I asked the question: Is Post Script (P.S.) still relevant in the age of email? on ELU few days back which resulted into closing and locking of the question.

My version: Why it happened?

Closing of question: I disagreed with the suggested thoughts by commenters on the question in comment section. May be, it resulted because I was not able to expression my thought successfully or make it more clear. Then, it was put on hold for providing further explanation which I did and later they closed with a reason: "closed as primarily opinion-based".

Locking of the question: I deleted by description twice. I thought no body was paying much attention to the description and drafted their comments or answer which they thought is correct. Mostly, the comments and the answer were favoring informal use of P.S. in a email. In description, I stated saying that there is wiki article on it and my question is on formal email and not about informal email. On seeing confusion, I later updated same in my description, before I deleted description completely.

Yes, I was miffed by the way my question was handled and I snapped back at @MetaEd saying, if you want to ban me then please go ahead, but I will not give up on this one, because I tried making it clear many a times that it was about formal email: why we need to use P.S. in formal email communication?

I thought to update my question, but I was locked, hence I can't update it now.

My question (concern), is it possible to unlock the question, so that I can update question making a proper sense?

  • Sorry, I was focused on the banner and I hadn't seen MetaEd's message: locked by MetaEd♦ Jul 10 at 16:57 – Mari-Lou A Aug 3 at 9:45
  • @Mari-LouA that's ok! – Looper Aug 3 at 10:54
  • 2
    I can’t comment under the question on Main so I’ll leave this comment here: your question has an underlying premise which doesn’t hold, and recognition that it doesn’t hold is precisely what made people aware that it runs afoul of the question-asking framework here. The premise that doesn’t hold is there is some single correct or almost-always correct answer to this question: either yes or no, carrying the reasons why. You have doubled-down on this premise, emphasizing you’re asking of “formal” or “official” emails. But there is no such correct answer: it’s a matter of opinion & preference. – Dan Bron Aug 3 at 11:25
  • @DanBron I may have asked the opinion based question, but my intention was to clear my doubt. This question does it every well! – Looper Aug 3 at 11:45
  • You... that link was in your question, you rejected the answers on that link because you said they referred to informal emails. And I quote: This answer [older Q] does not make it clear enough. The replier of this answer just highlight in which situation he/she uses P.S. Not, when not to use P.S. And that question is also closed for exactly the same reasons. – Mari-Lou A Aug 3 at 11:47
  • @Looper That you asked an opinion based question resolves this current Meta-question you’ve posed, both in status and outlook. The question is closed for being opinion based and will remain closed for the same reason. Note that SE has very specific aim, which puts constraints on the kinds of questions which it can entertain. Thus, that someone has a question they want answered does not imply that it can be answered on SE. But since you say you wanted to clear up a doubt and you found a precious question which does so admirably, I am glad you are satisfied. It seems we have resolved everything – Dan Bron Aug 3 at 11:48
  • @DanBron Yes you are right, but not the lock part. Why it needs to be locked? – Looper Aug 3 at 11:50
  • “I have also pointed out the defects in the answers. I have changed the content for a reason” and later you said “in fact I have brought to light the discrepancies in answers which lead to opinion of moderators.… I guess, when there is no answer, so-called expert divert attention by dismissing it.” – Mari-Lou A Aug 3 at 11:52
  • @Looper Locking is mostly done at the discretion of the mods and can only be undone at that same discretion. So I can’t answer you with full confidence, but: locking is frequently applied when a user gets frustrated and starts, or — more likely — persists in making inappropriate edits to his own question as a way to spite the system or its people, or simply throw a tantrum. Repeated edits of that nature are disruptive to the site and unfair to its users. That said, my highest-ever voted post is also locked. It happens. My best advice is to let it go. You got the answer you were looking for. – Dan Bron Aug 3 at 11:54
  • @DanBron, yes Dan I agree with you. When I joined this site, I was naïve about the SE rules, and treated it as quora, or yahoo answer (but only initially). Later, I found that people here are nice and sincerely. I also became sincere and nice while answering the questions. Anyways, thanks!! – Looper Aug 3 at 12:00
  • @Mari-LouA I think SE hates postscript :) Have a nice day! it's time for coffee. I will refrain from answering few questions, because I think you will be after me :D TC for now!! – Looper Aug 3 at 12:01

When a question is "locked" it means that it cannot be unlocked by normal voting procedures and new answers cannot be posted. In this case, the community is also prevented from voting on the locked question but not on its answers (so it's really punishing the OP). Users are also prevented from editing the post itself. Only diamond moderators can lock or unlock posts.

If you wish your question to be unlocked you should address the reason for its closure and remove the "stumbling block". In your case, five users (myself included) said that the question is opinion based.

What does POB mean?

It stands for Primarily Opinion Based, which means there cannot be a right or wrong answer to the OP's question, only answers based on personal opinions. The owner of the locked post should address that specific issue by raising a flag or by posting on meta. Only a mod can unlock the question, so the owner has to especially convince them, but a general consensus from the community might also be persuasive.

In the original question, the OP asked:

Does it make any sense to use P.S. these days while drafting an email?

Please explain why it is not a question asking for users' opinions, however well-informed those opinions might be.

Lastly, when the OP (@Looper) deleted all its contents and replaced it with (entire text)

Is Post Script (P.S.) still relevant?
Is Post Script (P.S.) still relevant? I am expecting any answer here

they didn't help the situation. But they did successfully boil it down to a single phrase.

Answer

Use common sense. If writing a P.S. is acceptable in chatty emails, and you acknowledged it was, then it's a matter of opinion if it's acceptable in formal correspondence. You probably could add a P.S in an email addressed to a university professor, but less so to a CEO or to your boss.

There are no references that I could find which support my idea.

  • 1st- I am relatively new to the site, 2nd- I am not a native speaker, 3rd- I represented my research using Wiki article which was never addressed. In fact, that was the one reason, which made me adamant to change my mind and reluctant to accept comments and answers. If you happen to check the answer then there is not an iota of reference or explanation stating that wiki is not entirely correct on this article. I deleted the description because anyway it was not helping. Here also, you haven't mentioned anything about it (wiki article). – Looper Aug 3 at 10:43
  • And secondly, you overlooked 'locked' part of my concern which was in description (you realised it later). These gives me an impression that sometimes Answerer/Commenters/Moderators also commit mistake while addressing questions. I know, it is not always true. But, two days back there was question on neologism(not mine) which was harshly closed. There were literally many user interested to answer it. These confuses me that how one decide that question will generate opinion or not. – Looper Aug 3 at 10:43
  • Also, I happened to check the same question on neologism on Writing SE. It is answered as OP is asking about usage of 'New Word' while reading and not as using newly coined word. – Looper Aug 3 at 10:49
  • Sometimes, intension and interest of the OP is completely unaddressed. I felt it in my case. I don't find a reason that why locking was necessary . OK! I deleted description, but no one was using it! The comments actually made me defensive. – Looper Aug 3 at 10:53
  • @Looper you haven't addressed the main point, the only point. There cannot be a right or wrong answer to your question, only answers based on personal opinions. Address that point please, in your question and not when I auto-corrected my post or that I ignored the Wiki article. – Mari-Lou A Aug 3 at 10:55
  • Okay! I don't want to convert my request to update the question into debate. Secondly, you are pushing me to concentrate on only one part of the issue. Thirdly, I have already address that in description. I guess you overlooked it. I requested that if my old question is generating opinion then I can update my question to "why we or is there any need to use P.S. in formal email communication?" But, it is amazing to learn that my research on the topic can be completely ignored . So, while reading replies, I shouldn't corelate my findings with the answers and comments?!? – Looper Aug 3 at 11:10
  • @Looper the Wiki article explains what P.S means and how to use it. It then goes on to talk about PPS and PPPS. You've shown research but the question was not closed for lack of research, was it? How is posting a link to Wiki telling us that your question about using it in (very) formal correspondence requires an objective and authoritative answer? – Mari-Lou A Aug 3 at 11:24
  • I don't know where I am missing, but I have already covered this part How is posting a link to Wiki telling us that your question about using it in (very) formal correspondence requires an objective and authoritative answer? in my description saying: ...it should be used for that in formal conversation. But, an email can be edited. So, do we really need to write P.S. in an email... and I am not subject matter expert, I came here with confusion. – Looper Aug 3 at 11:35
  • @Looper I give up. You are not understanding, or you are refusing to. Read Dan Bron's comment, maybe he makes more sense than I do. He's saying practically the same thing though... – Mari-Lou A Aug 3 at 11:38
  • Actually, my question qualifies as duplicate. So, it should be marked as duplicate, right? I just came to know about duplicate question just now. – Looper Aug 3 at 11:43
  • 2
    I think that because the question is locked due to a content dispute, it’s not going to be unlocked until the dispute is resolved. It could be unlocked and left closed if everyone has cooled off enough to stop editing it inappropriately (like deleting 90% of the content) If that dispute can’t be resolved, it will stay locked. – ColleenV Aug 3 at 19:37

Sorry this is such a long answer, but I think I can help by clearing up some misconceptions about what happened and what the English Stack Exchange is for.

Why was the question locked, and can it be unlocked?

It was locked after it was defaced twice. Questions should not be defaced. Defacing means modifying so that the original question is gone. The community and the moderator team enforce this. Some tools at their disposal are: unediting (reverting) the question, locking the question, and suspending the account.

I am unlocking the question, so that it can be edited again. But please, if you have a different or related question, do not change the original question. Instead, create a new question.

Why was the question closed, and can it be reopened?

I see several problems with it.

  1. You seem to be asking for discussion of your belief that the use of P.S. in formal emails is now obsolete and not necessary. Stack Exchange is for questions that can have a "right" answer. When a question is more of a statement of opinion and a request for other opinions from the community, it is usually closed as too subjective to have a "right" answer.

  2. Your question seems to be the same as "Is it appropriate to add a postscript to an email?". When two questions are the same, one is closed as a duplicate of the other, or else the two questions are merged. This is done even when the earlier question is closed or does not have a good answer.

  3. You seem to be asking how a good formal business email should be written. The experts here are experts on what English is: the linguistics of English, or you could say English as a technology: its words, grammar, etymology, pronunciation, spelling, punctuation, and variations. Questions about the art of writing or what the English language should be are outside the scope of this site. I think this is why the answers did not satisfy you. You hoped to discuss what the use of postscripts should be, but the answers were more about what the use of postscripts is.

In light of these problems, probably the community will leave the question closed.

Then what can be done?

Languages have different variations for different social situations. This is referred to as register, or formality. Your question touches on register. Instead of starting a discussion of how "P.S." should be used, would it be helpful to you to ask about how "P.S." is used? In current usage, where does it fall on the spectrum of formality? Is it still used formally, or has it shifted and become mostly ironic, or archaic/super-formal?

If that would help you, maybe try posing a new question. I cannot promise that it would be well received, but I think it would avoid some of problems that this question had.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .