I asked a question about the use of the word esquire by American lawyers.

How did the term "esquire" come to be used for lawyers?

One comment said it was the "best Q&A of the ... century." But I've got three (now) votes to close it and no comments indicating why. Would somene care t tell me how I can make it acceptable? BTW I'm a lawyer and not concerned that some are bashing "pompous" lawyers. I agree. I know many.

  • 1
    I think the votes may be as General Reference, since (as some comments show), the information you're looking for can be found in a reputable online source
    – simchona
    Mar 13, 2013 at 14:57
  • 1
    @simchona: That would be fine if it were true. The question was HOW the word was appropriated for lawyers, which one comment actually addresses (I suggested it be sourced and turned into an answer). The reference works don't really answer that question. Mar 13, 2013 at 16:08
  • Please link to your question. Mar 13, 2013 at 19:29
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    I'd also suggest that you always link to dictionary definitions where necessary and etymonline entries if the question is about etymologies. This will preclude votes claiming general reference. Mar 13, 2013 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Some are reading your question, and thinking, "This is pretty straightforward – here's the link."

You are reading those sources and thinking, "But that doesn't answer my question!"

So, there's an apparent disconnect between what you are asking, and what some observers think you are asking.

I think maybe some of this could have been avoided had you done some of that basic research before you asked your question (maybe you did), and then included those findings in the body of your question (which is where the problem may be).

Had you provided a more detailed overview of the basics, and then explained why those hadn't satisfactorily answered your question, then it might have been easier for everyone to see the depth you were aiming at, and that might have warded off some of the close votes (though one never knows for sure, this can be a fickle community at times).

That said, I have observed an apparent correlation between the amount of detailed background knowledge put into a question, and a hesitancy for readers to click on the close button.

  • 8
    Solid advice for anyone else asking a question, too
    – simchona
    Mar 13, 2013 at 23:30

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