So I noticed that there is a bit of an editing dispute between Rathony and CuriousDanii regarding the question "Another" vs "other" regarding which version of the question should be kept.

The matter under consideration began when the original question was closed. SvenYargs provided some research, which fulfilled his wish of rekindled interest in the question, since he felt it had a legitimate underlying basis and as a result of his edit it was reopened. Rather than summarizing what I think their opinions are, I'll let Rathony and CuriousDanii's own comments show their opinions on the matter.

CuriousDanii: You shouldn't add research to new users' questions. What's the point, just ask your own question if you're actually interested. And in addition, we have no idea of knowing whether the OP has seen the particular things you've raised. The OP was asking about singular/plural words, whereas by adding that quote from Bernstein you have changed it to being about things of the same kind or different kind. Your edit is illegitimate.

Rathony: It's not that I don't understand your point. But what's the point of rolling back SvenYarg's edit? He tried to improve the post in good faith and I don't think it deserves rollback. The post was reopened thanks to the edit and let's move on. If you don't object to it, I will roll it back to SvenYarg's version.

Rathony and CuriousDanni also revised part of their opinions, and now suspect it should be closed as a duplicate. The duplicate proposed is Can “another” be used with plural nouns provided periods or measurements don’t count?

We discussed the matter and agreed to wait upon SvenYarg's response before taking further action, since we respect his contributions as a user and demonstrated knowledge regarding the subject of grammar. However at this point it looks like Sven is not going to respond, or at least not in a timely manner, and Rathony took the liberty of rolling back the edit.

Worth further note is that the original draft of this question suggested research had been done. Unfortunately, the question seems to have been asked in an incomplete state. A definition from the suggested resource was not provided, nor was the specific sentence in question. Luckily, I own a copy of The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8th edition, and can personally verify that its entry for Another is textually identical to the entry presently available on the Oxford Learner's Dictionary website. The exact same definitions, quotations, usage note and even idioms are provided. My printing is the 2015 printing, with a C.D. in the back that has iwriter software.

That dangling "I" and mention of pluralization in the original version, which is the only version the author touched upon by the author suggests the sentence in question is one of these:

  • I got another of those calls yesterday.
  • ‘Finished?’ ‘No, I've got another three questions to do.’

What should be done in this case, and why?

2 Answers 2


Firstly, I think the only one who should roll back edits that add additional research is the original poster. Only that person can determine if his intention was violated. Otherwise it's just two people with their interpretations. Such disputes are solved on meta. Before rolling back!

Secondly, rolling back to a former closed question state is a unilateral action violating the expressed voting decision of five users. That's what happened here. The edited question had been deemed worthy by five people. The only people who should ever do anything like that are our moderators. Anyone else, go to meta first, do not roll back unilaterally!

Therefore, it's very good that the question has been returned to the state in which it has been deemed worthy by a community decision.

If someone thinks that community vote is a bad call, that is a different discussion. Again for meta, not for rollback-battles.

  • Please deal with the fact that the edit completely changed the nature of the question. Five people voted to reopen the question, but can you say that all five were explicitly happy with changing what the question was asking? Far more likely is that they saw a question in a decent state and never checked whether it had been faithfully edited. Ideally the bad edit would've been rolled back before the question was reopened, but that didn't happen. Nov 5, 2016 at 5:31
  • And I dispute that the voting decisions of anyone were violated. No one voted on the edit, only on whether the question should be closed. Commenting on edits is standard, even when they are rolled back, and Meta discussions only need to be created when there is a dispute. No one has yet disputed my claim that Sven's edit fundamentally changed the question, so I maintain that my roll back is warranted. Nov 5, 2016 at 5:36
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    You are missing my whole point. Deciding that an edit is bad on your own, especially one made by a user with as high a reputation as Sven on your own that is the only truly bad decision that was made here. You should have gone to meta in the first place. Why? Because you disputed the edit. That's a dispute. Disputes are solved on meta. I am sorry but you cannot put your failure to consult meta with an easy question why this edit? on us.
    – Helmar
    Nov 5, 2016 at 11:21
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    Edits are frequently challenged, reverted, and discussed in comments on posts. We only need to go to Meta when the original editor disagrees IMO. The rep of users is not relevant. Nov 5, 2016 at 11:32
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    @curiousdannii that's ridiculous, comments are not for discussions.
    – Helmar
    Nov 5, 2016 at 12:10
  • @curiousdannii has a point. It really depends on the situation whether to ask about it on Meta. I don't think the issue here is that important and as curiousdannii mentioned, SvenYarg's reputation is irrelevant. Also, there is no clear-cut consensus or answer to the question about how much edit is appropriate. All depends on your POV.
    – user140086
    Nov 5, 2016 at 14:58
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    The reputation of any 2k plus user means the community trusts the edit. Building on that sure, no problem. Reverting is meta worthy. But that's my pov.
    – Helmar
    Nov 5, 2016 at 15:15
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    @Helmar You have not seen how many posts were vandalized and incorrectly edited by users with over 2K reputation. I got suspended trying to get rid of one. Don't trust the reputation points and judge a user by looking at how they contribute. The reputation means nothing unless it is over one million.
    – user140086
    Nov 5, 2016 at 17:51
  • The length of time a user has been on the site, and their Meta participation, are much stronger indications that they know the site editing conventions than their rep. With a couple of lucky SWR answers you can get to 2000 rep in just a couple of weeks. Nov 6, 2016 at 0:19
  • @curiousdannii it certainly is. So it puzzles me even more how you thought that didn't apply in this case with another user who has about double of your meta badges ...
    – Helmar
    Nov 6, 2016 at 0:39
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    @Helmar Who said I didn't think it applied in this case? Sven is a good editor in general, and it was only this one edit I thought was poor, for reasons why I explained in a commented directed to him. Nov 6, 2016 at 1:38
  • @Helmar It was an extremely rare case which could happen once a year or so. As I mentioned before, there is no hard-and-fast rule on how much edit is appropriate and encouraged. I understand both points of view by SvenYarg and Curiousdanni. The more important point is there is no clear answer to this question. Considering the fact that there has been no action on the main board question, I think the consensus is "let's move on".
    – user140086
    Nov 6, 2016 at 7:27
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    I value community feedback, but find this objectionable. Many of the same facts could be applied against the edit, especially considering the guidelines in the help center regarding reopening questions which indicates both that commentary is appropriate for this purpose and that this attempt to reopen probably should have consulted Meta first. Also, by the time meta comes up with an amicable solution, the damage a rollback seeks to prevent may already be done. I'd suggest rolling back first, then seeking consultation from meta, or a "human exception handler".
    – Tonepoet
    Nov 6, 2016 at 16:30
  • That last suggestion is especially so because in this case it's not just two people but four. The two people who are engaging in the rollbacks, the original poster, and the editor. If everybody's interpretation of the question was equally valid, that'd be one thing, but surely the original poster's wording is to be considered closer to their intent than anybody else's (including my own). Regardless, what I really want to know is what we should do going forward, rather than fretting about what was done. I take this to mean you think that no further action should be taken: Is that right @Helmar?
    – Tonepoet
    Nov 6, 2016 at 16:46
  • @Tonepoet, yes, ultimately we want the higher quality question, which is the one with Sven's edit. By the way option four on that help page explicitly says voting to reopen is a valid move. Meta is when you are unsure. I don't think he was unsure. Editing, Reopening and answering is exactly how SE is supposed to work. We don't need meta for that. There are even Badges like Refiner for editing and answering. Rolling back however is in its core a difference of opinion that - in my view - calls for a meta post.
    – Helmar
    Nov 7, 2016 at 14:31

I personally wish to refrain from casting judgement on the matter of determining whether this is a duplicate question, as my judgement on the matter seems to frequently be at odds with the community determinations. Naturally, if the question is a duplicate, it should be closed as a duplicate, and maybe even merged with the prior thread. The remainder of this answer will regard the matter of what to do if it is not a duplicate:

Drastic edits are permitted, and I have no objection to providing additional research in a bid to reopen a question as CuriousDani does. However when this is to be done, I agree that it needs to be done in a manner that is congruent with the questioner's intention, pursuant to our editing guidelines, since attribution is primarily ascribed to our posters and in the case of questioners, for the purpose of having the question they asked answered. Only questioners can accept answers, since only they can know what their question truly means. I have every reason to believe Rathony is correct that Sven acted in good faith and I think that not only as a manner of good intentions, but also accordance to this principle. Regardless I am not 100% certain that he actually fulfilled it. Without further input from the questioner, I can not know for certain if he did, so his edit should be retracted.

This leaves us with the problem that the question is unfit for English Language & Usage, as indicated by the original close votes, which were perhaps prematurely reversed as a result of that edit. Personally, I do not wish to see the question closed, because I think more answers to the question may be of worth, especially if Sven's interpretation of it was mistaken.

Viettungvuong's exotic username, and the fact that he elected to choose to solicit a learner's dictionary as a resource imply that he is an E.S.L. learner. The fact that the question as it was closed as it was originally asked suggests that the community was not sufficiently interested by the matter. Both of these circumstances suggest to me that the question should be moved to E.L.L. Part of the reason I suggest this is that research was allegedly performed, and the question does regard a matter of English, so the only way I see this being off-topic here is if it is better suited there because it is not a sufficiently interesting question for Linguists, Etymologists and Serious English Enthusiasts, but still decently asked and useful to others which is the sort of question E.L.L. is meant to harbor.

However the question in its original state was incomplete, and in accordance to the E.L.L. is not a trashcan principle, I think it should first be edited. A more conservative edit should be applied that expressly indicates the extent of the research claimed. My initial proposal for such an edit would look something like this:

I do not really know when can I should use another over other. At first, I thought another was only used when a singular word comes after it, but then I saw the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8th Edition's entry:

  1. one more; an extra thing or person
    • Would you like another drink?
    • ‘Finished?’ ‘No, I've got another three questions to do.’
    • We've still got another (= a further) forty miles to go.
    • ‘It's a bill.’ ‘Oh no, not another!’
    • I got another of those calls yesterday.
    • Another can be followed by a singular noun, by of and a plural noun, or * by a number and a plural noun.

Another can be followed by a singular noun, by of and a plural noun, or by a number and a plural noun.

Some of these sentences have plural words after another which invalidates that theory. Can somebody please explain why that is happening, and when I should choose "Other" over "Another?" and visa-versa?

I only included the first definition, because it is the only one with plural words in the exemplary sentences. While I would prefer to isolate the sentences I suspect to be in question, I do not have sufficient basis to believe which one it is exactly, so I just decided to leave them all in. The final question takes guidance from both the titular question, and the provision of the original theory. If somebody can suggest a more accurate interpretation of the original question's intention though, I would like to be informed since that is the purpose of this proposal.

The person who originally asked the question probably will not benefit from this course of action, as they have accepted an answer, it is my hope that more answers to the question might be helpful to others who happen to see it.

  • I think your proposed edit is excellent. Nov 4, 2016 at 14:01
  • "Another can be followed by a singular noun, by of and a plural noun, or by a number and a plural noun." If the dictionary says this, why is there any confusion? This would also make it off-topic for ELL, since it's a "quick dictionary lookup".
    – Laurel Mod
    Nov 4, 2016 at 17:01
  • @Laurel Learners sometimes have difficulties in distinguishing another from other because of an in another. It will never be off-topic on ELL and I don't think it is off-topic on ELU, either. It's a legitimate usage question and it was asked before on ELU, too.
    – user140086
    Nov 4, 2016 at 17:25
  • @Laurel If you look at the original draft of the question, you will see that "quick dictionary lookup" was done beforehand, and the questioner was not satisfactorily enlightened by it, so I would give the question impunity from closure for being "General Reference". It is tacit that further clarification is required, so I doubt that close reason applies, since it is now up to you to prove (or disprove) the claim. It is hard to explain better in the space of a comment, but I think Jeff Atwood's post Are Some Questions Too Simple? explains the rationale rather well.
    – Tonepoet
    Nov 4, 2016 at 20:48
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    @Tonepoet The issue I see is that "why is this happening" is already explained in the quote, and there's no explanation why it's not a sufficient definition. Which might make it more "unclear what you're asking".
    – Laurel Mod
    Nov 4, 2016 at 20:56
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    @Laurel That's more reasonable and I have considered that since the post was incomplete. I think one of the main concerns with closure, and rollbacks is preventing inapplicable answers from being given, so maybe it should be closed again. I proposed this course of action for my own answer because I think we can clarify what was already said to be a broad enough question that will surely address the issue our questioner has, without making it overly broad in comparison to other word choice questions. If you think this is impossible, please consider writing another answer for voter consideration
    – Tonepoet
    Nov 4, 2016 at 21:24

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