@Listenever's question count on ELU has increased to a couple per day and appears to be even higher on ELL. While this is perfectly fine, s/he appears to be cross-posting questions on wordreference.com. (To see all his/her questions, click on the username and view forum posts.)

I've looked at his last five questions (listed further below) on ELL and each of them has also been posted on WR. From a cursory look, this might well be the case for many of his other questions too. Is this acceptable or constructive?

Each of the following questions has been cross-posted on WR. The links to the cross-posts are available in the comments below each question.

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    A very similar question was asked last fall, here. In that case the issue was very different: a user who apppeared to be trawling other sites for questions to raise here; but I think many of the Comments to the question and answer are relevant. Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 19:13
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    Well, cross-posting on more than one SE site is certainly discouraged.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 19:37
  • The WordReference link you report gives an error ("Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms."). Are you saying s/he is ask questions in two sites, or that s/he copies on Stack Exchange questions asked from other users in that other site?
    – apaderno
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 10:01
  • @kiamlaluno It looks like the link is dead now. I've updated my post with instructions on how to list all of Listenever's questions on WR. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Caveat: You must not regard my answer as altogether disinterested. I have been Listenever's consistent and somewhat outspoken champion on ELU, when some users there seemed inclined to shut down her questions about usage in Jane Eyre too 'archaic' (!) or too technical. I have enjoyed her questions, which often came down to fundamental matters which demanded very hard thought and very careful answers; and in consequence a large portion of my reputation on that site derives from my answers to her questions.

I see no problem with this.

To the extent that WR and ELU compete for visitors and questioners, we can have no reasonable objection to a questioner comparison-shopping for the best answers; on the contrary, it gives us a signal opportunity to demonstrate our superiority by providing better answers, expressed in more intelligible, graceful and engaging English.

And if WR and ELU do not compete, why should consulting two authorities be regarded as reprehensible? —we explicitly advise our questioners to consult multiple dictionaries or grammars rather than just one. It may be relevant that this user (whose interest in our language appears to be literary rather than commercial or conversational) has shown herself eager to come to grips with fairly knotty grammatical issues. Having been repeatedly advised, both here and on ELU, that contemporary English grammar is far from monolithic— that approaches to particular issues, and the language employed for discussing them, varies widely—she may feel a need to expose herself to a variety of answers. In backtracking some of her citations I have noted that she posts on Korean-langage sites as well; does this multiply her transgressions, or does it rather demonstrate her genuine hunger to understand?

  • Would it then also be fine to repost WR answers (with due attribution) as answers to the ELU dupes? Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 6:07
  • @coleopterist If you don't have a better answer. WR quotations have from time to time been posted here; some have been better received than others; none have been Accepted. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 7:05
  • Fair enough. I guess that the same case can also then be made for questions on ELL and ELU (as @tchrist has pointed out). Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 17:23
  • @coleopterist Possibly that case could be made, but I do not make it because my understanding is that SE does not permit internal cross-posting, while it has no objection to external cross-posting. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 22:30
  • Did you happen to read the accepted answer to the MSO question? Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 3:23
  • @coleopterist I did. I also followed the breadcrumbs back to this question and this question, where quite different answers were not only accepted but more emphatically upvoted. I would certainly have no objection if you drew Listenver's attention to that discussion. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 4:25
  • Thank you. So the consensus appears to be unanimously in favour of external dupes being OK. Personally, and as in the coderanch how-to, I'm in favour of the courtesies of disclosure, waiting for an answer on one forum before posting to another, and cross-posting any accepted answers as well. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 5:06
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    @coleopterist That's a perfectly reasonable position. I'd love it if you could persuade the market-research firms who call me with obnoxious surveys to get on board. :) Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 5:11
  • :) This was my attempt at persuading this community to take a position on this and our cosy community of two appears to have done so. I've now washed and towelled my hands off the matter. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 16:02

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