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I propose another reason for closing a post: “The question is based on a misprint or other error in the example, a false assumption, and or the acceptance of incorrect guidance.

There are numerous questions asked of the types

  1. Why did Shakespeare use "songs" in Hamlet: "The songs and arrows of outrageous fortune"?

  2. "A bucket full of twigs" is a common phrase ...

  3. I have learned that we cannot use an adverb after the verb "to be" ...

Most are closed for lack of research - however, this is unhelpful as the type of OP who asks these will be a cracked pitcher to the well.

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  • Essentially the same proposal was already made nine years ago. It received considerable support and no significant opposition (one answer that may appear to have constituted such opposition was, in fact, about one specific example, and not about the proposal itself), but, as usually happens on this site, no action was taken. Technically, this may be a reason for closing this question as a duplicate, but it may be wiser to leave it open, so as to stimulate some fresh discussion on the matter.
    – jsw29
    Mar 6, 2023 at 21:27
  • The "show research" close reason is unhelpful to most questioners—and most answerers—but that's because it isn't designed to identify what's wrong with a question in itself. Rather, it's a justification for closing a question without getting to the issue of what (if anything) is actually wrong with the question in itself. In short, it's an administrative convenience for people who want to close questions they consider bad without having to spend time explaining why they are bad—a summary judgment against a question without reaching the merits of the case (the value of the question itself).
    – Sven Yargs
    Mar 7, 2023 at 2:07
  • It's possible you're not aware of the restrictions. On the closure dialogs, the first five reasons presented are fixed, and sites have a second dialog of community-specific reasons. Again, there are five closure reasons here, and the last two ("Migrate!" and "Other") can't be changed. Which of the three we can change would you replace? And — since that option was created as being useful — how would its closures be dealt with?
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Mar 7, 2023 at 7:42
  • There's some user script available to add canned comments and close reasons that can then be input as custom close reasons. Other than that, I guess we have no choice but to let things as is.
    – NVZ Mod
    Mar 7, 2023 at 8:09
  • @AndrewLeach Which of the three we can change would you replace? I think this is probably a false dichotomy - I cannot see why an additional reason cannot be added to the "Community reasons". All the current reasons are there to save time and give information.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 7, 2023 at 11:32
  • @SvenYargs - I suspect that "show research" was there to discourage "What does "fetid" mean?" type questions and that, as you remark, is now often overused.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 7, 2023 at 11:34
  • @Greybeard The reason another option cannot be added to the "Community reasons" is because — apart from "Migrate!" and "Other" — the maximum is three. That is fixed in the UI code.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Mar 7, 2023 at 16:06
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    @AndrewLeach. Thanks. As I am tenacious, I suggest that the problem is common enough and that the default text in "other" could be set to "The question is based on a misprint or other error in the example, a false assumption, and or the acceptance of incorrect guidance.”
    – Greybeard
    Mar 7, 2023 at 18:28
  • Yeah, we're not a free editorial bureau. I would vote to close, on sight, any question that gives options and asks which is correct. Also any question without a well-formed English question in it. Mar 7, 2023 at 22:15
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    @AndrewLeach Thank you for pointing that out. I realize that this might be futile, but is there any way we can request a change to the UI code? Limiting individual sites to only 3 custom close reasons seems to be doing them a great disservice. (I'm sure that ELU isn't alone in this.) Mar 8, 2023 at 3:13
  • @MarcInManhattan Yes. Note the first comment by jsw29: Nine years and we have heard nothing. The question is "Who do you write to to get this fixed or at least get a response?"
    – Greybeard
    Mar 8, 2023 at 12:31

1 Answer 1

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We can't get a new close reason without deactivating an existing one or petitioning the CMs to give us another slot. In order to do that, there needs to be a large number of posts that have been closed with a relevant custom close reason ("I’m voting to close this question because..."). For high rep (10k?) users, these stats can be found under Questions closed with community-specific reasons. I tried to count how many of the closures in the last 90 days could have fallen under your proposed close reason, and I counted less than 10, maybe slightly more if "because it looks like a peeve" fits. That's simply not enough in my opinion to warrant a new reason.

Reviewing your proposed examples:

  1. Why did Shakespeare use "songs" in Hamlet: "The songs and arrows of outrageous fortune"? — Close as "unclear what you're asking" and leave a comment asking where they got that quote from or if that's a typo.

  2. "A bucket full of twigs" is a common phrase ... — This depends on the context of the rest of the question. Does it contain enough details to answer? There are some expressions that are regional, rare in printed sources, but very real otherwise. Or maybe they heard it twice, which isn't a lot but... We don't really care about the author's (or your!) opinion of what is common.

  3. I have learned that we cannot use an adverb after the verb "to be" ... — This is a common type of question across all of Stack Exchange, so common that jargon has developed around it. People often don't know enough about the subject in their questions to know what advice is bad and what's not — that's why they're asking instead of answering. This type of question really needs a frame challenge as an answer. (Since we are a site that gives out information rather than life advice, frame challenge answers are easier to pull off here too.)

Similarly, when I was reviewing the list of actual close reasons, I noticed several that look like they shouldn't have been used, but it's hard to track down what questions they were used on.

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    This is good know! When I can't find a good match among the offered close reasons, I'll sometimes write up a custom reason, but more often I'll pick an offered reason that is somewhat close. From now on I'll try to write more custom close reasons so that we have stronger evidence when petitioning TPTB for more close reasons. Mar 15, 2023 at 6:02

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