I understand there is a limited list of common reasons to declare a question as off-topic, and that we have to stretch some terms to provide coverage, but I am genuinely confused by what is meant by lit crit on this site.
In this thread What does the expression "old soldier" mean?, I see nothing that even approaches lit crit. Furthermore, there is every reason to believe that the question can be addressed constructively from well-sourced examples. I don't see what distinguishes this question from any other question that provides an example of the usage they are curious about.
As long as the subject of the discussion is the phrase in question, and not the peculiarities of the author, I don't see any lit crit, regardless of how much textural context is needed to support an answer. Some questions do require a lot of context when meanings have changed over time, literary styles have changed over time, and the cultures reflected in the dialog have changed over time. These issues may need to be addressed in the answer; and I feel it detracts from the site if we feel forced to avoid them in our answers.
- What role does needing extensive context play in determining lit crit?
- Is discussing usage with respect to literary style off-topic?
- Are answers pertaining to literary dialog more susceptible to being labeled lit crit? If so is this a problem?