I hope this is not a duplicate. I will delete it if found so.

Many of new posters might not know what would be the appropriate/right questions for EL&U and they might not even know how to take the tour. Some questions should have been posted in ELL but I don't think many of them are aware that ELL exists.

Today, there were 2 questions which were usual suspects for the right word. The first one was "put on hold" and the second one was not.

I don't understand why the second one is not "put on hold" when the first one is.

One commented, "Take the words you'd use in your mother tongue, then use a bilingual dictionary of your liking to look up their English counterparts."

How many questions in the past do you think should be "put on hold" if you use the same standard and argument?

The OP of the second question will be able to find the answer in a dictionary or any site as easily as the OP of the first question would. Furthermore, the first question has an upvote while the second has none. (I wanted to downvote it, but decided not to to post this question.)

I understand it could be very subjective decision to pick the worse of the two, but I believe the same standard sould be applied. At least a question with an upvote should not be put on hold as it indicates some are showing an interest in the question or like it. (I am not the one who upvoted it)

Or questions like the first one should be migrated to ELL. I think it is more appropriate than putting it [on hold] and fairer to the OP.

I read this long question and discussion and I can understand the difficulties this site is facing.

Question No.1

How to describe someone who speaks less and shows in action? [on hold]

Suppose someone often speaks less however he is intelligent and skillfull. Basically, he shows in action rather in speaking (in a positive way). I wonder what kinds of words can be used to describe such a person.

Question No. 2

What do you call a topic that's ignored by people because it's boring, abstract, or improper?

Example topics: Existentialism, quantum mechanics, abstract math, suicide, genocide, etc.

Example sentence:

He started shaping his fears and [...] topics into stories.
Maybe shunned?

  • 6
    Personally, I find the endless stream of questions about "words to describe this type of person" tedious in general.
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 18:47
  • 1
    Also. question 1 seems more opinion-based because it asks for multiple words and gives no example sentence.
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 22:34
  • @sumelic I agree with you again. Giving non-related topics as an example is equally opinion-based, too as talking aout quantum mechnics and suicide/genocide could be different (which is also opinion-based). My point is if we had migrated the first question to ELL, we might have guided the OP better than just putting it on hold.
    – user140086
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 2:07
  • 1
    So are you actually interested in hearing about the differences people see between these questions, or is it a rhetorical question?
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 3:51
  • 3
    In general, I disagree that " At least a question with an upvote should not be put on hold." People upvote for both good and bad reasons. I also disagree that "migrating to ELL [...] is more appropriate than putting it [on hold] and fairer to the OP." ELL also has "primarily opinion-based" as a close reason; so migrating is not always better than closing. In this specific case, the question might be received well on ELL; the OP can just delete the question on ELU and re-post on ELL. That's generally easier than migrating anyway; the only reason to migrate is if there are already good answers.
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


Single word requests have some additional specific requirements because the site gets so many of them and a lot of them are terrible. See the tag info for details. Neither is a great question (as evidenced by the lack of upvotes on both), but Question #2 certainly comes closer to meeting the requirements and is a better question overall. #1 is barely comprehensible and shows no evidence of research.

I probably wouldn't have chosen "opinion based" for the first question, but who knows how that happened. It looks like it was ultimately closed as "off-topic / lacking research", which seems right to me.

Migrating questions directly to ELL is suitable in some cases, but not when it's flat-out a bad question. It would get placed on hold just as quickly over there.

Up votes and close votes are deliberately distinct concepts in StackExchange. As Sumelic said in a comment, "people upvote for both good and bad reasons". Plus, something can be very popular and yet still be a duplicate or inappropriate for the site.

  • I upvoted your answer and thanks. If some people know or think "people upvote for both good and bad reasons", what good is it doing here?
    – user140086
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 11:43
  • @Rathony - Just because a system is imperfect doesn't mean it provides no value. It just means you maybe don't want to rely too much on what is essentially a subjective "like" system.
    – Lynn
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 14:00
  • What I meant was there is a room for improvement. That's all.
    – user140086
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 14:03

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