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Questions tagged [answering-advice]

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31 votes
10 answers
1k views

Answers in comments

There are quite a large number of Meta.ELU questions about answers in comments, but none which definitively settles community opinion, mainly because they are rather old now, but also because they don'...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
27 votes
4 answers
344 views

Is it OK to answer to old questions?

I was wondering—if we find an old question without an accepted answer, are we allowed to answer? Or should we expect down-votes for that? I don't know if it's a stupid question but I didn't find ...
Alenanno's user avatar
  • 18.1k
19 votes
5 answers
14k views

Is Urban Dictionary an acceptable source?

The reason I ask this is because an answer I gave to a question quoted an Urban Dictionary definition and received 2 downvotes without any explanation as to why. Could anyone please tell me what (if ...
Dog Lover's user avatar
  • 6,455
14 votes
4 answers
628 views

May I speculate in comments?

The question What does "make the Iacke go" mean? has received four answers, all of which propose theories as to what the phrase means. Under it are also some comments that, to me, raise an ...
Heartspring's user avatar
  • 8,610
14 votes
0 answers
283 views

What is our current position on these issues?

I’ve been noticing an increase in answers that, essentially, consist of nothing but a suggestion or bald assertion and that are often lacking any apparent effort to even format, punctuate, or spell ...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
226 views

What's the best way to answer when there's a really good answer elsewhere?

In researching the question Which is correct, “buck naked” or “butt naked”?, I found a very thorough examination of this question at Language Log that I linked to in a comment under the OP. I feel ...
Callithumpian's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
630 views

How to answer questions about acceptability

Relating to this question about what tag to use for questions about acceptability, I thought I would ask what is the best way to answer these kinds of questions, so as to address both prescriptive and ...
nohat's user avatar
  • 68.6k
9 votes
1 answer
222 views

Comment(s) or Speculative Answer?

Given a question asking for the original source of a quotation. Some digging around the 'net has thrown up an avenue for further exploration but not an answer. What I've found (and their links) would ...
TripeHound's user avatar
  • 3,405
7 votes
1 answer
234 views

Can a newly constructed word answer a single word request?

When I searched for this question, I found questions regarding whether asking for people to coin words is on-topic. I have a little bit of a different question. Suppose if OP is making a single word ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 3,295
7 votes
2 answers
269 views

What to do with repeated question types?

StackExchange is all about answering questions and spreading knowledge. However there comes a point where particular types of questions are getting asked repeatedly, despite being relatively easy to ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
234 views

If the answer I was going to submit has already been submitted what should I do?

Here's what occasions my question: I submitted an answer (the first answer) and in the course of the next 24 hours three other users provided essentially the same answer. Until now, my conduct has ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
215 views

How should I report the origin of a word on English.SE?

When I report the origin of a word, how should I write the meaning of the word from which the word derives? I write it in quotes, after the word in that language: Latin minister "servant". I write it ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.3k
4 votes
2 answers
683 views

In relation to answers in the answer section, what is a "complete answer"?

I made the following partial answer a comment to the question "Word choice: to parent somebody?": One can certainly parent with tolerance (and love, and kindness, etc). But the verb parent isn't ...
Lawrence's user avatar
  • 38.8k
3 votes
1 answer
79 views

How should I report the author of a quote on English.SE?

When I include a quote from a book, blog, or a site, how should I report who is the author and from where the quote comes from? Principia philosophiae, René Descartes René Descartes, Principia ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.3k
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

What to do with yes/no questions?

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate, but I can't find any prior guidance on this. Closest I could get was Asking questions with very short answers. Someone just posted this question: Possibility ...
miltonaut's user avatar
  • 2,107
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Exception to 30 character minimum for answers

Is there any way to create an exception for the minimum answer length for questions tagged "single-word request?" It seems wasteful and inconvenient and seems feasible from a coding perspective.
Yitzchak's user avatar
  • 1,326
1 vote
2 answers
188 views

Negativity on other people's EL&U answers

Is there a good way to handle people on EL&U who seem to thrive off of making others feel their opinions and explanations are inferior or "incorrect"? Is this a forum for constructive, respectful ...
Rachel's user avatar
  • 831
0 votes
2 answers
89 views

Should we compile synonymous answers?

Full disclosure: I have the currently top-ranked (4 UV) answer. The OP asked for a single-word meaning "not up for discussion". I posted the first answer, and four others (2 nearly identical to each ...
miltonaut's user avatar
  • 2,107
-1 votes
2 answers
188 views

What advice would you offer to a new EL&U user perplexed by the first downvote of an Answer they wrote?

I'm an earnest new user here at EL&U. I'm enjoying the site very much, and I'd like to make useful contributions. I'm perplexed as to why someone downvoted this Answer that I wrote the other day. ...
jdmc's user avatar
  • 772
-2 votes
4 answers
356 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 ...
lauir's user avatar
  • 956