Linked Questions

24 votes
11 answers
1k views

Can anything be done about mean-spirited requests for terminology?

tl;dr: Mean people suck, and we should not help them. EDIT: I don’t actually believe anything mechanical can be done here, and I certainly don’t expect a “closed due to meanness” reason. That’s just ...
14 votes
4 answers
515 views

What is the best way to answer a question which has no answer?

What is the preferred way to answer a question which asks “Provide me with X”, when it is overwhelmingly likely that X does not exist? Assumptions Assume the question is interesting on its own ...
37 votes
11 answers
4k views

Against single word requests

We've discussed single-word-requests before: Are single word requests always welcomed questions? Are word requests allowed? The consensus of earlier discussions was that these questions are on the ...
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

What's the English word for my father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate?

With sad regularity, it seems someone comes to the site looking for "the word" for some very specific relationship. Recently, it was What is the English word for husband of the daughter of my brother?....
10 votes
3 answers
514 views

“What’s wrong with single word requests?”

In the proposal to merge ELU and ELL, the asker in passing mentioned: On the other hand, many native speakers actually ask questions such as single word requests which should not be the focus of ELU ...
34 votes
6 answers
764 views

What kind of questions ARE we looking for here?

I've been lurking on ELU for around six months now, and in my time here, I've seen many, many questions being closed due to being off-topic. More than any other SE site. I've browsed the meta for ...
-2 votes
4 answers
355 views

Should we discourage the use of argot such as AmE, BrE, ELU, ...?

[With Addendum] Should we discourage the use of argot such as AmE and BrE—even ELU—[added:] in answers to nonspecialists' questions at ELU? Most visitors who find answers here come from ...
5 votes
2 answers
211 views

Rewriting the Question Box Sidebar

Recently, a user brought up the issue of questions that could seemingly be answered by looking in a dictionary and the responses given to those questions. Andrew Leach posted an answer that had a ...
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

Memes of English Language & Usage

Inspired by The Many Memes of Meta on meta.stackexchange. Catchphrases and concepts that spread from person to person are known as memes, which, courtesy the Internet, can now explode across the ...
12 votes
4 answers
426 views

Why the lack of voting on questions at ELU?

As a relative newcomer to ELU, I'm often struck by the lack of voting on questions here, and especially upvoting. It might be case that you receive many poor questions, but compared to for instance ...
-4 votes
1 answer
82 views

Forced Answer? How to handle artificial answer constraints

Too often, I see questions--both here and perhaps even more so on ell.se--that include some type of constraint on the answer which produces less-than-ideal or downright horrible English. Examples: - ...
1 vote
3 answers
213 views

How the [expletive deleted] is this question "primarily opinion based"?

The mind boggles. Meryl Streep is a ______? (as a big compliment) Primarily opinion based? Really? If you're having such a bad day that you feel compelled to close a significantly above-average ...
10 votes
3 answers
321 views

How do you explain why a word phrase is unlikely to exist?

I've had a few occasions where it was apparent to me why a word a speaker was looking for was unlikely to exist, as in this answer. I've had it happen a couple times that while many answers with ...
5 votes
2 answers
149 views

Can anything be done for well-wishing requests for terminology?

I've really been harping on things like this recently, and I think I need to go somewhere else to cool down for a bit. So I'm deleting my account for now but intending to continue visiting in the ...
17 votes
7 answers
739 views

2014 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as ...

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