The majority of the questions asked on this site come from new or junior users for obvious reasons but, despite some notable exceptions, these questions are not rarely put on hold for not meeting the general requirements. I wonder if a more substantial participation from seniors or more experienced users could actually help the site in this respect, giving more examples to new users with more articulated questions and keeping the general interest higher with possibly more good questions. From what I can see senior users tend to be more active on the answers front, and hyper-active on comments at times, so why not make an effort on questions too? I perfectly realise that no user should feel obliged to do anything they don't feel like doing, but could more questions from them actually benefit ELU?

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    I have more answers than questions, I think because I know how to look things up. When I have simple questions, I can just research them myself with Google and dictionaries. I guess I could post questions that seem interesting to me along with the answers that I find, but I don't know if my questions would seem interesting to anyone else. Currently, I tend to only ask about things that are difficult for me, which hasn't produced valuable questions; but maybe my questions are bad because they don't actually have good answers or because the issue is all in my way of thinking.
    – herisson
    Oct 6, 2015 at 22:59
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    The only type of questions I reliably think have a place at this site are word requests (because they usually can't fail the lack of research requirement), and I have absolutely no desire to increase the number of those questions, because they're also the worst. Oct 6, 2015 at 23:48
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    @curiousdannii they're the worst because they easy to be not well thought out. If yours are well thought out questions, then please, we'd like to see them.
    – Mitch
    Oct 7, 2015 at 1:50
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    I like a lot of the questions here but I am not good at coming up with original questions that are suitable. Most of the questions I think of that seem decent, I find already asked here when I go searching.
    – Hellion
    Oct 7, 2015 at 4:24
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    Agreed with everyone else - I would really love to ask more questions, it's fun to be on the other side of the table. The problem is it's really hard to come up with a good question without a real itch to scratch, and even when I do, it usually turns out to be easy enough to answer with Google and Wikipedia. Of the few, precious, questions remaining, many of them have been asked before (my last two questions were well-received but closed as dupes).
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 7, 2015 at 10:49
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    I've asked a lot of questions, but some of what I feel are my most interesting questions don't get much traction. I think the level of the site is geared, for whatever reason, for better or worse, more toward the people you call junior.
    – Robusto
    Oct 7, 2015 at 23:03
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    @Robusto: that reminds me of this discussion: This is not a site for “serious English language enthusiasts,” and it never will be
    – herisson
    Oct 8, 2015 at 0:39
  • @sumelic - I am making a different and much simpler point here that has not much to do with the question you are referring to.
    – user66974
    Oct 8, 2015 at 6:42
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    The last good question I saw was closed, and it was by a 1rep who ended up commenting: "I was instructed to ask a question in order to earn points here; it was hard to think of one, since I have proficiency in English grammar. I did think of this one, and my question was put on hold. I can think of no better way to discourage new users. I won't be asking more questions. I suppose ANY question I might pose would be disqualified as opinion based." - ELU'd be better served if we edited more.
    – Mazura
    Oct 20, 2015 at 21:51
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    The way to gain points here is to answer questions; I've only asked one question here, because -- frankly -- this is not a place where I would seek information about English grammar and usage. Oct 25, 2015 at 14:07
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    @JohnLawler - yes, for some reason answers are better rewarded than questions, anyway, by asking a question on grammar or usage here, one may get an answer from you which, I'm sure, would be an authoritative one.
    – user66974
    Oct 25, 2015 at 15:59
  • @Josh61: If possible. I've thought about asking and answering basic questions, but that seems like something not built into SEs, and I don't really want to argue about details. I don't know all the details in anything but my specialties, and even there I fumble for answers most of the time. Theoretical argumentation is not interesting, imo. And I'm here for interest, not Truth. Oct 25, 2015 at 16:05
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    Related: Do we need to write the better questions ourselves?
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Nov 5, 2015 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


Surely they would, but I think we have a problem here. It's really difficult to ask a good question. When I think of a question and find it really interesting, I often realize I'll have to discard it. And for several reasons:

  • EL&U has a bank of more than 60,000 questions. It is not surprising, therefore, that most good questions on linguistics and grammar have already been asked. It often happens to me, to think of a potentially good question, only to find somebody else has already asked it.

  • Most doubts I have can be easily answered if I Google them. That type of question would, no doubt, be considered general reference.

  • Some other questions I can think of would be considered opinion-based.

These are the obstacles I encounter whenever I try to post a question. Despite that, I'm always thinking and trying to find a good question: a question that would be well-received by the community. Finally, if the "powers that be" decided to give the questions the same value as the answers, that is one vote = 10 marks, the members here would probably be more motivated to post questions.


Of course. Also, giving senior members the option of marking certain questions as idiotic would probably improve the general flow. The entire screen gets cluttered with inane gibberish sometimes, which is very frustrating. Thunder and lightning.

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    "marking certain questions as idiotic" Um, we already have that option in the form of a button, a down arrow button.
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 20, 2015 at 20:23
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    @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M: Not at all the same. Any idiot can ask a question, and any idiot can downvote one. Voting is anonymous. Whereas being identified as hopeless by a identified and respected member would be a real service. Oct 25, 2015 at 14:03
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    @John -- I see your point Mr. Lawler, but the problem is while great on paper, these stuff fail in practice, since they end up turning into SE jargon at best, and some 'abuse' button for lazy reviewers at worst.
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 25, 2015 at 17:17

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