I asked a word choice question recently, and it was closed within minutes for being "opinion-based". Fine, I suppose it is.

But there are over 11000 questions tagged for word choice, not even counting single-word requests and phrase requests and a gaggle of related tags. How are they not all opinion-based? It's the very nature of this kind of question. If opinion-based questions are not allowed, we should close everything tagged word-choice, phrase-request, single-word-requests, and many more.

Can anyone please explain the logic, because it seems pretty random. Run into a guy on a power trip and your question gets closed. Don't run into him, and it stays open.

Edit: Thanks for the explanation about why it was closed. Since I'm not a frequent contributor, I didn't correctly understand the purpose of the tag I used. Retagging or a kind comment to show met where I went wrong would have been better. In the event, it was closed, only then retagged, then the close reason was changed after my post here. None of that addresses the fact that welcoming communities use better ways to address these things.


1 Answer 1


The tag is for questions which are making a choice between a known set of words.

Your question is not about choosing the most appropriate from a list you have already curated. You are asking for words which describe a particular thing. I've retagged it accordingly, and that may render this question moot.

However, your query about being opinion-based can still be answered.

Arts subjects are not generally cut and dried. Even a language which has a standard form and accepted "rules" still has quirks where something like "That learned him!" is a valid dialectal form where taught is likely to be standard.

Consequently there is always going to be some level of opinion. But opinion must be justified. It must be possible to say "The most appropriate word for x [from your list] is y because..." That makes such an answer possible to vote on because it's a good answer suggesting a good word for a good reason, or otherwise.

In your case, there isn't enough information for a valid question, so any opinion will be just that.

  • Also worth noting: the guidance for single word requests can be found by clicking on the tag. It will also pop up if you use the tag when asking or when editing the tags.
    – Laurel Mod
    Dec 9, 2022 at 12:39
  • @Laurel Well there is a small problem. I have a userscript which provides the link to extended info easily, but that doesn't help those who don't have it.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Dec 9, 2022 at 12:53
  • Yep, and over the years it's become clear that nobody knows there is extended info, not even all high rep users, which is why we added the tag warning when asking. They're going to do UI research and maybe this will come up.
    – Laurel Mod
    Dec 9, 2022 at 13:04
  • @CobusKruger The question doesn't meet the community's requirements for a word-request or phrase-request question. It would be closed. OK, the existing reason may not be the best, but the result is the same. Edit the question so it meets the guidelines: that puts it into a queue for re-appraisal and it could get re-opened.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Dec 13, 2022 at 8:03
  • @CobusKruger OK: It's been closed with the right close reason.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Dec 13, 2022 at 13:19
  • @CobusKruger I don't know what point you're trying to make. You haven't asked a good question; it was closed. Edit the question to comply with the guidelines (now that it has the right tags) and it can be re-opened.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Dec 13, 2022 at 15:35

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