I want to use ELU to find out if something is unusual but correct usage: is that OK?

So not whether it sounds natural, but if the sentence conveys the meaning I intend, and whether that is not proscribed in any existing (rather than imagined) prescriptive grammars. Ideally with an explanation of why it isn't proscribed.

Does that make sense and is it a misuse of the site?

  • Do remember that many questions that may not be suitable for the Q&A would be happily entertained on chat.
    – choster
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


ELU, like other Stack Exchange sites, is designed to produce the correct answer, rather than the musings (or varying value) found on internet fora. So as long as you can clearly define 'correct' and explain where your phrase would be used, I don't see a problem with this (though you may find the former requirement easier said than done).

"Why it isn't proscribed", though, is probably unanswerable. English wasn't designed using a set of meta-rules*; if a phrase makes sense and does not breach the codified rules that avoid ambiguity and assist the audience (whichever code you subscribe to), it's legitimate.

  • Except in the sense that when the Tower of Babel fell, certain peoples were granted the English language as a special favour; all others had to make do with inferior tongues.
  • 1
    I repeat that you phrase it so that it has a (potential) correct answer. If it can't be fitted into that Procrustean bed, it is not a proper SE question and will be closed. (As choster pointed out, such queries are often welcome on chat.) Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 8:44

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