I was wondering, why is it unacceptable to ask for word-recommendations involving disused or ancient words?

  • 4
    Is it unacceptable? Or do questions have to be couched carefully?
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 16:41
  • 2
    @AndrewLeach It seems they're unacceptable, based on my experience. Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 16:55
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    Well, you could link to evidence. But a good question explaining what is required and why and what research has already been done [yada, yada, you know the drill] may well be acceptable.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 17:17
  • @AndrewLeach I believe he’s talking about this one.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 18:15
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    Oh. Right. It appears no-one actually understood what was required; and there wasn't much explanation of why either. :-(
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 18:30
  • @Andrew: I think it was quite clear from the protracted exchange of comments that OP wanted a "word" that isn't currently used, and therefore has no particular meaning, so he could assign to it his own special meaning. It may have taken a while to establish that, but once we got there it seemed (and still seems) totally Off Topic/Not Constructive to me. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 19:07
  • @FumbleFingers The question is simple enough and clear enough to understand -- it doesn't matter what that word was going to be used for. And for the record, of course the meaning of the word is relevant, otherwise any random configuration of letters would be acceptable. It was my understanding that it was asking for archaic words that was the issue. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:18
  • @Django: I don't want to rake over the coals indefinitely, but in your comments you did say you wanted to avoid any discussions of semantics, and it's important the word lacks connotations. Which I can only interpret as meaning you wanted us to supply you with a "word" that's not only not used, but is actually unknown, so your readers won't be in a position to argue with you when you use it to mean something other than what it originally meant. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


Stack Exchange staff have said many times that single word requests should be discouraged. Some moderators have taken that to heart. However it's not an absolute ban. There are exceptions: a single word request which is especially interesting to English experts, when the question is clear and well researched, would certainly be on topic here.


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