This question was asked years ago and was rightly closed as off-topic What are your favorite English language tools?.

As a mod. noted at that time the content is useful. It was just posted on the wrong site.

  • Mod note: This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. Ordinarily, we would lock such a question; however, because allowing the answers to be edited and voted on greatly enhances its value, we have chosen not to do so. Please do not vote to reopen or delete this question; such actions will be reversed. – waiwai933♦ Sep 17 '12 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


No, I don't think so.

The whole "resource questions on meta" thing is misguided in my view. Content about the English languages is supposed to be on main, not on meta. The on-site search doesn't search through meta posts, and new questions on main can't be closed as duplicates of questions on meta. Meta is for meta discussion, not for questions related to the subject matter of the site.

If we really won't accept such questions on main any longer, there is no place for them on either site. New ones should just be closed and deleted. And old ones that are significant, like this, should be on main and locked. That's exactly what a historical lock is for.

See this post by Robert Cartaino♦:

I'm seeing these list-of-resource questions being posted in meta as a way to somehow allow questions that would otherwise not be allowed on the main site. Meta is meant to provide support for the operation of this site and we cannot let it morph into an alternative type of subject Q&A.

There is a better solution.

If the community does not want excessive resource questions on the main site, you can come to a consensus (in meta) that a select few would be allowed (on the main Q&A). Incidentally, we are considering ways to administer a limited number of these "big list" in much the same way network wide. But in the meantime, posting them on meta is not a viable solution.

How do we limit these question?

As for sending a mixed message to new users that asking broad resource questions is fair game, you can add conspicuous notice to the top of these posts (we have a historical lock if the thread gets unmanageable) that essentially says this is an exceptional situation and not be use as evidence that you can ask similar questions here.

In either case, posting these types of questions in meta is only moving the problem to this site; i.e. you would be eliciting a type of question by example that you would otherwise would not allow.

  • Valid point. I have a different opinion on this issue. Not that I care about it so much but he said "Meta is meant to provide support for the operation of this site". If the operation of this site e.g., for users, especially those who are not very fluent in English, to ask/answer questions and read the posts on the main board, needs support from resources, Meta is the place that should provide those supports. It's just a matter of opinion. The bigger issue I see is there are 47 answers and that's too many. The question shows why a request for resources is not a good format for Stack Exchange.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 8:38
  • 2
    @Rathony: The issue is that meta is not set up to provide that kind of support. People don't check meta as often as the main site, and resource questions often go unanswered or are closed. That just causes frustration. It would be better to just close questions like this and leave them on main.
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 8:41
  • Yes, if ELU has a firm policy on a request for resources, none of this will happen in the future. People should know their questions are not a good fit for SE format before they get frustrated.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 8:45
  • 1
    @sumelic - I may be wrong, but I think there are other posts just on Meta about what are the more reliable and generally accepted references that users are exprected to use to answers questions on Main. So why not this one too?
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 13:06
  • That makes a good point. But to explore, what about the handful of FAQ like questions about behavior in chat? Should all those be moved to main?
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 14:36
  • @Mitch: FAQs about chat aren't about English, so those can stay on Meta.
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 21:18
  • @JOSH: I think the older posts about resources on meta are there for two reasons. One, because to some degree, the main "resources" post is a guide for people about how to ask questions. Two, it's just become a habit for people to migrate these questions to meta.
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 21:20
  • @sumelic That seems reasonable. I'm sort of convinced by this that the resource Q's would be better on main, mostly because of searchability.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 14:10
  • @Mitch - but all related posts are on Meta : meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/9435/… - meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/1095/…
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 14:49
  • @JOSH I'm not sure what your point is. (some of those questions you link to really are meta questions "Should we move resources to meta?" but some a resources.) Sumelic's point is that all resource meta's should be moved from meta back to main.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 14:59
  • @Mitch - most of that material is actually on Meta, and I don't see the point of moving it back to Main. They are not questions about the usage of the English language but about support on how to answer them. Offering support is part of what Meta is supposed to do. As for "searchability" I am not sure that those questions are easier to find on Main.
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 15:04
  • 1
    I agree with this answer. If it's about English, it belongs on the main site. If it's metadiscussion (about running the main site), it belongs on the meta site. However that's one person's opinion. Before I would support moving things from meta to main, I would like to see either an explicit request from SE management or a clear consensus from the ELU community.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    @MetaEd - I have seen this one only now english.stackexchange.com/questions/10289/… - the point is that all these posts should be grouped together and made visible and easily accessible to users, especially new users. As of now I guess few users know that they exist and know how to find them.
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 6:39
  • 1
    @sumelic - what I mean is that a small section should be created here or on main site about these posts so that any users can see it and have easy access to what are considered reliable references.
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 6:43

You must log in to answer this question.