This forum is so full of closed questions that every page seems to be polluted with them. Is it possible that we are a little over-zealous in the closing stakes?
Two thoughts on that:
1) It would be erroneous to assume that we enjoy closing questions. I much prefer giving upvotes for insightful, well-researched questions and answers than downvotes for shoddy ones. After all, that's why I visit the site – to read and to learn, not to be a policeman. It's not fun to downvote or vote to close; it's a duty and a chore.
2) I wish others would notice this "pollution," and regard it as a warning: "If I don't have something intelligent to say here, maybe I should just be quiet for awhile." Or, "Before I ask this question here, maybe I should spend ten minutes trying to find the answer online." That may sound harsh, but, I remember – that's how I felt my first month on ELU. I was intimidated, but that was a good thing; it prompted me to be careful and conscientious when I contributed.
This is not a place to flippantly blurt out anything we happen to be curious about. Stack Exchange is a network of individual communities, each dedicated to serving experts in a specific field, with libraries of high-quality questions and answers, focused on areas of expertise. Whether it's linguists discussing the nuances of a rare or newly coined idiom, programmers sharing answers on HTML parsing, or researchers seeking solutions to combinatorial problems, these communities are built by and for those best able to define them: experts and enthusiasts.
You wouldn't shout out a calculus question in a football stadium, right? You'd go to the math department of a university. That's why instead of allowing questions on any topic, ELU is a community of experts on very specific topics. We welcome questions that are clear and specific, representing real problems, but this is not the place for conversation, opinions, or socializing.
If those last two paragraph sounds harsh and unwelcoming, don't downvote – at least, not until you've gone and read about StackExchange (after all, the bulk of those two paragraphs were copied-and-pasted from there).
Some would say this message is too discouraging for the non-native speaker – what's trivial for someone steeped in the language may be a very real problem for someone learning English as a second or third language. That's why I support the efforts being put into a sister site for English Language Learners. I believe these non-native speakers deserve a place where their "basic" questions will be welcomed, and I hope to someday be among the ones who regularly answer those questions with helpful contributions.