I had recently made a post (link here) and came to check the status of it. According to the page, it's been deleted for moderation reasons. Apparently things are deleted when they are 'extremely off topic'. It was a single word request, I don't quite see how that would be extremely off topic; in fact I reviewed the fact and it seems to be entirely on topic. And while I fully admit it is conceivable I have misinterpreted the FAQ, seeing as how it had comments from four 10k+ users, it surprises me that not even a comment was given.

If I could get some insight into what happened, why it was deleted (instead of simply closed), and what can be done differently in the future, that would be greatly appreciated.

  • Well, your post says you wanted to "spice up" your email, which seems to ask for just about any word rather than a specific one. (I neither voted to close or delete) – simchona Jul 23 '12 at 18:01
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    No I was looking for a very specific word. It was "something that occurs 52 times a year". While other words were presented (like "semi-fortnightly" and "hebdomadal", the latter of which I accepted because I it would get the job done) they aren't the true answer I sought. My desire to "spice up" my email is merely to add context to my request. I specifically was looking for the 52-version of 'semi-annual'. In a comment, it is suggested 'duoquinquagensimannual', but this appears to not be in use anywhere. – corsiKa Jul 23 '12 at 18:36
  • I just cast a vote to un-delete your post. It might take a little cleanup to get rid of the "silliness" (what's fun? us, fun?), but one more vote and your question will be back. – simchona Jul 23 '12 at 22:46
  • While I think that CorsiKa should have simply accepted the most excellent answer of 'hebdomadal' instead of changing the question or all this nonsense of "failing to meet criteria", I don't think that the question should have been deleted or closed at all. – coleopterist Jul 24 '12 at 5:56
  • @coleopterist I had accepted 'hebdomadal' because I realized it was superior to even the question I was looking for. I unaccepted it because technically it wasn't the answer I originally sought, and didn't want it to be re-deleted because it was a 'witch-hunt for a word'. – corsiKa Jul 24 '12 at 14:34
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    IMHO, 'hebdomadal' was an eminently suitable answer to your initial question asking for a technical synonym for weekly. This is further supported by the fact that it has been known to be used to describe meetings. I find it amusing that you unaccepted it because it was ... too superior ;) – coleopterist Jul 24 '12 at 14:50
  • @coleopterist My initial reason to wanting to know the word for 52-times-a-year was because it was an alternative word for weekly, but the initial question was asking for that. It was specifically asking for 52-times-a-year. But you are correct, it is ironic that I unaccept Bernie's answer for being too superior! – corsiKa Jul 24 '12 at 14:56

I didn't vote to close, or to delete, so I can only speculate.

I specifically was looking for the 52-version of 'semi-annual'.

I'm not sure that such a thing exists, at least, not as you've phrased it there.

The answers to the question did seem to start wandering into the realm of silliness. It's one thing to ask for a more quirky word for weekly (and hebdomadal seemed like a good choice for that), but when the conversation switched to made-up or impractical suggestions such as Tuesdaily and duoquinquagensimannual, or devolved into discussion about how many weeks are in a year (52.14 vs 52.28), or seemed to become a contest to see if an even geekier word could be contrived, I can see where some might find that discussion no longer constructive, nor a good fit for "serious language enthusiasts," and therefore vote to delete rather than simply close.

Again, I'm only speculating. I could be far off the mark, but that's my initial theory.

  • I agree that 'Tuesdaily" is silly, and is most certainly not what I was asking for. The word I was originally seeking is a concatenation of a prefix and a root word, the prefix in question being one of sound composition that a serious language enthusiast might be able to construct. The fact that I planned to use it to lighten the mood in a business setting has no bearing on the legitimacy of the request. It is in no way a contest to find a geekier word, but was very specific about what word I was seeking. – corsiKa Jul 23 '12 at 21:24
  • In accepting hebdomadal for my answer, I conceded the fact that the word I was either not constructable or would be so incredibly obscure that it was an effort not worth undertaking. The word was able to fulfill the purpose set forth by my original request, and was simply in many ways superior. – corsiKa Jul 23 '12 at 21:27

The question was closed as 'not constructive'. As the notification says, "We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." Whether or not it is reasonable to ask for a word meaning '1/52 of annual' (which might itself be an interesting debate), the only SE-standard answer to that question is 'no such word'; what actually happened undoubtedly was an extended discussion.

And closed questions usually are deleted, after a period to allow re-editing, reopen votes, or merge suggestions. In my view, the moderators are sometimes too quick to delete; but it's an art not a science, and the mods are elected by us the voters.

  • The notification doesn't accurately describe my question though. The answer I sought was to be supported by facts, and had little room for debate, argument, polling, or discussion. Quite simply, what is an occurrence that happens 52 times a year. In any event, deleting a question without even notifying the user is a very poor practice. (I speak as an SE moderator myself.) In any event, even if it was a valid delete, deleting 'not constructive' questions should only be if they are broken windows. Most times they're worth keeping: meta.stackexchange.com/a/59054/147335 – corsiKa Jul 23 '12 at 22:30
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    @corsiKa What you read as "most of the times they are worth keeping," I read as "most of the times they are deleted." Not constructive questions are kept, even if they are closed, when there is worth information; if that is not the case, those questions are deleted. – kiamlaluno Jul 24 '12 at 8:42
  • @kiamlaluno The important information in those is not information as it pertains to the flavor of the site (in this case, the English language). Rather, the important information displays "This is something we do not want here." Deleting the question removes that very useful information. – corsiKa Jul 24 '12 at 14:31
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    The information that answer on Meta Stack Overflow is referring is information contained on the answers, not the information about the question not being acceptable for EL&U. I am against keeping a very bad question just to show that users should not ask such questions; then, it is probable users ask another bad question because another bad question they see. – kiamlaluno Jul 24 '12 at 16:09
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    I didn't vote to close (or to delete), but I will vote to close if it gets re-opened. As Tim implies, the only credible answer must be hebdomadal - if that's not what OP wants, the question is just an invitation to extended discussion. I don't vote to delete more than a handful of the questions I vote to close, but I certainly wouldn't keep a bad question pour décourager les autres. – FumbleFingers Jul 24 '12 at 22:12

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