If we accept questions that ask for a list of words (where each word can be combined to make a different list), should those questions be a community wiki?

For example, if I ask

What are the words ending in -ous you use most frequently?

Somebody could reply with dangerous, ferrous; somebody else with poisonous, sulfurous, or with dangerous, poisonous, etc. All possible word combinations would be equally correct, or acceptable.

3 Answers 3


I agree. There is a similar rule on SO that questions asking for lists be marked CW, and I think that the same rule should apply here.

  • -1; the rule on SO is that these questions should be closed, not marked as CW.
    – Pops
    Aug 28, 2010 at 16:06
  • 1
    The comparison with SO is quite not correct; on SO, nobody asks for a list of words.
    – apaderno
    Aug 30, 2010 at 4:42
  • @kiamlaluno: No, but there are list questions. Aug 19, 2011 at 10:06

You open with "If we accept questions..." so I'll stop you right there: we probably shouldn't be. How could I possibly find it useful to know what "-ous" words are used by random people on the Internet? Having these sorts of questions around makes it harder to find the real questions, wastes users' time and won't attract experts to the site.

Lists and polls on SE sites should be closed 99% of the time. Sources:

I can't think of a single example of a valuable list question on this site, but I understand that that doesn't mean there isn't one out there. If an acceptable one comes up, it should have the format of one question and one answer, both marked CW.


Important change: as of October 14th, 2010, the ability to mark questions as CW right from the start has been removed across the entire SE network. Visit the meta Meta for further details:

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