I thought answers given in other than English were dis-allowed. (comments maybe, I always find them interesting)

I marked this answer as "not an answer". It was disputed and still remains.

There is a nice and very short word in Sinhalese for "Pair of baskets with carrying pole" 1. singular "KADA" 2.Plural "KATH" 3. the person carrying "KATH KARAYA"

I checked at this post, and evidently it takes only 1 dispute to disqualify ALL "deletes".

One invalid flag causes all flags on that post to be disputed.

While quite interesting, I still do not think it belongs there, unless perhaps the author can connect them with a a similar word in English.

Does it belong there, or should I flag it again? And if I do, is it allowed in the system to flag something twice?

  • 2
    It is an answer, but it's not in English. Sometimes we use foreign words to convey things which the English language has no word for... so the fact it isn't in English is perhaps not a good enough reason to say it is a non-answer. There is nothing to stop anyone to use the downvote if the answer is bad or incorrect.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 14, 2018 at 22:45
  • @Mari-LouA I've upvoted your comment, but I think it deserves a more permanent spot as an answer.
    – Lawrence
    Jul 15, 2018 at 11:52
  • 3
    I downvoted and voted to delete. This is a site for English and answers are supposed to be about English, offering English-language solutions, and written in English. The answer will go through the delete queue now, and if 2 other people agree with my assessment, the answer will be gone.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 15, 2018 at 14:26
  • @Mari-LouA While I would normally agree with you about using loan words when a good English word is not available, I do not think this is the case here. "Yoke" (from Colin Fine) was in the the accepted answer, and while it has other, more modern connotations, it would seem to be a good choice. Jul 15, 2018 at 16:53
  • My intention was to help explain why the flag was disputed. Whether the answer is valid, good, or pertinent is a different matter.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 15, 2018 at 17:04
  • @Mari-LouA I think stuff from other languages has its place in answers, especially when it shows an influence on English. But what will stop the site from being flooded with answers in hundreds of different languages and dialects? There has to be some kind of limit. Jul 15, 2018 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


"Why was this flag disputed" is tough for anyone to answer but the person(s) involved, but I can address the underlying issue.

Flag answers for deletion only when they are not answers – they're actually new questions, spam, vandalism, so unintelligible that you can't tell what they are, etc. Specifically, when an entire post is written in a language other than English, it's fine to flag "not an answer" because it's unintelligible to the community it's posted on.

But when an answer is an answer, but it's wrong, not helpful, misleading, etc., don't flag for deletion. Downvote it. Remember, a downvoted answer is much more helpful to everybody that comes after than a deleted answer.

This answer post is clearly an answer, and it's in English. Any English speaker will easily see what the answer is. You might feel that it's not a helpful answer, because this site is not only in English but also about English and maybe you feel the asker wanted an English term. In that case use your downvote.

  • 2
    The fundamental principle on ELU is that askers want English answers. This isn’t a question, it’s an axiom, part of the foundational charter. Your answer here is the correct general answer. But for this specific case, the specific answer is “answers offering non-English solutions are not acceptable: this answer should be deleted for that reason”. And before anyone goes full pedant on me: yes I’m aware of loanwords. If they’ve made it into the English lexicon, they’re English, and appropriate as answers on the English language site ELU. The answer in question here is not a loanword.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 17, 2018 at 20:35
  • Which is what makes the answer wrong, and a downvote the appropriate remedy. The other thing that factors into this is that an intelligible answer can still be so lacking in usefulness that it nets a negative vote score. At that point, the community has judged it not worth keeping, and it's fair game for direct deletion by high-rep users at their discretion. Deletion in that case does not require a flag.
    – MetaEd
    Jul 17, 2018 at 20:50
  • 3
    No, it makes the answer off-topic, or inappropriate, or misplaced. An answer that said "macroeconomics means that kind of bucket-carrying stick" would be wrong, and downvoteable. It's an attempt at an answer (supplying an English word to match the item sought), but it's a wrong answer, so -1 and move on. But this is a non-answer, just as "E = mc^2" would be. It should be deleted. It's out of place.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 17, 2018 at 21:00
  • @DanBron Dare I axe? Jul 25, 2018 at 19:14
  • @Araucaria You dare! That question was “historically locked” as “a fun time we all remember but inappropriate for he site” :)
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 25, 2018 at 19:18
  • @DanBron Perhaps, then, there's room for an answer that doesn't fit the rules being preserved for posterity because it adds a little something or other, even if it's downvoted? :) (obviously this is not in the same league by a million miles ...) I have no strong view either way, but someone else seems to find the answer worthy of not obliterating ... Jul 25, 2018 at 19:35
  • Apparently, people took your advice too seriously.
    – Kris
    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:23

So much ado about not having privileges.

The user was new, with a rep of 1 and so did not have comment privilege, but was eager to share what they considered was relevant and interesting.

All that the "answer" needed was to post a comment saying "This is not an answer." Why blow the issue over?

New users rushing to say something tend to use the "answer" option; this is a very commonly observed "breach" but is understandable.

  • Or even flag and explain the decision in the comments (after all the answerer has invested time and is trying to be helpful) maybe something on the lines of: 'while interesting, this is not relevant to the question, so I've flagged it.' I think it could be a bit of a turn off for new users getting downvoted without knowing why. Having strict guidelines shouldn't exclude having a welcoming culture imo.
    – S Conroy
    Jul 29, 2018 at 0:14
  • @SConroy **All that the "answer" needed was to post a comment saying "This is not an answer." Why blow the issue over? ** was my answer.
    – Kris
    Jul 30, 2018 at 6:46
  • 1
    @Kris. Yes, I understood that and tended to agree. The rest was my own vague ramblings.
    – S Conroy
    Jul 30, 2018 at 17:22
  • But people don't have the heart to accept the truth but prevail on their prejudices. Comfortable lies comfort.
    – Kris
    Jul 31, 2018 at 6:04

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