I saw a question being closed because it's too broad.

I might be misunderstanding the reasoning but I can't see how it's "broad" in any aspect. If anything, it's waaay too narrow. Still an interesting question, though...

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    The your/you're question is obviously Too Broad. Within existing answers, there must already be half-a-dozen syntactically distinct contexts where either is credible, and I doubt we've even scratched the surface. It might be "interesting", but it's definitely a "list-type" question. – FumbleFingers Jan 8 '15 at 22:10
  • @FumbleFingers Yeah, once I got the definition of "question too broad" à la SO served, I saw that too. Now, I question if the definition is clear enough but that's another can of fish. As for the other part of your comment (which I too agree with) - is there a better way to ask "list-type" questions? – Konrad Viltersten Jan 9 '15 at 20:19
  • @ Konrad Viltersten The 'best way' to ask 'list-type' questions is to find a website that doesn't expressly say they're off-topic. The close-vote reasons here are admittedly often used cavalierly, but often the questions they're slapped on need closing for other valid reasons. ELU is a site for linguists and serious students of English ... to discuss usage, not for people mastering how to use tenses at a basic level, or for people asking for answers that CGEL wouldn't address or takes twenty pages to do so. And having to close-vote with an essay explaining why is not what contributors desire. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 9 '15 at 21:00
  • @EdwinAshworth I suppose you've got a good point. List-type questions are not bad themselves but I can see how those are more frequently flawed on different levels. Just as a remark - there's a lot of middle ground between "too broad" and "essay explanation". But that might be me. :) – Konrad Viltersten Jan 9 '15 at 22:57

The question was

I'm curious though, is there any sentence that can be constructed where replacing "your" with "you're" keeps the sentence grammatically correct, but changes the meaning?

and the "too broad" reason states (my emphasis)

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.

There are already eleven extant answers, and probably an infinite number of possible answers.

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  • So, technically speaking, if the question is rephrased to "... and pick the alphabetically topmost alternative", it would automatically become valid? (Just an example to verify if I got the point.) – Konrad Viltersten Jan 8 '15 at 10:35
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    Well, I suppose so, although even then someone might answer and have that answer trumped, and then that answer might be superseded by another... But yes, questions should ideally, as far as possible, have only one right answer. Occasionally there may be differences of opinion [as would be shown by different alphabetised answers in your example] in which case the answer which best conforms to the question ("earliest in the alphabet") or is best argued ("OED says the etymology is...") would probably win. – Andrew Leach Jan 8 '15 at 10:40
  • Essentially, we need an 'any other reason' closure reason, but that would of course be 'out of the frying pan and into the fire'. This question falls into nearly the same category as 'how many English words of 3 letters or more can you make from the letters in insegrevious?' It's not as trivial, far less obviously off-topic, and OP probably needs the answer. But it's looking at chance correspondences in semanto-syntactics rather than anything useful in the study of the language per se (possibly excepting the correction of schoolboy / computer howlers). – Edwin Ashworth Jan 8 '15 at 11:31
  • @EdwinAshworth I see your point. As a middle-way solution I'd suggest that there's ""question too broad"" ** but also **the possible answer set too broad" as separate option. Now, the "exception handling" is way to blunt and, on occasion, cryptic. We should avoid creating a gazillion of very similar reasons, of course, but a few additional and more-to-the-pointy ones wouldn't hurt. – Konrad Viltersten Jan 8 '15 at 11:48
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    'Question too broad' is metonymic shorthand for 'the range of possible answers ...'. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 8 '15 at 11:53
  • @EdwinAshworth Well, there you go. One learns something new every day. How about an elaboration on the subject? – Konrad Viltersten Jan 9 '15 at 20:30
  • @Konrad Viltersten My shorthand isn't up to it. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 9 '15 at 20:32
  • @EdwinAshworth Sorry, what do you mean? I'm sensing some witty double meaning of the wording but I can't put my finger on it... – Konrad Viltersten Jan 9 '15 at 20:36
  • @Konrad I didn't think you were serious with your question! I'd say I'm now proficient in these areas, though not an expert. For 'question too broad' read 'there could be dozens of answers'. Or even 'I feel this question is not suitable for ELU, but it would take me hours or years to explain/ even decide why'. There are many valid reasons why many people would judge certain questions are not suitable for ELU. Many are bad questions. Some are good, but still not suitable for ELU (too basic; more in the scientific, religious, puzzles ... domain ...). If you want to suggest better cv templates... – Edwin Ashworth Jan 9 '15 at 20:48
  • @EdwinAshworth Actually, I was serious. I've re-read the comments a few times and I still don't get what you meant by "your shorthand not being up to it". What am I missing? Also, I'm not sure what CV templates refer to... (CV = curiculum vitae, right?) – Konrad Viltersten Jan 9 '15 at 23:02
  • @Conrad (1) The 'shorthand' quip: Non-standard punning (Grouchoesque; surreal; doesn't stand up to strict analysis and isn't intended to). (2) close-vote (non-standard abbreviating; contextually fairly easily deducible and forced upon me because of the maximum length allowed for 'comments' here. If you wish to suggest better close-vote reasons, please do so; they'll be vetted by 'the Community'. The trouble is, policing the site in an attempt to maintain standards is so onerous that one is tempted to leave, never mind spend ages deciding on particular close-vote reasons. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 9 '15 at 23:10
  • @EdwinAshworth Oh, now I get the earlier comment. Thanks. You might want to consider another abbreviation. Unless it's been recently conventionalized, "cv" isn't very widely used for "close-voting" (I might be not-up-to-date on this one though, just pointing out that it's not easily deductible to some). I see your point on the policing part. Just as a remark - "spending ages" and "selecting a radio button" are far apart. Even if we increase the option set size from 4 to, say, 8. The way I see it, if one can't be bothered to briefly motivate, one should just let it be. :) – Konrad Viltersten Jan 9 '15 at 23:22
  • @Konrad Viltersten You suggest the categories, I'll be happy to consider using them. The snag is, things like 'far too basic for this site'; 'over one question'; 'takes 27 pages to explain in CGEL'; 'more word-games than serious syntactical analysis' ... tend to offend. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 10 '15 at 0:07
  • @EdwinAshworth I see your point. And I agree that those phrasings would surely lead to a wave of irritation. I suspect it's because of the touch of irony and frustration that one can sense in them. It's not the information in the feed-back that's triggering the reaction. It's the way it's put. How about "possibly more suitable for ELL/XXX", "correct answer is regrettably very extensive: linkage" etc. I think we all agree that it's a sign of a great mind to think that someone is an idiot and still treat them as an equal. I too go "WTF" and "sigh". But I do so silently in my head. – Konrad Viltersten Jan 10 '15 at 9:48
  • Yes; I like those. I've got a bank of about 20 'crits' myself, citing other contributors for endorsement; but even then, I usually have to adjust each time I use one. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 10 '15 at 11:11

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