My question was locked without explanation. My best guess, based solely on the fact that comments were disabled, is that it is because there were too many unwelcome comments. But I have no way to be sure, as the reason is not stated anywhere. The "Learn more" link redirects to some vague generic guidelines that do not provide a possible list of reasons.
In addition, there was also a vote to close it, for the nebulous reason "A community specific reason" :
When I click on what these reasons could be, I am welcomed with the following list of potential flaws:
Include your research
I have included my research, I have even provided a possible solution ("captious") and why it does not quite work.
"Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered"
I have done that, and even provided a specific phrase for context.
"Proofreading questions are off-topic"
This is not proofreading.
"This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network"
This is not the case, as multiple single word requests are present on the website, and there's even a specific tag for it.
So none of the possible reasons make sense.
The site is great, with many helpful answers, but frankly the moderation is really painful and keeps people away from asking questions.
My questions was:
within the rules of the website
well received by the community (9 upvotes)
was of similar nature than other non-closed questions on the website (e.g. this)
I have seen this pattern for many other questions (from other users). There is too much unpredictability for a normal user of the website. I am sure the well intentioned person who wants to close my question has clear rules in their head of what is acceptable or not, but a well functioning site operates on clear and consistent rules. Not on subtle deviations from unspoken directives.
I would recommend a greater focus on making the site welcoming and useful for everyone, rather than nitpicking on questions to close them. While there is value in removing questions that fall clearly outside of the rules, the current moderation is too far on the restrictive side.
Thank you for your help in making this site a good resource.