Proof-reading is currently explicitly off-topic. That's because finding mistakes in a passage isn't particularly useful:

  • Posters on a site for "serious enthusiasts" should have a reasonable knowledge of the language already and not have to ask "Are there any mistakes here?" "What have I got wrong?" or whatever;
  • Each question helps only its asker. There is no way that anyone else is going to come up with exactly the same passage and exactly the same errors. (If there is something specific to ask about, then it's not proof-reading.)

However, we currently have a tag. It has no tag wiki and it's not clear what it's for.

What should it be for? I don't propose allowing proof-reading questions on the site — in fact I will argue vehemently that the current policy is entirely correct — but what should happen to the tag?

Should we use it to explain that proof-reading is explicitly off-topic?

Should we burninate and blacklist it?

Is something else appropriate?

  • 4
    Having a tag whose only description is "questions bearing this tag do not belong on this site" is humorous but not particularly helpful. Burninate it. It's only applied to 10 questions anyway (with a net score of -9).
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 20, 2015 at 11:50
  • 3
    It's conceivable that there may be a question about the process of proof-reading, as opposed to actually proof-reading a text. Perhaps that's what it was intended for. I'm not sure that that is necessarily on-topic either.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Apr 20, 2015 at 12:19
  • 1
    @ Andrew And whether that's on topic or not is immaterial in light of the fact that we've never received such a question. So there wouldn't be too many questions to tag. For categorization systems, like all systems, the simpler the better. Introduce complexity and sophistication when it's warranted. Burninate the tag. We can put it back later if we need it.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 20, 2015 at 12:22
  • 1
    The Help Center says that proofreading is off-topic "unless the source of concern is clearly specified." Perhaps the proofreading tag was intended for a question that does clearly specify a source of concern?
    – Nicole
    Apr 20, 2015 at 15:25
  • 1
    If there something specific to ask about, it's not proof-reading and there's almost certainly a specific tag for the issue.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Apr 20, 2015 at 15:34
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach: but like Nicole pointed out, that's not how the Help Center phrases it. It clearly implies that some proofreading questions are allowed, as long as certain parameters are met. Meeting those parameters doesn't magically make the question "not proofreading", at least not according to the Help Center (and normal logic).
    – Marthaª
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:01
  • I think the burnination answer can be accepted :)
    – Helmar
    Oct 19, 2016 at 8:38

2 Answers 2



All of the questions with that tag are generally bad (closed or have no upvotes) and all but one have other tags anyway.


Introduce the OPs to lang-8.com . That site is dedicated to language learners having their compositions proof-read.

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