it makes no sense for Stack Exchange to ignore that reality. However, to the extent that word choice requests fundamentally differ from other EL&U questions (for example, because the usual "show your research" requirement makes no sense as applied to them), they muddle the site's standards. In addition, I have no doubt that they make searching for evergreen questions and answers on the site more difficult. If we diverted word choice requests to a separate site, the primary housecleaning problem remaining for EL&U would be to identify and retain questions that, despite being tagged as one or another of these types of requests, actually raise substantive issues of grammar or usage and thus ought to be retained on this site.

But if we aren't willing to move word choice requests to a separate site, I think we shouldn't waste our time trying to eradicate them. Instead, we should treat them as what they are: a major and perennial source of entertainment and site traffic at English Language & Usage. When people beat a shortcut path across a public lawn, you can put up signs urging them not to stray from the paved walkways and threatening to fine scofflaws—but if enough pedestrians take the shortcut anyway, the unauthorized path will never revert to beautiful green grass. And in that case, an enlightened authority might consider paving the de facto path instead of fruitlessly opposing the will of so many passers-by.

Update (April 21, 2018)

An excellent recent example of a formally successful SWR is the recent question, Is there one word for "being deceived into complying"? This SWR plays by the rules: it asks for one word with a specific (but not excessively specific) meaning, and it provide an example sentence that includes a blank where the sought word would appear. The question has been very popular (5,133 page views and 20 net upvotes in less than three days, as I write this). It has drawn 14 answers that make 19 word or phrase suggestions, and 13 of those 14 answers have received net upvote totals.

The answers read very much like a series of synonyms for deceived that you might find in Roget's Thesaurus: duped, misled, hoodwinked/bamboozled/hornswoggled, lulled, tricked, cajoled/beguiled, manipulated, inveigled, gulled, skuldug, blinkered/railroaded, be a sheep, conned/pressured, and suckered. And yet the top-voted answer (duped, with 44 upvotes) is not appreciably more correct than the lowest-voted answer (suckered, with 0 upvotes). The voting results establish that the people who vote on SWRs at this site much prefer to duped to suckered, but nothing more.

More generally, the question and the responses it has drawn and the votes those responses have received indicate that there is a wide range of opinion about which word might work most effectively. Ignoring downvotes for the moment so that we can consider how many people thought that each of the suggested answers was a positive contribution to answering the question, we find these upvote totals: 44, 16, 12, 11, 6, 4, 4, 5, 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 0. That is, voters have cast 113 upvotes for the various answers, and the highest-ranked answer has received 39% of the upvotes.

To me, these results indicate that there is no objectively best word to fill in the blank in the OP's example sentence. Failing that, the question essentially becomes a thesaurus request: it invites answerers to supply a list of word suggestions and invites voters to choose among the resulting answers on the basis of personal preference (which is as much as to say that it asks for primarily opinion-based answers to be adjudicated by primarily opinion-based upvoting and downvoting).

The question would clearly have been off topic at this site if the poster had explicitly asked "What do you think is the best single word for 'being deceived into complying'?" (as a request for an opinion) or if the poster had explicitly asked "What are some single-word synonyms for 'being deceived into complying'?" (as a list request). But because the OP played by the rules, the question I've been discussing is (in my view) clearly valid under the rules governing SWRs on this site.

But does the question have any substantial value to future EL&U site visitors? To answer affirmatively, I think, we have to imagine a visitor searching EL&U for a synonym for "deceived [into complying]"—in which case the question and answers are arguably as useful as an entry for deceived in a thesaurus would be. But if this sort of question (and the answers it draws) is valid, perhaps we ought to rethink our categorical opposition to list questions. We might even use a different tag—"thesaurus"—to clarify why such questions are useful to the site in the long term.

  • 1
    Would you prefer Too Broad then? What about Not Enough Research?
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 19:30
  • 2
    @tchrist: Weirdly enough, my dislike of most SWRs involves very nearly the opposite reason of Too Broad: I think that they are Too Localized (to be of lasting interest). I especially oppose using Show Research to close them—because what makes them objectionable has nothing to do with the lack of research that typically attends them. Above all, I wish that we did a better job of attaching accurate explanations to our close votes—to inform question askers effectively about the real trouble with their questions and to avoid giving them false hope when their questions aren't fixable.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 19:53
  • Some of the SWR would be very broad, but less contentiously 'opinion based' if they were tagged Synonyms and were requests for insight to connotations the different synonym might risk carrying in a given situation. Certainly, they still might be heavy on 'opinion' but, "you will frequently hear the word 'cuddle' used in conjunction with a 'stuffed animal' in a non sexual way although one can also cuddle with a lover. One can embrace a lover but it would also be common for a noble launderette to embrace a former associate when reuniting years later.' Opinion based, but language based.
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 22:51
  • "my dislike of most SWRs involves very nearly the opposite reason of Too Broad: I think that they are Too Localized (to be of lasting interest)" __ it seems "too narrow" is an actual close reason on some other SE sites; why not on ELU? Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 3:58

Regardless of one's stance on the desirability of SWRs in general, I cannot see how anyone could fail to agree that at least the first two of the linked questions were unresearched and underspecified, and were therefore totally deserving of closure for several reasons. (POB is perhaps a poor choice of reasons specifically, but the closure itself is entirely justified.)

The last one shows a bit more effort and thought, but despite the 'leave open' votes is still, in my eyes, lacking in the required SWR elements. It may be appropriate on ELL, in which case votes to migrate would be preferred.

  • And do you think the community should abdicate the decision to leave a question open (or to put a question on hold) to an elected mod because they are, fundamentally, the gatekeepers of the site?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:03
  • I am not suggesting nor supporting the idea that we abdicate the decision; I am simply agreeing with the decision that the mod made (and expressing surprise that it was so vehemently disagreed with). If the community chooses to overturn it via the provided reopen process, I will consider casting a close vote of my own at that point.
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:09
  • The point of the post is that all three Qs were closed within minutes of each other for being POB by someone who has repeatedly expressed his distaste and disapproval for SWRs. In which case, the category should be banned, and we, as a community can then move onto moaning about underresearched grammar questions that are bringing down the quality of the site. IOW, are SWRs the bane of the site or a just a convenient scapegoat?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:15
  • 2
    The point of my response is that distaste for SWRs is not necessary to think that all three questions needed to be closed. (I like SWRs, I have a gold badge in the SWR tag.)
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:18
  • I agree, that A HUGE percentage of the 'opinion based' SWR questions could be salvaged with a OP willing to gradually edit the question, based on coaching in comments, to make the question less of a contest and more of a word usuage discussion. Unfortunately the OP's usually will not take this guidance - often they are given a chance to re-open or a window in which they will not immediately be closed if the OP is attentive and continues with multiple edits and improvements to their question to allow it to be a more specially tailored English language solution rather than a guess at intent
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 22:09
  • All three SWRs had more detail and were proper questions that several of the "grammar-based" questions that have cropped up this morning lack, this lack of "specificity" is apparent in so many questions, SWRs are not at fault here. english.stackexchange.com/questions/441113/on-and-off-the-light
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 10:00
  • I don't really see any reason the last question would be better on ELL than on EL&U.
    – user28567
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 17:09
  • I didn't vote to close the last, but probably did on the other two. In the last I felt there had been enough context that an example sentence would have superfluous. "I ___ him like a son" was more or less obvious and wouldn't have added anything. Otherwise, I find the close votes entirely defensible--MANY SWR/phrase requests answer themselves when an example is given.
    – jimm101
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 18:46

If you don’t find your first mentioned question to be so completely awful as to be far out of the bounds of our site, then we really do need to have a talk. The second one’s little better.

This situation is getting worse and worse. People show up doing no work who are asking us to do their writing for them. That's not why we're here. We won't do writing requests, nor pick-your-favorite-word contests either.

Here’s the thing: it DOES NOT MATTER whether a substantial proportion of the new questions are of those sorts. It also doesn't matter whether a sizable segment of the membership “enjoys answering” those questions.

That's because those are questions which are fundamentally counter to the entire Stack Exchange model. The guidance we receive from Management not to tolerate those sorts of questions exists to help us keep our site on track, how to continue to be a useful question-and-answer site that falls within the Stack Exchange model.

That’s what people are missing here.

Look at it this way. Imagine if a bunch of questions asking for jokes in English showed up, and these gathered a lot of answers and a lot of votes. Everybody is having a good time. Does that mean we can or should allow these sorts of questions?

Absolutely not. The Dalai Lama’s “Make me one with the universe” pizza question question proves this.

So too with the writing requests and word-guessing parties.

  • 1
    Then what is stopping "EL&U" from banning SWRs all together? Especially if the majority agree, add that restriction in the off-topic list. And then we can stop posting answers in comments and stop helping newcomers to write better quality SWRs. Done. Problem solved. P.S. I don't think question 1 is that awful, but note I didn't vote to reopen it. Qs 2 and 3 should be reopened.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 13:24
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA That seems overly simplistic: SWRs tend to be bad -> let's ban SWRs altogether. I don't think anyone thinks that. SWRs that are composed well are good and welcome. DOn't ban them encourage good ones (by closing bad ones).
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:06
  • 2
    @Mitch ask tchrist if he thinks SWRs have a a role. I'm frankly fed up of seeing shog9's meta question being always referenced whenever the subject of LQQs arise, and users are asking questions to be reopened. Can we settle this debate once and for all? Does the site want to ban SWRs or not? Because it's clear that the vast majority of EL&U mods would like that to happen.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:12
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA I think I can speak for the mods informally but faithfully and just repeat that no one wants to ban SWRs, they just want to reduce the number of bad SWRs.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:47
  • 2
    @Mitch then you're sadly mistaken. Look at the quotes I cited in the question, the quotes suggested banning or severely restricting SWRs are taken from mods and ex-mods. It's been argued many a time that SWRs are guessing games ergo all SWRs are "bad". Even successful and very popular SWRs get unilaterally closed, especially by one mod. In the name of quality. So... ban the category.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:53
  • @Mari-LouA OK. But maybe it's time to revisit the issue (it's been a while since that meta-question). But this meta question isn't that is it? If not, do you want to bring up a new meta qn 'Do we want to ban SWRs?' (or however you want to word it)?
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:02
  • I thought the Dalai Lama joke was the one posted by @Reg Dwight, but on ELL. And I was going to say "Alleluia someone else who thinks that question is not an example of a good English language question. Instead, it's a link pointing to a deleted question on EL&U! That is quite ironic, considering RegDwight posted the question two years later on a new site. I suppose he thought it fitted ELL
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:20
  • 1
    What I am not sure of, is that what is the 'distraction' or the 'negative' from the 'noise' of the 'SWR' - at one point I believe it was about SEO and SE fear that the the site would be indexed differently if answers were less definitive or more duplicated. Also, they were afraid of looking like a link farm I believe. I suppose some fidelity to the concept makes sense for that reason, BUT, there are so few sites that discuss words - where users can submit thoughts and have some response and a reader can take and choose and compile thoughts - we see ourselves when looking for references.
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 0:19
  • 1
    When one goes to the "tag" box in the Ask Question dialog, it is recommended that one "favor using existing popular tags." Click on that, and at the very top of the list is SWRs. Try a simple experiment: list the popular tags in reverse order or alphabetically, encouraging the asker to consider what the question is about and possibly revise it. My guess is you'd get a dramatic decline is SWRs. Right now, the tag is an attractive nuisance and its heavy use should surprise no one.
    – Xanne
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 2:58

I do not think Single Word Requests are categorically Primarily Opinion Based. Quite the opposite really. I would suggest that a higher degree of Single Word Requests have some basis in, reference because it is so easy to simply pull up a dictionary definition which explains the gist of what a suggested answer means, with a presuambly trustworthy testimony by lexicographical scholars.

I do not have exact numbers, but I trust that most of you see what is actually going on with the Single Word Requests these days. I trust most of us can see that most of our answers have their basis in the most well known example of a reference work, it does not really make sense to be suggesting otherwise with the following closure reason:

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

Moreover, the same sorts of facts that lexicographers use to craft their definitions can easily be applied to most semantic questions if somebody is willing to go through the effort. Treating the whole category of questions as Primarily Opinion Based makes relatively little sense to me, and of course somebody with relevant experience with the concept in question can always propose what word they would use, if any.

Having the whole question category derided as Primarily Opinion Based is also somewhat discouraging to somebody like myself, who often goes through the extra effort necessary to thoroughly prove my point in accordance to the guidelines. It suggests that it does not matter how much effort I undergo to craft a well thunk answer of the sort I usually try to craft, which are to Single Word Requests.

I do understand why somebody might be under the impression that they are primarily opinion based. Often times, it seems like mediocre answers with a minimal amount of effort put into them often get too much undue attention, and garner votes for them based moreso on the matter of agreement with the conclusion than the convincingness of the argument presented. However, this is a qualitative concern that we should probably handle with solutions such as voting subpar answers down, and perhaps writing a more thorough competing answer to the question.

I also do not think that Single Word Requests are especially prone to the problem of mere agreement versus convincingness. I think it is a problem inherent to the Stack Exchange format that the Primarily Opinion Based closure reason seeks to fix. If Single Word Requests are especially prone to this though, I would suggest that it is actually quite the opposite problem that they have. It is too easy to write a mediocre answer, which then gets the lion's share of the exposure over a more thoughtful answer that would take more time to craft. There have been occasions where I have started to take time to thoroughly write out an answer, and then dropped it just because somebody else made the same suggestion first.

Anyway, regarding these questions in particular, these seem like relatively common sentiments and I feel like I have a good answer for at least a couple of them on the tip of my tongue, but can not actually remember for the life of me what they are. Nevertheless, at the time they were closed, I would have closed all of those questions for the lack of context disclosure reason we imposed for Single Word Requests in particular.

  • The Scylla of Off-Topic—Primarily Opinion Based seems inherent in questions of the type "What is the best word to use if the meaning I want to convey is X?" as does the Charybdis of Off-Topic—List Request in questions of the type "What are some suitable words to use if the meaning I want to convey is X?" The space for on-topic SWRs that fall between and yet avoid those two closure dangers is quite narrow, I think, and depends more on conventional indulgence than on any substantive distinction. How can an SWR that draws 4 or 8 or 12 different suggested answers not be, at bottom, a list request?
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 18:16

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