My question What is the pronunciation of "Aussie"? has been closed as "not constructive":
This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.
First of all let me get a little bit of a rant out in the open — sometimes there will be questions that truly need experts to answer them. Sometimes those questions may attract lots of people who think they know the answer to, even though they can't back it up. Sometimes those people will insist on flooding the question with their answers even though their entire answer is constructed with opinion. Is Stack Exchange really not suited for those questions? Or is the problem with the answers? After all:
The English Language and Usage Stack Exchange is for linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts.
If we cannot deal with (downvote) unreferenced, opinioned answers while we wait for an expert answer, then Stack Exchange is not really for experts.
Even though my opinion is agreement with the highest-voted answer, I agree with the complaints that it is nothing more than opinion.
In the last comment on the question, Kosmonaut asked:
I asked you how it would even be possible to give more than an opinion. Can you give an example of a hypothetical answer that would yield an objective answer to this question?
Of course, my guesses will be terrible because I'm not an expert. But I was hoping there would be something like:
- "Differences in dialect may include consonants, even for proper nouns. Speakers of this dialect should generally speak consistently, and not adopt or reproduce sounds of another dialect simply because it is a proper noun. For example, Australians say Mel-behn and Americans should say Mel-born"
- "Proper nouns should be spoken the same by all dialects except for typical vowel sound differences" (in other words, Ah-zee or Oz-ee but not Ah-see).
or, best of all would be for the question to be answered by someone with academic knowledge about the word Aussie itself.
And still, there may not even be a correct answer — maybe it's "anything goes", but that itself is an answer (especially because in the anecdote in my question, the other party insisted one pronunciation was actually wrong).
Regardless, the main point is that the question does not ask for opinions. It asks what is correct. I believe that is every bit as answerable as almost any "what is correct" question on this entire site.
I would even love to see a good answer posted to the question with expert linguistic references that show that it really doesn't matter. I believe such an answer would be highly voted up.
So my question is, why can questions like this not be answered on Stack Exchange? Are we unable to handle poor answers the usual way — down votes?