As of May 31, 2023, we have updated our Code of Conduct.

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26 votes
18 answers

What questions are on-topic and off-topic here?

One of the essential components of the FAQ will be the list of on-topic and off-topic subjects for questions. Let’s use this question to vote on what topics should be on and off topic.
58 votes
4 answers

Single word requests, crosswords, and the fight against mediocrity

A call to action This topic has been brought up here numerous times before, most recently by JSBangs: I'm now of the opinion that single word requests should be either disallowed entirely or subject ...
Shog9's user avatar
  • 371
87 votes
3 answers

This is not a site for "serious English language enthusiasts," and it never will be

I think it's time that we addressed the conceit that ELU is a site for "linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts." Its framers and many of its devotees intend for it to be ...
phenry's user avatar
  • 18.1k
84 votes
3 answers

Is Python a snake or a programming language? If the latter, why is it choking my dog?

We've been getting a rash of questions asking, essentially, what a programmer should name methods or properties. One such was a request for a word that meant both "add" and "remove" because the ...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 150k
23 votes
1 answer

How to deal with homework questions

What is the community's stance on people asking homework questions on the site? There was a recent question that got me thinking about the issue; this question seems like a blatant copy & paste ...
pkaeding's user avatar
  • 1,707
8 votes
2 answers

Can I ask the community to help me find errors in a text/sentence?

Basically my question is related to the following question: Should we correct (or point out) language errors in questions? English is not my mother tongue and mostly i make mistakes in writing which ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Are questions about online resources on-topic?

Sometimes, questions about English (online) resources are being asked. Are those questions on-topic for EL&U? If they are on-topic, aren't they at least subjective? These are examples of ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 58.6k
20 votes
2 answers

A simple proposal towards improving question quality

Encouraging Better Questions I would like to encourage the asking of better, more substantial questions. Every day we receive many brief, low-quality questions that are unlikely to elicit anything ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 133k
14 votes
3 answers

Are Old and Middle English questions really on-topic?

I asked a question recently (Send, sent; end, *ent?), which hasn’t yet received a straight answer. It leads me to wonder if questions about Old and Middle English are actually on-topic for this site; ...
Jon Purdy's user avatar
  • 31.9k
11 votes
5 answers

Bad questions can lead to good answers

Many people at ELU seem to view the relationship between seekers and givers of knowledge as being essentially transactional in nature: the job of the questioner is to state his or her question simply ...
phenry's user avatar
  • 18.1k
9 votes
3 answers

Are single word requests always welcomed questions?

Are there any cases where a single word request is not welcomed on EL&U? The FAQ clearly states that users should ask "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems." In which cases ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 58.6k
5 votes
2 answers

Is this the type of single-word request question we should be closing?

I understand that the site is now discouraging single-word requests, but I'm not clear if this is a sweeping guideline (as in, all of them should be closed) or something to be considered on a case-by-...
user avatar
25 votes
1 answer

Can we add English Language Learners to the "belongs on another SE site" list? (When will ELL move out of beta?)

For close votes, we are provided a number of reasons. One reason, in particular, is for being off-topic because it belongs on a different Stack Exchange network, takes you to a list view of related ...
TylerH's user avatar
  • 1,340
15 votes
1 answer

Why did "slang for breasts" disappear because that was a valid question, no?

I don't have the text anymore (caching) so I can't quote it, but I know that the commentary already had some discussion from site-mods saying that it was acceptable, and quoting meta questions here. ...
jcolebrand's user avatar
  • 2,497
12 votes
1 answer

Can an ELL question be reposted on ELU, and vice versa?

Suppose that I had asked about the fundaments/rudiments of a topic on ELL, but in order to seek a deeper understanding or delve into the simple matter, could the same question be reposted on ELU (with ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers

What standards do we want when asking for differences between the meanings of words?

I have noticed a significant number of questions worded as: What is the difference between [first word] and [other word]? Some of differences are really interesting distinctions that stimulate ...
MrHen's user avatar
  • 35.5k
7 votes
0 answers

Something to keep your eye on: Question Wizard

So the “Help new users ask better questions” Wizard has been in the works on SO for a long time. It has officially entered the testing phase. Worth keeping an eye on. If it works there, I’d imagine ...
Dan Bron's user avatar
  • 28.6k
4 votes
4 answers

The "bare/bear with me" question: what should we do with it?

Is it "bear" or "bare" with me? There's been a lot of discussion on Meta in the comments about this question recently, but it's actually not the main topic of any of the recent ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 77.7k
-4 votes
2 answers

How about allowing people to post entire compositions?

Comparing to stackoverflow or superuser, this site has much less questions, maybe allowing people to post their compositions here to ask for comments? Although word and many spell checkers could fix ...
faceclean's user avatar
  • 1,323
14 votes
4 answers

This is not a site for peeving

I'm really concerned about this question, and others like it that may appear: The purpose of this site is ...
JSBձոգչ's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers

Can we come up with guidelines for "good" dictionary questions?

This subject came up in the town hall chat: how basic is too basic, and more importantly, how do we help users to write questions that are not too basic? "Find in dictionary" questions ...
Marthaª's user avatar
  • 32.6k
8 votes
4 answers

Questions about prepositions

We have had a lot of "which preposition goes here" questions. These are by their nature very specific and localized, and are also not usually particularly interesting. I think we need some more ...
Kit Z. Fox's user avatar
  • 27.6k
7 votes
2 answers

Is the right place to ask about how English is used (or abused) in legal documents?

Is the right place to ask about how English is used (or abused) in legal documents? I'm still trying to wrap my head around how some "and" and "or" are sometimes used with ...
Ants's user avatar
  • 609
6 votes
1 answer

Can I bring that question over here?

I have this naming / terminology question which I first posted on "Code Review" and then it was moved to "Programmers" and then it was closed. Would it be appropriate for "English", after some ...
Mike Nakis's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

Literature is closing — what questions should we migrate here? [closed]

Our sister site Literature Stack Exchange is shutting down on May 4th due to a lack of activity. (So are Astronomy, Economics, Firearms, Healthcare IT and Theoretical Physics.) There may be some ...
Hugo's user avatar
  • 66.8k
4 votes
2 answers

When does a question about what a person meant becomes a "try to guess" game?

I am taking as example, but the question is general to any similar question. The user is asking the ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 58.6k
4 votes
3 answers

Question Moved Without Comment

I put a question to this forum recently and am surprised to log in today to see it moved to a non-English language speakers forum. Here is the question:
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers

Are tip of the tongue questions completely unsuitable here?

Are tip of the tongue questions completely unsuitable here? e.g. I think there's a verb that cashes out "sanatorium", i.e. means to rest at a sanatorium. May I ask what that is, assuming I have gone ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Is it OK to ask about Early Modern English? [duplicate]

Is it OK to ask about Early Modern English, like Shakespeare's or Milton's? I ask this because some people seem to think asking about them is off-topic.
ivanhoescott's user avatar
  • 1,511
4 votes
0 answers

On Migrating and Dispatching: redirecting off-topic question from and to EL&U.

Following the recent complaints concerning the growth of the Stack Exchange Family and where to ask questions, I think it would make sense to help the users and moderators to find the right place for ...
Eldroß's user avatar
  • 4,017
1 vote
1 answer

Is swearing allowed in questions?

I was thinking of asking a question that has a swear word in its title. The question would have the same swear word, 3-4 times. It isn't offensive for anyone! The title: Beautiful ways to say '...
Ismael Miguel's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

Why is this same type of question able to be asked on two different sites?

These two questions seem to be of the same kind, yet they are acceptable on two different sites. The examples that caught my attention are: On Cognitive Science, Is there a formal name for the "love" ...
wariya's user avatar
  • 221
-3 votes
1 answer

Holds, duplicates

Right now, thirty of the fifty questions visible on the first page have been marked as holds or duplicates, with two or more others apparently awaiting final judgment from whatever local Fates have ...
KarlG's user avatar
  • 27.7k