Note that the title has been changed (not by OP). But look at the context and give me an idea, why is this duplicate question?

  • I'm among those listed as having voted to close that Q as duplicate, but I think I actually chose general reference. This earlier question is a more obvious "duplicate", but ironically it was closed in favour of one of those cited for the current question. In my opinion, Barrie's answer on my link covers everything asked by this question - which I still think is general reference. – FumbleFingers May 10 '12 at 20:40
  • @FumbleFingers, when was ask for a question here, we are really searching questions only and not the answers. If an answer in question A solve problem A, B, C and D. That does not does mean a person who is having problem with C has a duplicate question. The material might be relevant but they are not duplicate at all. – Sam May 10 '12 at 20:47
  • My primary point is that the question essentially asks about the difference between "You may not smoke here" and "You can not smoke here", which I personally feel is general reference. But it (or very similar questions) will definitely have been asked on ELU before. If no earlier answer covers the exact information sought, I'd rather see a better answer added to an earlier question, rather than against the new question. – FumbleFingers May 10 '12 at 20:59
  • My question had different heading in the beginning The use of may not vs cannot on webpage. Basically if the site says you may not share you account with anyone does it mean strictly forbidding it or it is a polite way of not doing so. IMO it is not duplicate of the other twos. – Sam May 10 '12 at 21:03
  • Well, I don't expect to convince you of the merits of my position, obviously! You've posted here because you don't think your original question should have been closed since you don't think it's a duplicate. I think it should have been closed as "general reference" even if it's not a duplicate. There are complex issues involved in usage of "modal verbs", but I think almost everything important is covered by Cerberus's answer here – FumbleFingers May 10 '12 at 21:14

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