Having read Josh61’s considerations about “Thanks for not laughing at my question”, I stopped to ponder. There are days, and I think you all agree, when only 10 to 20% of the questions we get deserve an answer. Most of them are off-topic, be it because they are unclear, poorly formulated, very elementary for EL&U, or they simply have no answer (“Is there a word for seeing your neighbor in town and not being able to talk to him?” as someone here posted as a pertinent example of a lousy question).
Couldn’t the mods or “the powers that be” do something about this? Shouldn’t the “Don’t ask about…” instruction be more emphatic, clearer and, perhaps in bold type? A clearer reference to ELL as the appropriate site for beginners would also help but I don't see it there. Also, I believe some “first-timers” never even take the time to read the instructions. Wouldn’t it, then, be the case that we had these instructions repeated on the “ask your question” page? Something like “WE DON’T ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT…”
While I realize that it is frustrating for newcomers looking for an answer to have their questions closed, it is also frustrating for those of us who care about this site to see that the latest ten or fifteen questions shouldn’t be here at all and all we have to do is close-vote or direct the new user to ELL. All this when most of us were expecting to find questions of a better caliber. I'm not sure everyone agrees but I believe it's much better for EL&U to receive five good questions a day than fifty questions which nobody cares to answer.
Is there anything we can do? If we don't, we will have to work much harder to deal with the review queue.