I'm confused by the following notice on my answer to a question which is basically "we do this thing where we promise something; what would you call that?" to which I provided several good words with definitions. Apparently this was too short and concise and without explanation. What would I need to add for it to be acceptable?

For reference, I also post the top answer, which to my mind seems very very similar and concise. But obviously I am missing something here.

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2 Answers 2


I see two problems.

(i) Your answer is a list of ideas, suggestions, or opinions, not a definite answer. A Stack Exchange answer answers the question, or at least part of the question, once and for all. If you are unsure what the asker is looking for, first ask for clarification in the comment box on the question.

(ii) Your post must be mostly your own work. An answer which consists almost exclusively of copied text is not your work.

Rest assured you aren't the only one in the boat. Many of the answers to this question suffer from the same problems.


I placed those notices. The reason why we’re looking for longer answers that supply your own explanations is perhaps best answered by this recent guidance from the Stack Exchange CM team about this, especially in the context of the perpetual “help me guess a good word” twenty-questions games that we have here on our site and what it means to add something of unique value. Just picking a word doesn’t do that.

We want your answer to be your own work written mostly in your own words, and to be a substantial contribution not just random suggestions from a thesaurus with links or copied text from some dictionary. That doesn’t add any unique value to our site that they can’t get elsewhere.

Please also see this earlier CM team input about single-word requests and the fight against mediocrity.

  • 2
    You didn't answer why you didn't give the same notice to the top answer. Is it because it has a verb ("it can be called") in it? It doesn't fit the "mostly in your own words" any more than my answer.
    – neptun
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 14:17
  • 3
    @neptun I don’t have the link to this question, but from the screenshots you posted, it looks like the top answer actually gave a rationale, in the poster’s own words, for why he thinks commitments is a good choice. He’s even got an actual ergo in there....
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 15:52

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