I've made a few attempts to ask/answer a question. Complete fail! Almost all of my questions/answers were deleted. Probably I'm an idiot, but how come that the question about "And" at the beginning of a sentence is nice, respectable and merits exposing for years, while my question about "Which" at the beginning of a sentence is vicious, opinion-based and deserves only being put on hold by a swarm of experts

PS, I feel that this question will be deleted within minutes

PPS The other closed question is this The deleted answer (1 of 1) concerned physics, so I don't cite it

  • 5
    I see no downvotes to the question and there is even an answer. The examples you have given are very different (the "nice" one goes into detail whereas the "vicious" (really? vicious?) one gives a bad example). The "vicious" one also has 3 reopen votes. Are you not overreacting?
    – Oded
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:06
  • 11
    Closing is not an insult. Voting to close a question is not the same as calling the author of the question names. Voting to close is not bullying. Newcomers don't get to post questions that don't meet site norms - simply being from a newcomer isn't a free pass for any question. Ideally because it's from a newcomer someone will edit it so that it does meet site norms. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:09
  • 2
    I don't know how to look up deleted posts specific to a user, but the most common reason I see posts being deleted here are: for questions, insufficient prior research (i.e. credible demonstration of trying to answer your own question first, before asking strangers on the internet to help you out) and insufficient detail to make a useful answer; for answers: insufficient support/justification/references, i.e. just offering opinion, not answers.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:10
  • 6
    In re: the "this question is open, but this other similar question is closed": the site's standards change over time. It's inapplicable to compare the reaction to a question asked today to a similar one asked 5 years ago when the site was launched with a completely different user-base and the heady looseness of a brand new community. SO is in a similar state; the "what's your favorite programming cartoon" question would never survive today, but it's still the most upvoted question on the site, and it's kept around for historical purposes.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:12
  • A few remarks: 1) An attempt to provide some "prior research" was exactly the pretext for closing my first question. 2) the questions with "And" and "Which" are different, but are they also based-on-opinions to a different degree? 3) Closing is not an insult, but it endangers my ability to ask further questions 4) the requirements may change with time, but why keep them in secret. I asked @Dan Bron, what's wrong with my question, but received no answer
    – Serguei
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:46
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    Yeah, I don't knowyou called me out specifically in that post. I went back and saw that I close-voted it, but I was one among 5, and not even the first. But if you really prefer me, as an individual, t answer you, I will. Maybe tonight. The short story is the requirement to show independent research is not a pretext, it's a requirement. This isn't Yahoo! Answers, we don't want it to become Yahoo! Answers, and we work really hard t ensure it doesn't turn into Yahoo! Answers. If you want the best answer I can offer, do me a favor and edit links into your Q to any/all deleted posts.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:48
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    The "nice" example has been edited 5 times and contains three paragraphs explaining the questions, where the "not nice" question has one sentence with information in it and one minor edit. It's pretty plain why one was well received and the other not. I don't know if EL&U has a similar meta post, but ELL has a very good Details, please post. We have some similar troubles where it's not clear to users what "not enough context" means and it's proven to be helpful to link that post to new users before I vote to close as off-topic for that reason.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 17:58
  • @ColleenV I love that "Details, please" post (along with the other amazing policy-outlining posts JR has provided).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 18:02
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    I don't doubt that a lot of people come here, ask one question, feel insulted (even if the question is not closed), and leave. This is unfortunate, but this mechanism does not facilitate the sort of "hand holding" that newcomers to English often need. Remember, you are asking for others to "donate" their time to answer your questions. They are justifiably irritated when you do not make as good an effort as possible to ask your question clearly and provide adequate "context" to fully understand your question. They are under no obligation to respond.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 19:18
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    Quite different things - "not to respond" and "to close" (that is to prevent others from responding). I don't believe there was anything unclear in my questions
    – Serguei
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 19:57
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    You seem to have put more effort into the post complaining about your questions being closed, than the questions themselves. On the ELL meta site there is a post I think could help you write questions that would be well received on EL&U meta.ell.stackexchange.com/a/465 It explains the patterns in Yoichi Oishi's questions. Yoichi Oishi has earned the "Nice Question" badge on ELU more than 120 times, so he is an excellent role model for folks that want to learn to write good questions.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 21:06
  • The "which" question you reference above is a simple question about the pronoun "which". Eliminate the parenthetical "of course" and it is easily understood as a simple declarative sentence. If you do not understand this you should be on ELL, not EL&U. Beyond that, it is a "which is better" question, which often results in an "opinion based" closing, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not. I'm assuming some of the comments have been deleted, so I can't judge how justifiable closing was in this case. But in any event you got some good answers, so there's nothing to be upset about.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 1:44
  • I have really good answers, it's not the issue. What I'm upset about is the warning that because of my bad record I may be banned
    – Serguei
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 9:45
  • 3
    @Serguei That's an automatic warning, as you probably guessed. And it is just that: a warning. All it means is to take care to follow the advice Kit and others have given you here when you ask your next question. Double-check that the subject is on-topic, that you express yourself clearly, and that in the question yourself you illustrate the effort and background research you already conducted to answer the question for yourself, along with a description of why that didn't completely settle your doubts. The Q will remain open and probably get +1s, your record will improve, & warning disappear.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


If your question followed the same pattern as the other one you cite, I would agree that there was a double standard. However, in your question you do not explain your understanding of what part of speech 'which' is and how it is generally used, nor do you explain why you think that beginning a sentence with 'which' should or should not be grammatical based on your observations or research. It seems you believe it is ungrammatical, in which case, you need to provide evidence that it is in use, rather than that it is a usage you made up so that you could ask a question about it.

Because you haven't provided any of these details, the question is not answerable by anything but an opinion at this point. You have the opportunity to edit it to include some more details. After you've edited it, it will automatically enter the reopen queue for high rep community members to review.

To be clear, you have no answers posted on EL&U. You have one deleted question and two closed questions. The one question that was deleted was removed automatically for inactivity. The two closed questions were skimpy on detail and did not have a clear question.

You have one question that was closed as a duplicate. That means it was a good question, just someone had already asked it. You have another open question with an accepted answer. I see no evidence of anyone bullying you, but I see a lot of evidence of community members trying to help you and give you information.

  • Your position is clear and fair, but notionally. As for my question specifically, I fail to think up how it could be misunderstood. Moreover, there already was an answer and, futhermore, it had been already accepted, So, it is hard to understand how exactly closing the question was supposed to help me
    – Serguei
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 20:34
  • 4
    The question being closed has nothing to do with helping you, it was closing a low quality question, feel free to improve the quality of the question. In this case and the numerous other examples provided by Fox the community is helping you despite some serious concerns about the quality of what you're submitting.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 21:39
  • 1
    The community has to protect itself just as much as it wants to help users. If any question were allowed without any kind of regulation, this site would very quickly become like so many other poorly-defined and poorly-managed Q&A sites that litter the internet. The thing that makes EL&U good is that you can rely on it for relevant, good quality questions and relevant, reliable answers. To maintain this reputation, it is necessary to close questions that don't meet the same standards.
    – Karl
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 15:52

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