In a recent post

What are names for territories in space?

The OP seemed to ask for us to make up new words for him. OP seems to realize this, based on the later comment

I pointed this out in worldbuilding which this actually belongs in but they refused it was told to ask here...

This is not an isolated incident. I'd hate to see people transferred multiple times becase SE sites have different ideas of each other's missions. Should EL&U make it clear to other sites that word-invention requests are off topic here? Are they off topic for that matter?

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    That's a basic problem of go ask there. We do have a proper description what is off-topic and what is on-topic. The people who send people here don't necessarily read that.
    – Helmar
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 1:36
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    I don't think it's EL&U's fault at all and I don't know much about this SE, but to me it's clear that my question does not belong. The problem lies in the WB.SE which generally is wrong about what is and isn't about world building and as such limits things wrongly. This event particularly pissed me off because a pretty much exact same question was asked and considered acceptable which I repeatedly pointed out. --- Also since it was said to ask here, even though it seemed wrong on multiple fronts, given how weird WB and SF are I shrugged and asked.
    – Durakken
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 2:51
  • word-invention requests are off topic here – [citation needed]
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 6:17
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    I feel it should be obvious from the existing on-topic list that making up new words is not in the remit. I suppose it could be added to the "Please don't ask about" list; but asking about neologisms which others have already coined is probably on-topic, so it needs to be carefully defined.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 8:18
  • @AndrewLeach But lots of SWR questions have answers of newly invented words (often by combining two Latin roots or something like that.) Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 23:16
  • @curiousdannii I doubt that it's "lots". I have a gold [swr] badge, and the most obscure answer I came up with by combining roots was gephyrophile (lover of bridges) -- but that's in the dictionary, it's not new. Most entirely new words aren't highly upvoted, I think.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


No, ELU has nothing to clarify with other sites. ELU's standards are its own to determine.

But a good general rule for every site is that if you suggest another site to ask a question on, that you include a brief note something like "but make sure you check out their on-topic page and question guidelines."

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    This. Another course of action is to flag for migration (if you are really, really sure about it) and let moderators check with the target site's moderators before migrating the question there. There's no need to ask a question twice if it can be moved to the right place.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 8:14

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