Questions tagged [discussion]

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-12 votes
5 answers
144 views

We should not be pasting definitions from online dictionaries into answers when their terms of service prohibit such use

Some online dictionaries prohibit such copying of their content. Some examples below (not meant to be an exhaustive list, and any bolding for emphasis is mine) : First, from the Stack Exchange terms ...
11 votes
1 answer
237 views

"Why don't we close these duplicates?" vs "Why do we not close these duplicates?" vs "Why do not we close these questions as duplicates?"

I found a bunch of questions about these grammatical formulations: "Why don't we close these duplicates?" (Negated question using a contraction) "Why do we not close these duplicates?&...
3 votes
1 answer
155 views

Is there a reference/archive of English verbs and their argument structure (± their theta roles)?

Is there a reference/archive of English verbs and their argument structure? That is to say, how many and what categories of arguments they require. And maybe even their theta roles? I don't expect ...
4 votes
1 answer
67 views

Is requesting a English word or saying back to its native language on-topic?

Currently my understanding is that is completely on-topic to request a translation of a non-English word or phrase to an equivalent word or phrase in English; e.g, single-word-requests,idiom-requests. ...
6 votes
1 answer
174 views

Split migration off from the closure tree?

There has been a string of meta questions about ELU migrating low quality questions to ELL. The most recent was this one. This question stems directly from that one. To help prevent poor questions ...
2 votes
1 answer
73 views

The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves

Does anyone know if there is a contemporary book that explores style in a similar way to The Reader Over Your Shoulder?
3 votes
1 answer
139 views

What is the [reason-why] tag used for?

A recent question used the reason-why tag for what was really an etymology question, so I retagged it appropriately. (Or at least I think it was appropriate.) Now I'm wondering what the tag is even ...
4 votes
4 answers
503 views

Does the community think that we need a 'grammar, but too basic for ELU: almost any book on grammar will answer this clearly' close-vote reason?

A recent question on ELU: Is a noun always preceded by a determiner? I believe that this is so easily answered by looking at virtually any book on grammar (it could be argued that even dictionaries ...
1 vote
0 answers
60 views

What are the highest quality textbooks for learning English grammar? [duplicate]

I am a native English speaker, but I think my grasp of grammar is too weak. So, I want to know what textbooks or reference books others deem worthy of using to deepen and broaden their understanding ...
-1 votes
4 answers
304 views

Problematic migrations to ELL (an ongoing thing)

Why does ELU keep migrating this type of question? Are they too cowardly to close them? A recurrent issue on ELL. It's like we are the poor relation that can have the awful questions dumped on us. See ...
20 votes
4 answers
494 views

Please don't migrate obviously off-topic questions to ELL - it just makes things harder on the author

This isn't a complaint about the overall migration of questions from EL&U. I think taken as a whole, the migration path is a positive thing. I have started to see a few real stinkers getting ...
28 votes
9 answers
2k views

Replacing our "research" close reason: Completed

Update: Closing remarks The phrasing I suggested in an answer below is now live: Background We have a massive problem with close votes. There's no sense in placing blame — we've been on this path ...
9 votes
0 answers
146 views

2023: a year in moderation

It’s that time of the year again! As we wave goodbye to last year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the preceding calendar year. As most of you here might be ...
6 votes
2 answers
242 views

How to find particular topics in CGEL?

How can I find a topic I have a question about in CGEL? I often have problems but can't find the topic when I go to CGEL. Is there any better way to deal with a problem like this? How do you search in ...
-3 votes
2 answers
154 views

Stack Exchange cannot be excluded from the sociocultural evolution of language, correct?

Being a long-evolved language, missing definitions are rare within English. Nevertheless, meanings are sometimes missing, resulting in the formation of new words to fill those gaps. This occurs ...
4 votes
1 answer
81 views

Should tag definitions be mandatory?

I understand that a tag's name should make it clear what the tag is for, but this is often not the case. For example, we now have grammar and grammaticality. Users will probably need to read the ...
47 votes
1 answer
1k views

Thank you, Professor Lawler and Rest in Peace!

I am saddened to announce the passing of John Lawler on Saturday November 25. Many of us here were friends with him, and countless more helped by his answers. For those of you who aren't familiar with ...
3 votes
2 answers
227 views

'Answerable by a dictionary' unsuitable for grammar questions

In a very welcome post, long overdue: Replacing our "research" close reason: Final review ... one of the new close-vote reasons is given as "answerable by a dictionary." Now, if ...
9 votes
1 answer
235 views

What's off-topic about the question regarding the history of a slur?

The question When did Western newspapers stop using the term “Japs” in their publications? was asked yesterday and has really been riding the closure-rollercoaster: Expanded details: The first time, ...
4 votes
2 answers
267 views

Is posting a word game accepted?

Can I post word games (as community wiki) on this site? It will improve vocabulary. I would like an answer from a moderator.
0 votes
2 answers
157 views

A resource for finding letter frequencies with certain restrictions

I'm looking for a resource where I can see the frequencies of letters with respect to their position in a word and the length of the word. I'd also like to see the frequencies of different ...
1 vote
3 answers
119 views

How many unique four-letter words are in the English language that fall within the major word classes?

To better clarify: I would like to find some way (be it just the raw information itself in a pastebin, a dictionary crawler, a website search function, or something else) to determine how many words ...
3 votes
0 answers
79 views

Can I get my question reopened please?

My question: In English, are trains female? has been closed due to apparently being a duplicate of What is the gender of an aircraft? Obviously, aircraft and trains are not the same thing, and my ...
18 votes
1 answer
330 views

Request for undeletion and reopening of a question on the main site: "Retriable or retryable?"

A poster asked the question Retriable or retryable? on February 9, 2016. It was closed for lack of research on February 15 of that year. On November 9, site participant sumelic edited the question to ...
14 votes
4 answers
627 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Are we being encouraged to answer very old questions, or are they just being made more visually pleasing?

Some time ago, perhaps still, new answers to old questions were put under review (in a review queue), as if to imply: 'This question has been addressed, at length; what could possibly be the value-add ...
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Collection of English sentence-level grammar rules as semi-structured "data"?

I am looking for structured data of English grammar, however much might have been done. Specifically sentence-level grammar (as opposed to word morphology rules, though finding structured data for ...
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

What resources to use for understanding archaic English usage?

I am reading the book "The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood" by James Gleick. Every now and then an old/archaic English sentence, from some reference, is quoted in this text. How ...
0 votes
0 answers
43 views

Recommend the best book for articles [duplicate]

Can you recommend the best book on English grammar articles? The indefinite and definite articles a, an, and the?
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Should "Is a comma splice always a mistake?" be reopened as the face of two merged questions (both of which are now closed)?

The question "Is a comma splice always a mistake?" on the main site was merged (on July 3, 2023) with the question "Why is the comma splice an error?" also on the main site, as ...
4 votes
0 answers
42 views

Can we reopen the question "Which format is most common for representing a number range in U.S. punctuation style and in British punctuation style?"

I have edited the question Which format is most common for representing a number range in U.S. punctuation style and in British punctuation style? so that it now asks a factual question about whether ...
4 votes
1 answer
132 views

What is a good source on the use of the definite article for non-native speakers?

Here's my situation: I'm currently proof-reading something a colleague of mine has written. The content is all okay, but his use (or non-use) of "the" is all over the place, because I assume his ...
8 votes
2 answers
212 views

Problem with the "Closed" message?

Part of the "Closed" message is shown below, followed by a current example. Change the sentence "I don't know you" into a compound sentence In my opinion "... and clarify ...
-4 votes
1 answer
109 views

How can it be true that this site works by popular vote when no one can vote until they get to a certain reputation?

How can it be true that this site works by popular vote when no one can vote until they get to a certain reputation? The statement is not accurate. I saw a very inaccurate meaning of a gesture that ...
2 votes
0 answers
105 views

When are commas optional?

In revising a 1953 manuscript in which the author (a non-native speaker, a professor, quite proficient in English yet with a few lingering idiosyncrasies) and the original editor (OUP, New York branch,...
3 votes
2 answers
143 views

Is Tom Dalzell's book "The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English" authoritative?

I was surfing the internet and chanced upon "The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English" edited by one Tom Dalzell. Notwithstanding the praise for the book ...
0 votes
1 answer
136 views

Why do my questions on the etymology of idioms get closed, yet this one was accepted?: What is the origin of "out of sight" or "outa sight" i?

Every question I have asked about the etymology of an idiom gets pulled. Yet I found this one that stayed up. It's espcially irritating because sometimes before my question gets closed, I have ...
1 vote
1 answer
61 views

Where can I locate dictionaries or resources that provide explicit markings for silent letters in words?

As someone who speaks English as a non-native language, one thing that often perplexes me is determining when to disregard silent letters in pronunciation. Although it doesn't completely hinder me, it ...
3 votes
1 answer
66 views

Why was my question locked after edition?

Recently, I asked a question. Another user edited it a little. But now I see it's locked for about one hour. Why did it happen? Did I do a bad thing to deserve it?
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is SE enforcing "no answers in comments"?

The practice of commenting with answers is ubiquitous practice on ELU, and the merits/flaws have been discussed at length. However, is it the case that the greater SE is trying to put a stop to this ...
3 votes
1 answer
90 views

Should there be an increasing number of close votes required to re-close a question that has been reopened?

This question was closed with three votes for "insufficient research" - although I'm unclear why, because even after doing all the "research" suggested in the answers, the correct ...
0 votes
1 answer
104 views

Is there already a NL model, like Chat GPT or something, that is reliable to use for verb tense structure?

I'm trying to build a schematic table/diagram with all the possible combinations of: verb tenses (Past Simple to Conditional 3) form (Affirmative to Interrogative Negative) auxiliary verb conjugation ...
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there an online etymology dictionary more comprehensive/detailed than Etymonline?

Douglas Harper, creator of Etymonline, considers himself an amateur linguist and warns ... if you're a professional linguist or a serious student of linguistics, you shouldn't be doing your homework ...
0 votes
0 answers
78 views

What research is required over common knowledge words?

For this question, it was closed due to a lack of research. Seems like an arbitrary reason to close, especially when no comment is given for what type of research is lacking. I think most word usage ...
2 votes
0 answers
174 views

List of phrasal verbs by approximate usage frequency?

I have found two sources of lists of phrasal verbs in English: Textbooks for people learning English as a second language introduce a few of them every now and then, and dictionaries of phrasal verbs ...
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Why is my question about the etymology of "foundation" off-topic?

This question of mine got closed as off-topic, in spite of receiving way more upvotes than downvotes and also receiving a detailed answer. Why did it get closed?
40 votes
4 answers
8k views

Announcement: AI generated answers are officially banned here

It's really quite unbelievable, but artificial intelligence has recently gotten to the point where, given a question, it can give a stunningly coherent answer almost indistinguishable from a real ...
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Which books should I refer to in my master's thesis about parallelism? [closed]

What books should I read for my thesis about parallelism in rhetorical devices?
1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Is the "second" ("secondary") definition any less the definition than the first one? What do you call this?

I submitted a research paper where I defined a word according to the definition provided by Oxford English Dictionary. The word has multiple definitions; this one actually has "1," "2....
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Question was closed as duplicate but is a different question

The question Why did English take the "mix pronunciations and spellings" route instead of one rule route like French, or separate languages/dialects like Spanish? was closed as a duplicate ...

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