I'm seeing in this question a misunderstanding of the General Reference close reason, and I'd like to make clear what it is actually meant for. Here's the close text for GR:
This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.
The emphasis is on the single link to a standard internet reference source. In this respect, a lot of basic grammar questions are not general reference; there is no standard reference source available that explicates on the various rules (or lack thereof) of English. Instead, what the Internet has is piecemeal information on grammar—it's there, but it's not necessarily findable. Such a grammar question could be basic, but it is not GR.
In contrast, a real GR question would be: What does "dog" mean? Dictionaries are well-known to be standard references for definitions, and there are many broad and relatively complete dictionaries available online for free.
I should also note that generally, Stack Exchange welcomes basic questions. The SE sites are intended for experts, but they are not meant to exclude amateurs:
It has long been established that no question is too entry-level nor too basic. Everyone is welcome. But, in these earliest days, we are DESIGNING a site for experts. To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other Q&A site. Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around! http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/07/area-51-asking-the-first-questions/
The GR close reason reflects a weak compromise, if you will—it says "if it will take you 5 seconds to look up the answer, it's too basic", but at the same time, it doesn't say that basic questions are prohibited completely.
Anyway, this post is more intended as background as to what GR was meant for, and what the general SE stance towards basic questions is, and isn't meant to advocate any particular position. If we do decide that we've going to move the boundaries of what constitutes too basic, we should do so independently of GR.