Very often questions (and, in particular, differing opinions as to the correct answers) hinge on whether the individual is native to the US, UK, or some other place on the globe. But only very rarely does the individual's profile identify place of residence and/or birth. I can appreciate that many people want to "retain an air of mystery", but isn't there some way to encourage them to at least identify their place of residence in their profile so that one doesn't have to repeatedly inquire?

  • For what it's worth, I'm an American living in Taiwan...used to live near San Francisco...so my answers will have that Stars and Stripes flavor. Jan 12, 2016 at 5:41
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    It would be especially useful to know if users speak Indian English, there are certain expressions which is common and acceptable in that dialect that can be mistaken for errors by AmEng, AusEng or BrEng speakers. A lot of users give themselves English handles/nicknames so it's impossible to know or guess their native tongue.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 12, 2016 at 7:36
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    I don't think that stating where you were born or where you are currently living would be of much help as far as Q&A is concerned. What about the level of education? In what University you studied and your field of professional competence might probably give a more reliable picture of a user. In the end it all comes down to what your knowledge of the English language is and on your ability with the usage of reference to support your questions and answers. Personal information is not that relevant and might give rise to prejudices.
    – user66974
    Jan 12, 2016 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


I think there is some modest encouragement present already in user profiles: location is an item there. If a user leaves that field blank, well that may be an omission, but it is probably intentional with active, long-term users. I rather doubt any additional "encouragement" will work.

However, I do think people may be more specific than they currently are (overall) in what they're actually asking, via tagging. We do have tags for regional variants (and if we don't, we should). Tagging an individual question (in case regional variants matter, of course) is much more to the point than the location of the asker because a correct tag can specify what dialect/variant of English the question is about, rather then where the OP comes from. It is perfectly acceptable if a user from, say, Denmark asks about, say, Indian English: in that case, a tag helps, whilst location of the OP does not.

FWIW, one can always ask in comments. People may be slightly more willing to part with their personal info in comments, which are disposable and/or not immediately visible to your random profile viewer. Anyway, that information, if relevant, should be included in the question.

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    The problem with solely relying on tagging is that a question-asker may not realise that the answer will be different depending on location. And adding localisation tags once it's become clear that there is a difference makes answers with the wrong localisation, which were posted before the tag was added, suddenly incorrect. Which is generally thought of as a bad thing to do.
    – AndyT
    Jan 12, 2016 at 11:22
  • And location tagging doesn't help with answers.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 12, 2016 at 13:46

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