Over the past three days, the new user yorgun has asked 10 questions, all seeming to be asking for clarification on various excerpts from the same book, Diplomacy, A Very Short Introduction by Joseph M. Siracusa.

I answered one of the early questions, though not without controversy. Some of the other questions are closed, or have close votes and down votes; while others have been well-received. The user does seem to be attempting to give his/her interpretation and research, but not always. Each question in isolation is borderline for on-topic, but noticing them collectively raises some flags.

My aim is to help this person, but I am not sure how. Whether it be tips to the user to improve the questions here, redirect to ELL, or redirect to some reading help site outside the SE Network, I have no idea. What I do know is that I am not the right person to make that decision, so I am bringing it up here. I think a common message to this user might be helpful at this point, perhaps even by putting a comment on each of the questions inviting to participate in this meta.

  • Yes, comment. Note though that the Persian proverbs questions and Yoichi's Dowd columns have been quite popular (and deservedly so). It's how they are asked that makes them on-topic.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 18:49
  • Good questions support the site's aim to be a collection of definitive answers that are useful to English experts. Are these good questions?
    – MetaEd
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 19:01
  • We are allowed to edit the question to tailor it to ELUs needs. So a better question is: could these be good questions? Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 19:32
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    Weird. Looking at all those questions, they seem to be questions on English usage at a much higher level than we're used to, but then if at that level you'd expect them to be able to figure it out by themselves. Also, some formatting might be nice (to separate a quote from the discussion/question. Yet most of these qns have not gotten upvotes.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 19:46
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    I say they should be moved to ELL. The questions generally represent a poor understanding of the English language, and often suggest that the user has simply gotten lost in attempting to read something that is over his head.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 1:47
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    When someone's vocabulary exceeds their understanding of those word's usage, it belongs no where else but here. I couldn't make heads or tails of this one until I broke it apart, as one of its answers suggests. OP needs to learn how to (fish) deconstruct sentences.
    – Mazura
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 3:46
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    This site isn't a book club. yorgun needs to get some friends to ask these questions to IRL. Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 3:47
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    Yorgun is doing the one thing I wish all new people did here. He's hanging around. He doesn't post and disappear. Help him learn. Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


thanks to all, I don't know English well (as elementary translator or trying to learn more by translating ! ). but. when i ask questions. the questions are not very technical (usually I don't need the meaning of technical words), but my questions are about phrases (usual idioms that native English speakers understand them, something like reading newspaper form them). however, my questions will finish and I'll try to be better in asking.

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    Welcome to the English Language & Usage (ELU) Stack Exchange community. ELU is moderated as a repository, which makes it a little different from other Q&A sites. This post may be helpful to you. In particular, item 1 links to some tips on asking questions, and item 2 links to useful resources that may help you more directly. Once you've gone as far as you can with those resources, you're welcome to summarise your findings and ask for help on any remaining issues about the English language or its usage.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 9:09
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    Yorgun, I would like to commend you on participating both here at ELU and ELL. As you grow more familiar with these two sites I'm sure your judgment of which is best for a particular question will improve. Until then please be patient with us. The line between them can be fuzzy. But don't let anyone tell you that you have to be a native speaker to be welcome at ELU. You just have to be willing to operate at that level. Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 9:25
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    There is a lot of information scattered about the site. Have a look at the help page (that's what others would call the FAQ) that you can find at the bottom of the page on the main site. To get back to the main site, click the red '&' symbol in the Stack Exchange menu. Also check out the ELU blog in the same menu - that contains extended posts that may be of interest to you.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 9:26
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    Thanks for joining and posting your thoughts. I hope you understand that this discussion was not started to criticize you, but to help us to help you to help yourself. I also commend you for your participation and willingness to learn and improve yourself.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 12:25
  • Yorgun, I've seem some of your Qs and am coming to this discussion rather late. Speaking for myself (and I suspect others may share this view), on thing that immediately puts me off questions like yours, is the lack of conventional English language formatting, by which I mean, for example, Capitalisation & punctuation. Your answer immediately above is a typical example. If I see a Q. where the author can't even be bothered to use standard English formatting, I tend to think that either s/he's an very inexperienced learner and/or is not serious enough to bother. ... cont'd
    – TrevorD
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:07
  • ... cont'd My personal view is that this is not twitter, facebook, text messages, etc., but is a serious website forum about English Language & Usage. Therefore, immediately demonstrating poor usage by failure to follow accepted standards, gives a poor initial impression. Also, it does actually make it harder for others to read without the usual formatting signs. Please take this as just one person's view & advice - but think about it!
    – TrevorD
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:08

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