Is asking (and allowing) a trivia question like 'Is there an English word containing four consecutive sets of double letters?' trivialising the site?

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    Did I hear you propose trivia.stackexchange.com?
    – user63230
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 1:19

2 Answers 2


Personally, I don't think trivia questions like that are useful for users of this site. I also don't care for single word requests, which I put in the same category. I don't feel like these types of questions raise anything interesting about the English language, rather they encourage infinite variations on the same tedious topic (a word with four As, a word with alphabetical letters, a word that has my name hidden inside it but is not an anagram, the antonym of stairs, etc).

They might find a more suitable home on the Puzzling.SE Beta site where they can be geared toward satisfying the gaming urge more directly. It's not that I don't like them; I just don't like them here. I'm glad you asked the question though. I'm interested to hear what the rest of the community thinks.

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    I agree. But I find them easy to ignore. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 1:29
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    As an amateur writer, I like single word requests, if they're about meaning rather than form (i.e. "I need a word that means..."). The thesaurus is only so useful in such cases, and tends to be less helpful for connotations.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 14:55
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    @Kevin they can sometimes be amusing, and they can sometimes lead to interesting things, but for the most part I find the mental exercise of trying to think of an answer more edifying than most of the answers. I also dislike the whole concept of "single word" as if that's important for good English. It also has a trivial aspect itself; English has a single word for "smelling like horse piss" but not that I know of for "smelling like cow piss", but I doubt the language is less capable of dealing with the latter than the former.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 16:21
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    I laughed at "the antonym of stairs"! I agree, that these sort of questions become tedious here. Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 20:33

Though I don't myself find this sort of question interesting, there is no way we can reasonably call them 'off-topic'; they are about one facet of the English language. Where they might run into problems is 'too broad'. It is unlikely that there is just one word fulfilling the criteria, so there are "too many possible answers". "Narrowing the answer set" could be done by excluding unassimilated foreign words and proper names; but unless you use standard dictionary criteria (whatever your standard dictionary may be), it's purely arbitrary, and the question, as KitFox says, would fit better on Puzzling.SE.

But if there is a wordplay question that does not fall foul of the published close reasons, I certainly don't think we should alter the reasons just to exclude it.

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    So should we accept requests for help to solve crossword clues? They usually have specific answers. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 18:03
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    @EdwinAshworth; They aren't usually about the English language. But the point is that it is legitimate to agitate for different close reasons (reinstating "Too specific; unlikely to help future visitors" would certainly get my vote); it is not so to ban "questions we don't like", whoever we may be. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 18:09
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    That would be a very useful closevote reason. I think I'll use it on the question in ... er ... question anyway. Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 20:32

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