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I'm new here, and thought I had a reasonable question which could start a bit of discussion. It was, admittedly, about something which annoys me... which is why I completely understand the first comment it got. So, I looked around, to see if it was reasonable to ask (and if it would fit in) if I rephrased it to sound less whiney. Here's what I've found:

These questions:

  • In this one, the OP says "The problem is, I really don't think the average human is comparing two differences when using the term in question." He's asking about an expression which he believes is said incorrectly by people because of a logical problem. This is exactly what I am asking, though not of a common expression but rather something I've heard once on the phone.

  • In this one (which is a big shot protected superquestion), it's even more the case. It is phrased even more like mine, if not exactly the same. The OP says: 'To me "couldn't care less" seems a lot more logical.' Notice now in my question, I quote something I've heard which I believe to be incorrect, and then point out that something else seems a lot more logical. I also describe how I believe the original phrasing is illogical.

I then went and had a look in the rules, to see if the likes of my question are generally frowned upon. The few things I could find (and please point out if I'm misinterpreting anything) are:

  • Under "don't ask" I found "your question is just a rant in disguise: '______ sucks, am I right?'" This is possible with the original form of my question, but I thought with some revision I could avoid that. I based my revision on other questions on this site.

  • Under "what types of questions should I avoid asking" (are these two sections redundant?) I found "Word choice and usage" under the accepted ones. This is exactly what I'm asking about. I believed the word choice of a recording was bad, and I wanted to get some opinions on it.

When it comes to English, I'm generally more conservative and fussy. This is obviously frowned upon by most of the community, so I run into problems a lot when I get all hissy about the "incorrect" usage of something or a "mistake." Usually, people come up with good comebacks (someone posted in a link which I cannot find anymore to a discussion of the use of "I could care less" in Game of Thrones, which was very nice; an answer like that would've been perfect for my question). I really enjoy when some people can respond with things like that—and then in turn when people can argue the other way too.

I was hoping this would be a good place for such answering and discussion. Am I incorrect? I would very much appreciate some feedback, both with respect to how to behave in the future in this community, and specifically my on-hold question (and whether I did a reasonable job rephrasing it).

Thank you.

  • Protected means it was drawing too many flies. It's not a reflection on the quality of the question. – Kit Z. Fox Jul 25 '14 at 14:49
  • It also shows, if I'm not mistaken, that it is high enough quality to have been noticed by the elites of this website and not put on hold. – user85526 Jul 25 '14 at 14:59
  • Well...not exactly. It means it has high enough views to be featured across the network, which happens for many reasons. – Kit Z. Fox Jul 25 '14 at 15:06
  • The current version says The question is: does this warrant rephrasing on their part? Did they mess up completely? Or is it a reasonable sentence that most use, will understand and not mind? Okay - arguably that's three questions. But they all look subjective/primarily opinion-based to me, so I stand by my closevote. – FumbleFingers Jul 25 '14 at 15:38
  • @FumbleFingers Is subjectivity/opinion not allowed? This would seem harsh in a site about the English language. (edit: I guess not as a focus for an entire question—but surely we don't expect everything to be objective). – user85526 Jul 25 '14 at 19:02
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I think your edits were good and thoughtful and I think they improved your question. It is true that it was likely closed because it initially came across as peeving. It sounds much less so now.

I don't feel that your question is off-topic for this site because it is about a peeve; you have made a reasoned, articulate statement about a commonly-used phrase and asked for analysis of it. It boils down to "Can one thing be 'in order'?" I see this question two ways.

  1. It's about logic and therefore comes down to primarily-opinion-based off-topic. Also, we don't discuss here. It's not a forum, but a question-and-answer site.
  2. It is about usage and connotation. How do we parse this usage, how common is it, is it used in other contexts because this particular usage seems different than other ways we use 'in order', etc.

I hadn't thought about the perspective you brought forth with your question. I think it could be interesting to explore it in a broader context. If you edit your question a bit further to push it more toward usage and less toward logic, I think you give yourself a better chance of having it re-opened.

All-in-all, I think you are making your edits in the right direction and asking yourself the right questions about how to improve your post. We'll see if the community agrees with me.

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    Thanks very much for the reply. As soon as I get a better block of time in the workday to focus on this, I'll read it more carefully and further work on my question. I very much want to get familiar with the rules and operation of this community to become a better member and contributor. – user85526 Jul 25 '14 at 15:17
  • I've made some more modifications, and tried to steer it more toward usage. As part of this, I've also added a new question to it—which was brought up by someone in a comment and I thought was interesting (also removed most of what FumbleFingers referred to as subjective). If you have a second, maybe let me know what you think :D – user85526 Jul 25 '14 at 19:18
  • Hehe, just as I was rejoicing that someone upvoted it, someone else downvoted it. Quite the polarized community here. – user85526 Jul 25 '14 at 19:23

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