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Asked less than 14 hours ago: Is there a single adjective for “mercenary-like attitude”?. The question has +10, and there are six answers as of now. But the question shows no research. Why is it that the users here don't immediately closevote the question for lack of research?

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    It is not clear what sort of research you are referring to. The OP is stuck with a definition he obviously can’t find, apart from the unconvincing alternative of “mercantile”. From which the question. You may probably object that it belongs to ELL rather than here. – user067531 Aug 21 '18 at 18:11
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    @user070221 Research can take many forms: checking references such as an online English dictionary, thesaurus, or grammar, searching this site for similar questions, searching the web, or putting substantial thought into the question on your own. See: “How much research is needed? – EL&U Meta”. And the requirement is that the results of this effort be posted as part of the question. – MetaEd Aug 21 '18 at 18:26
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    @user070221 Word requests must also include: (i) objective criteria for accepting answers, including connotation, register, and part of speech; (ii) the exact context – generally we want the sentence you’re writing; and (iii) words you’ve already rejected, and why. See: “Single word requests, crosswords, and the fight against mediocrity – ELU Meta”; “Real Questions Have Answers – SE Blog”. – MetaEd Aug 21 '18 at 18:28
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    @MetaEd - Well, there is an alternative term and a suggested usage of the term they are looking for. The OP didn’t post a complete list of synonyms saying why each of them doesn’t fit, true, but given the fact that he is a new user, we might be more lenient in that respect. That said it is clear that this is a tug of war against SWRs. Why don’t ask the community if the still want SWRs questions or if they prefer to make them off-topic once and for all? Harsh criticism of SWRs per se is not being productive to the community. – user067531 Aug 21 '18 at 19:10
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    Perhaps the behavior you have observed is tied to a desire to be more open, welcoming and nice. – Lumberjack Aug 21 '18 at 19:22
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    @user070221 I don't know of anyone on the site who claims SWRs are or should be off topic. Most individual SWRs are off topic, but the problem there is with the individual SWRs. It is perfectly possible to write a good SWR question and a good SWR answer. But it's also rare. – MetaEd Aug 21 '18 at 19:32
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    @user070221 I'd advise against leniency and instead give kindness. I think it's actually unkind to ignore site guidelines on a new user's first question, because the new user learns nothing about how to use the site from that experience. Then later on when they've asked their third or fourth question in the same way, and get stomped, it's very confusing. Instead, kindly explain what's expected of all users and invite them to edit their question. That's much kinder, even though it is not lenient. – MetaEd Aug 21 '18 at 19:35
  • @user070221 You're also right that the SWR in question is well on its way to being a good SWR. – MetaEd Aug 21 '18 at 19:39
  • @user070221 Good catch. Note that it is best to use flags when you think a comment should be deleted. – MetaEd Aug 21 '18 at 19:49
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    All the OP had to do was to Google mercenary and he would have found that mercenary is both a noun and an adjective. At that point he should have scrubbed his question or explained why he did not want to use mercenary. I fail to see why the question" is on its way to being a good SWR." What do you mean by that @MetaEd ? – ab2 MonicaNotForgotten Aug 22 '18 at 1:22
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    @ab2 I mean the asker made some of the right effort -- investigated the word "mercantile" and posted the result, gave a sample sentence. – MetaEd Aug 22 '18 at 15:41
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I don't think the question you link to is all that bad. In fact, one might even call it exemplary, especially when compared to questions like this one:

enter image description here

At least the mercenary question was specific, had an example sentence, and used the word mercantile, explaining why that word wasn't suitable (thereby at least hinting at some prior research).

I see a lot of upvoted questions that cause me to scratch my head in wonder, but the one you cite wasn't one of them.

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    Ahh, the voice of reason, sanity, and objectivity. – Mari-Lou A Aug 21 '18 at 23:01
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    I agree (except the exemplary bit, though your comparison does make it look really good). I've voted to reopen the question. – Lawrence Aug 23 '18 at 10:10
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Moderator MetaEd wrote in comments:

Research can take many forms: checking references such as an online English dictionary, thesaurus, or grammar, searching this site for similar questions, searching the web, or putting substantial thought into the question on your own. See: “How much research is needed? – EL&U Meta”. And the requirement is that the results of this effort be posted as part of the question. (my emphasis)

and ab2 states in a comment:

All the OP had to do was to Google mercenary and he would have found that mercenary is both a noun and an adjective. At that point he should have scrubbed his question or explained why he did not want to use mercenary...

I agree with this, especially that poster of the Question could easily have (a) consulted a thesaurus or two and (b) posted the results of such research as part of the question.

and, as for SWR questions, MetaEd says in a comment:

Word requests must also include: (i) objective criteria for accepting answers, including connotation, register, and part of speech; (ii) the exact context – generally we want the sentence you’re writing; and (iii) words you’ve already rejected, and why. See: “Single word requests, crosswords, and the fight against mediocrity – ELU Meta”; “Real Questions Have Answers – SE Blog”.

and regarding a new user's first question, MetaEd says in a comment:

I'd advise against leniency and instead give kindness. I think it's actually unkind to ignore site guidelines on a new user's first question, because the new user learns nothing about how to use the site from that experience. Then later on when they've asked their third or fourth question in the same way, and get stomped, it's very confusing. Instead, kindly explain what's expected of all users and invite them to edit their question. That's much kinder, even though it is not lenient.

Given that 'The fight against mediocrity question' is seven years old, it's my guess that most users here are unaware of what things are required of SWRs, despite that the wording of the tag makes it clear; and/or they do not think about (or care about?) site quality and the quality of SWRs. That it is easy to rack up rep points with answers to SWRs. That SWRs are among the easiest questions to answer, although the quality of answers has also come under scrutiny, and probably more than once.

I guess the mods who care about site quality could close all SWRs that do not indicate what research has been done. We have had recent action that asks for better answers to SWR. Or the rep point system could be edited so that rep could be taken away for answering blatantly off-topic questions: a downvote or two by users trying to send a message not to answer such questions is not enough.

Folks, I feel there are at least two schools of thought here: the first seems to want to help users by answering off-topic questions (even ones that are very poorly written); the other wants to improve site quality. There doesn't have to be a divide between these two schools. People can be free to write excellent answers to questions that meet minimum on-topic guidelines (indicate a modicum of research; and with regard to SWRs, read the tag and edit the question per what it says there).

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