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Before it's marked as duplicate, I've read the excellent post:

What the "primarily opinion-based" close reason is for


I would like to propose that we change our Primarily Opinion Based closure reason to something more constructive. I've been noticing that people have been voting to close too many single-word and phrase requests for this reason. Most of the time when someone is asking for a single-word request it's because they need ideas on how to express a difficult subject. The need for an accepted answer is less important for these questions. Rather, multiple people providing multiple answers often gives the OP more information.

I can hear you thinking, We're not a forum. But, we also don't delete the other answers after a question has had an answer accepted. So, we do support and recognize the notion of discussion.

Here is my proposal for a replacement:

A Clear Answer Does Not Exist

This question is asking for opinions rather than answers. Please try to avoid asking questions that ask for the best or the most common or do people know .... This type of question rarely results in a clear answer. This is not a closure for single-word requests or phrase-requests.

This is just a suggestion. I think that POB is a good tool for closure, but it's just being wielded the wrong way.

  • Incidentally SWRs are often the target of POB closevotes (note that SWRs are a most controversial issue on ELU), having said that I don’t really see much difference between a POB and your “A clear answer does not exist” suggestion. – user067531 Oct 18 at 4:50
  • @user067531 I think that blaming it on opinion makes it easier for people to wield the hammer. That we should be closing questions that are impossible to answer, not questions that ask for suggestions for words because they involve some degree of opinion. As to the controversy regarding SWRs, I'd go so far as to say they're my favorite type of question. Finding the perfect word for a situation is much more interesting than then endless debates over the Oxford comma. – David M Oct 18 at 13:31
  • -I agree with you on SWRs but we are a very small group of supporters. As for close votes, they are all cast with some degree of opinion and for that reason questions can also be reopened. – user067531 Oct 18 at 13:59
  • @user067531 english.stackexchange.com/q/515538/59527 read the comments section on this question. This is what prompted me to write this. It didn't get closed, but there's one POB close vote. Usually these votes snowball due to the queue ... – David M Oct 18 at 14:01
  • It is just one CV, it appears others will not follow in this case. – user067531 Oct 18 at 14:23
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    It is very reasonable to give an authoritative answer that there is no good single answer, that a clear answer does not exist. This is giving accurate information about the state of the language. The question is not opinion based because there's no clear answer. – Mitch Oct 18 at 14:46
  • @Mitch I can't tell if that's a statement pro or con – David M Oct 18 at 14:47
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    @DavidM It's a reason for the downvote to this question. Your primary point is to replace POB with 'A Clear Answer Does not Exist'. I disagree with that because 'a clear answer does not exist' is definitive non-opinionated knowledge about the situation, and should be an allowed answer to the question. The POB is for closing poor -questions- and not having a clear answer is not a good reason for saying that a question is poor. – Mitch Oct 18 at 15:43
  • @Mitch I'm somewhat swayed by this. I still don't like the way POB works. I agree that my replacement isn't ideal. – David M Oct 18 at 15:44
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    @DavidM I don't disagree that POB is problematic (used inappropriately as a hammer for poorly worded questions, used to avoid interesting questions), but 'a clear answer does not exist' is not a better replacement. – Mitch Oct 18 at 15:58
  • @Mitch I agree. I like to open the floor to better alternatives. – David M Oct 18 at 16:07
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    It is easier to be right when saying something is "primarily opinion-based" than it is to say "A clear answer does not exist." All an OP has to do is ask you to prove that the answer doesn't exist and that close reason falls apart. – Robusto Nov 4 at 15:27

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