3

Sometimes a question needs to be closed as off-topic

enter image description here

but none of the canned reasons are a good fit. This leaves us with Other.

enter image description here
Other demands a comment. Typing is hard. What are some good canned comments?

  • Great question. +1) We need one more reason above "other" that says "It is off-topic because it is blatantly off-topic" which covers many other questions like how to improve, translation, naming, criticism, jokes, etc. One more, "dictation of Youtube link or other transcription service" – user140086 Mar 12 '16 at 11:34
  • @Rathony Not that I disagree but I don't remember seeing an example of that or where that is prohibited. Can you provide some links? – candied_orange Mar 12 '16 at 13:03
  • We don't have that specific guideline (rule) on our or ELL Help Center. But I saw those questions closed on both ELU and ELL with "other" reason that says "I am voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a transcription request". – user140086 Mar 12 '16 at 13:13
  • @Rathony I presume you're talking about questions like this: english.stackexchange.com/questions/311551/… – candied_orange Mar 12 '16 at 13:41
  • Yes, that's right. I see one or two a month. Most of them were closed. – user140086 Mar 12 '16 at 13:42
  • One wording that I have used more than once in situations where a question is about something not even tangentially related to this site's areas of interest is "I am voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not a question about English language or usage." – Sven Yargs Mar 12 '16 at 19:58
  • 1
    @SvenYargs I can understand the impulse to use that wording but I would encorage a more specific explination both for the benifit of the OP and other newbies that would come across the question, least the only thing they learn is to not mess with Sven Yargs. – candied_orange Mar 13 '16 at 3:05
2

Done @J.R.'s way:

The help/on-topic page discourages things we don't have a canned close reason for. Here are some canned comments in a copy-and-paste friendly format:

  • "How to improve my English?" (this is not constructive anyway)

This question may be off-topic because ELU discourages questions about "How to improve my English?" as noted in the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

  • Translation and non-English languages — please see the translation tag info for details

This question may be off-topic because ELU discourages questions about "Translation and non-English languages" as noted in the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page when outside the limited scope of the [translation](https://english.stackexchange.com/tags/translation/info) tag.

  • Naming, including naming programming variables/classes

This question may be off-topic because ELU discourages questions about "Naming, including naming programming variables/classes" as noted in the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

  • Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature

This question may be off-topic because ELU discourages questions about "Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature" as noted in the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

  • Jokes that do not rely on the English language

This question may be off-topic because ELU discourages "Jokes that do not rely on the English language" as noted in the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

As @J.R. correctly points out taking the time to customize a comment can be very instructive to a new user. This answer is actually intended to give you that time by freeing you from the more repetitive typing. There is certainly room to add more instructive comments.

1

Here's one I've used more than once:

Given that you're relatively new to the site, I'd like to tell you about our sister site, [ell.se]. In the future, that may be a better place for questions like this one. You can read more about the two sites at our [_What is the difference between ELU and ELL?_ meta post](http://meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/3722/what-is-the-difference-between-elu-and-ell/).

1

As @Rathony points out some questions are closed as off-topic because the community has decided they are not what this site is about. While it's always good to direct a new user to the help it may confuse them to cite the help as the reason the question is being closed when the help doesn't expressly prohibit the question.

I propose to gather such close reasons here:

transcription service

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because ELU is not a transcription service

not constructive

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not constructive

  • 3
    Not constructive is not a constructive close reason! What even do you mean by it? – curiousdannii Mar 14 '16 at 13:23
  • @curiousdannii a fair point. I've seen it used and have cited an example. Considering that example, what would you propose instead? – candied_orange Mar 14 '16 at 22:19
  • I vote to close questions like that with the message that trivia is off-topic. – curiousdannii Mar 14 '16 at 23:06
-1

The help/on-topic page expressly forbids things we don't have a canned close reason for. Here are some canned comments in a copy and paste friendly format:

  • "How to improve my English?" (this is not constructive anyway)

This question is off-topic because the topic "How to improve my English?" is expressly prohibited by the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

  • Translation and non-English languages — please see the translation tag info for details

This question is off-topic because the topics "Translation and non-English languages" are expressly prohibited by the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page when outside the limited scope of the [translation](https://english.stackexchange.com/tags/translation/info) tag.

  • Naming, including naming programming variables/classes

This question is off-topic because the topic "Naming, including naming programming variables/classes" is expressly prohibited by the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

  • Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature

This question is off-topic because the topic "Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature" is expressly prohibited by the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

  • Jokes that do not rely on the English language

This question is off-topic because "Jokes that do not rely on the English language" are expressly prohibited by the [help/on-topic](https://english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic) page.

As JR correctly points out taking the time to customize a comment can be very instructive to a new user. This answer is actually intended to give you that time by freeing you from the more repetitive typing. There is certainly room to add more instructive comments.

It would also be useful to see this answer edited and ratified into something the community agrees with so we can use these with confidence.

  • 2
    One potential problem with canned comments is they seem impersonal to new users, and repetative to seasoned users. Typing may be hard, but I think it's often worth investing some time to soften a remark or provide clearer guidance. I think "This question is off-topic" can seem blunt and opinionated, and "expressly prohibited" is a bit heavy-handed. Not every question clearly falls into one of those pidgeonholes, and opinions sometimes differ about when a question should be closed or remain open. In a can, I'd prefer: "This question may be off-topic because ELU discourages questions about..." – J.R. Mar 12 '16 at 11:20
  • One more, "dictation of Youtube link or other transcription service" – user140086 Mar 12 '16 at 11:37
  • @J.R. I've edited the answer to address your concern. – candied_orange Mar 14 '16 at 22:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .