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Occasionally in working on other SE sites I come across a word usage or phrase I am unfamiliar with. Before I've always gone with my "best guess" as to what the correct phrasing should be and edited accordingly. Now it seems I have an opportunity to come to the experts, as in this question.

Is this an appropriate use of EL&U SE? Do y'all mind being proofreaders for the difficult language on other sites?

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If you look at the thread regarding what is on-topic and what is off-topic, we seem to be coming to a consensus that it is fine to ask questions about text you are writing or proofreading, so long as the questions are specific and about a single question of English usage, spelling, word choice, or even “style”. However, an overly general “please look at this paragraph—I’m not that happy with it—how would you improve it?” is not welcome.

To put it simply, we are happy to answer specific questions about English language and usage, but we are not a general proofreading service. (But you already knew that, right?)

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  • Thanks for the very clear answer. – C. Ross Sep 16 '10 at 14:44
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If it is "usage, word choice, and grammar", then we don't mind. If it is "please proofread my document", then we do mind.

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  • I get your point, but could you restate that here so I can refer to it elsewhere? – C. Ross Sep 14 '10 at 16:33
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    this post is dangerously close to being content-free; you should always quote enough context so I'm not forced to play mystery meat navigation to guess your meaning – Jeff Atwood Sep 15 '10 at 8:19

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