I have a question about my English Language & Usage Stack Exchange post: When do I use each word? Notes, notices, updates, status, releases, announcements?

I asked this question, and it got marked on-hold, and then closed.

I tried to edit it to make it more specific, but nothing changed. I don't know how to understand what's going on and what I did wrong, nor what I could do better next time.

Could anyone please help me and point me how to improve this question?

  • 1
    Just from a glance, it looks too long. 6 words and 12 situations is maybe a bit much? Oh, I see the situations are what was added. That does narrow the question, but it still seems like a big project outlining all of these differences. – sumelic Jan 17 '17 at 1:27
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    If you narrow your question again—to, say, "When do I use [each of three similar words]?" I predict that the question will be reclosed (or kept closed) either for "lack of research" (where did you look for an answer before you came here, and what did you learn?) or as "primarily opinion-based" (people use the three words interchangeably in many situations, and their choice is a matter of personal taste). Your question is coherent and English-related, but I doubt that you'll ever get it answered here. This site has no double jeopardy rule to prevent repeat closure of a reopened question. – Sven Yargs Jan 17 '17 at 2:19
  • @sumelic, so should I reduce the number of words and/or situations? Or maybe "split" it in more (and smaller) questions? If so, could you please provide me an "insight" in how to "group" those words and examples? Am I asking so much? – J H Kort Jan 17 '17 at 4:09
  • @SvenYargs, so, could you please point me a way to find an answer myself? I mean, I did some research on Google, but as I told you, those words, in the given context, are so confusing for me to understand the difference. And the dictionary meanings barely touch in the context I'm looking for an answer. By the way, when you say opinion-based, are you saying that I can, for sure, use all those words in all those contexts? I mean... I won't say I don't suspected that, but I'm very insecure about what word to pick. – J H Kort Jan 17 '17 at 4:14
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    Not only is each of the six words you ask about at least a little different in sense and nuance from the others, but every sentence they might appear in has its own unique combination of attributes that may influence which word choice is best, and the surrounding context may make one word choice preferable to another even when every other word in the sentence is exactly the same. So the only practical way to identify which word works best is to look at the whole piece of writing in which it appears and judge from that. But at that point you're asking for proofreading, which is off-topic here. – Sven Yargs Jan 17 '17 at 5:00
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    ...I’m not trying to sandbag you. I’m just trying to explain why a question about the relative merits of six word-choice options in the context of posting something online is probably not a good match for this site. As a practical matter, I suggest that you use the word that you are most confident that you understand fully—and when that word doesn’t seem right for the particular sentence you’re dealing with, see whether the word you are next-most familiar with sounds right to you. That way, at the very least, you won’t be relying most of the time on words that you have little or no feel for. – Sven Yargs Jan 17 '17 at 5:00
  • It was quicker (relatively speaking) to do the edit myself and "show" how to make the question less broad. I chose to delete notice and release, and 2 sentences. By finding some common ground between the examples, and providing proof (dictionary references and links) that I had researched and understood the meanings, the question avoids being closed for lack of research, which Sven mentioned earlier. – Mari-Lou A Jan 17 '17 at 9:28
  • I still think the question is TOO BROAD, there are still too many examples, so my advice would be to post a new question and ask about sentences 1-4, or 5-6, or 8-10 but separately. I also think you should really study the meanings and uses of these verbs and nouns, if you think they are "all seem the same". – Mari-Lou A Jan 17 '17 at 9:29
  • @SvenYargs, or just look up the other words in enough dictionaries and make up enough sentences of your own using those words that you DO feel confident in your understanding of them. :) It looks like what JHKort really needs is just a very good synonym study, but probably just clearing each word up fully along with the etymology would handle the question. – Wildcard Jan 21 '17 at 10:05
  • @SvenYargs, yes, that's for proofreading, and I apologize for being off-topic. Moreover, I'll follow your tip about how to pick the word on each case, in addition to Wildcard's suggestions. Thanks!! – J H Kort Jan 22 '17 at 11:04
  • @Mari-LouA, I got it, you not only helped me to improve my next questions, but helped me a little bit on the way I should research in those cases. Plus, you helped me to clarify the concepts itself, it was really helpful!! PS: You just misunderstood the "note" I was talking about, I was meaning the noun, not to the verb. Yet I just looked up in many dictionaries (again, Wildcard's suggestion) and figured out an way to adapt my question in a viable way. Thank you all for all your help!! – J H Kort Jan 22 '17 at 11:08
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    It looks like you were asking 'in the context of a blog', not generally. This makes a difference so I suggest you add that to the title line. For example, there's a different nuance to replacing 'posted' with 'announced' depending on whether the blog has 3 readers or 1,000,000. (Is an announcement still an announcement if almost nobody reads it? etc.) – smci Jan 25 '17 at 8:46
  • You might also want to see if English Language Learners could be a better place to ask your questions. You can read about the difference in the two communities here. – J.R. Jan 30 '17 at 20:04

Since relevance is not an issue in the case of your question (it's about the English language and its usage), what remains is to express the essence of your question in such a way that can be answered definitively within a few paragraphs. In the process, you'll need to do some research of your own.

Here are a few things to try:

  1. Look up the definitions in dictionaries, wikipedia, etc. Here are some links to resources: What good reference works on English are available?.

  2. Piece together as much as you can from step 1 about the similarities and differences among the words you're asking about.

  3. Select one pair of words that you find most puzzling, and identify what's missing in your understanding about that pair.

  4. Ask a question about that specific pair of words, linking to definitions and examples etc from step 1 that are relevant to illustrating your point of confusion.

Your question should include enough information that answers won't need to repeat what you already know.

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