Questions tagged [on-topic-off-topic]

This tag is used for questions about whether something fits within the defined scope of this Stack Exchange site.

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105
votes
12answers
73k views

What good reference works on English are available?

Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. What good reference works on English are available, and what kinds of questions are they good at answering? General ...
33
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
18answers
1k views

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.
82
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
75
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
20
votes
10answers
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
409 views

Are interpretations of song lyrics, poems or other creative works on-topic?

Examples (feel free to edit in more): What/who are “toy soldiers”? What do these confusing lyrics mean? What's the deep meaning in the lyrics of “Heavy Traffic” by Elton John? Some questions about ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

Are questions about ununderstood English-language jokes on-topic?

In a song video made by an American acquaintance, there is a joke that I don't understand. I am not a native speaker, and I guess most English speakers would understand what makes his joke funny. Is ...
12
votes
2answers
262 views

What sort of resource request questions do we accept on meta?

We often migrate resource request questions to meta, and there's no denying that some resources are very useful to the users of this community. Here's my attempt at broadly categorising these ...
9
votes
9answers
581 views

Is this site for “English as a second language”?

I'd like to seek clarification on "English as a second language" questions. E.g. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/376/ia-suffix-nouns-for-disorders-and-diseases When should the word “...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Are “who first said”-questions on-topic?

Is it on-topic to ask on English language & Usage: Who first said [insert quote]?
21
votes
2answers
376 views

Please help define the limits of General Reference

As mentioned here, the General Reference close reason is dead. In its place, I've added a custom "off-topic" option: Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic....
10
votes
3answers
259 views

Are word requests allowed?

Is it okay to use this site to ask for words that fit a given definition? Dictionaries are great for looking up definitions if you know the word you're looking up, but not the other way around. I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
224 views

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-...
13
votes
2answers
315 views

Is there anything we can do to get fewer off-topic questions?

Having read Josh61’s considerations about “Thanks for not laughing at my question”, I stopped to ponder. There are days, and I think you all agree, when only 10 to 20% of the questions we get deserve ...
13
votes
4answers
260 views

What is the point of migrating all resource requests to Meta?

There are a couple of resource requests that were recently migrated to ELU Meta (e.g Is there an online speech comparison programme, What are some good and authoritative reference/data source for ...
14
votes
5answers
318 views

Continued recommendations that things be moved to ELL

I've seen a number of questions (including one of mine) receive comments along the lines of "this would be a more appropriate question for the English Language Learners (ELL) site". While I understand ...
2
votes
3answers
213 views

Why is the meaning of song lyrics off topic

The Following question was closed as off topic: What's the difference between “get up” and “stand up”? [closed] I'm translating Bob Marley's song "Get up, stand up" and, consulting my dictonary, ...
16
votes
5answers
572 views

I am worried about being off-topic

Today is the second time I had an "English Language" question and visited this forum based on the result of a Google Internet search using a query such as: "proper use of the word _______" Both ...
13
votes
5answers
418 views

How to save EL&U

I think one way to massively improve this site would be to start a new Stack Exchange site called something like English Phrase Finder or Word finder or something like that where single word requests, ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

What resources should we link to in the FAQ for learning English?

(Following on from this meta question.) As discussed in questions like this and this, there is the possibility of scope-creep on this site. It would be beneficial to link to resources that are better ...
5
votes
4answers
168 views

Does this sort of question qualify as proofreading?

In this question, the person is simply asking "what is wrong with this sentence"? It is not a question about a specific aspect of the sentence, and I am wondering if people think this should qualify ...
-5
votes
3answers
204 views

Should we ignore the General Reference close reason?

(Major rewrite since the ELL proposal has been reopened) I propose we start allowing questions we previously deemed General Reference, since they’ve nowhere else to go. We can migrate them if ELL ...
15
votes
4answers
249 views

Are typography questions on-topic or off-topic?

Before adding a votable answer to the on-topic-off-topic question I figured some discussion would be appropriate. Are typography questions on-topic or off-topic? Why there's a difference between the ...
4
votes
4answers
218 views

Proposal: Require a whitelisted URL to close as General Reference

Also see: Proposal: Add a “too basic”/“uninteresting” off-topic option It is clear that many close-voters use the "commonly available references" option as a catchall for questions that they just don'...
12
votes
4answers
435 views

Exactly WHY is this question Off Topic? Or not?

My instinct is to assume Help me understand the pronounced phrase? must be Off Topic (it's about a movie clip where the OP can't discern what's being said at a certain point). If it's On Topic, what'...
9
votes
3answers
231 views

What is the point of the Microsoft-Word tag?

I noticed recently that a question used the tag microsoft-word. Since this question was about the usage of a specific program, it was moved to Super User to which it is much better suited. There ...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

Questions asking for technical terms/jargon

I just flagged this question as (potentially) off-topic, and I have flagged other questions like this in the past, but I am not sure if I am right to do so. It seems to me that the correct answer ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Is asking a question about the politeness of a phrase on-topic?

I'm looking at the FAQs and I'm trying to see if this has already been answered...Can't find it anywhere. Is asking if a phrase is polite on topic? Wouldn't subjects like this be too subjective to ...
5
votes
3answers
216 views

Can we have some guidance as to what is on- and off- topic on this site?

This site has an FAQ. However, recently it has been made clear that the community-created definition for this site, as expressed in its FAQ, does not always determine which questions are valid and ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

When are neologisms On-Topic?

(I'm a little surprised that no similar Meta questions were auto-suggested.) (But now that I get to tagging, I see there is an active tag for this.) Per a recent discussion: Earliest use of an ...
-2
votes
1answer
181 views

Should we require grammaticality judgement questions to explain who told them something might not be grammatical?

Seeing as we're discussing potential revisions to the close questions, I thought I'd raise a pet hate of mine: questions asking for a grammaticality judgement which don't explain where they got the ...
19
votes
12answers
993 views

Are minor jokes in answers and questions OK when they are slightly discriminating against certain groups?

Consider this answer: What is the pejorative for people who only practice their faith while at the place of worship? Whited sepulchres. This is what they are called in that noted work of ...
11
votes
3answers
243 views

Are questions of language *usage* discouraged

I was reading this question about usage of abbreviations and nicknames/abbreviations in a newspaper article, and noticed that the question earned a couple of downvotes, as well as two comments (to the ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Are uncommon neologisms without a notable source acceptable as an answer?

Example questions: Is there a word for words about words? Who is one who participates in skulduggery? Accepted answers in these questions are very uncommon neologisms from random websites. I would ...
14
votes
2answers
273 views

Would this question have been off-topic here?

I just posted a question about English etymology in Linguistics SE. I was contemplating whether to post it here, but decided against it. Could I have posted it here, or would it have been off-topic?
13
votes
3answers
182 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
172 views

Posting questions from “How English Works” and proposing answers

I am studying English and one of my old friends recommended that I study "How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction" by Curzan and Adam This book is an amazing book but the questions are not ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

To what extent is analyzing poetry or verse off-topic?

I've seen comments on a few posts indicating that song lyrics are off topic. I have no beef with that rule. However, is asking for an analysis of specific lines or portions of poetry always off-topic ...
6
votes
1answer
223 views

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.
6
votes
6answers
188 views

Poll: additional question types that should or shouldn't be added to help/on-topic

Today, I saw that Help Center/on-topic has this text: Proofreading ("Is this right?", "Are there any mistakes?"), unless a specific source of concern is clearly specified. See below for hints on ...
5
votes
2answers
218 views

What widely-accepted standards should be used to judge whether a single-word-request is too broad?

This question is an off-shoot of this Meta question focused on the deletion, and consequently on the closure, of a particular single-word-request question. Deleted Upvoted and Popular Question: Why? ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Which languages are on-topic?

There is a recent question asking when the grammar of some language ancestral to English branched a certain feature. Since it garnered many votes, I suppose it was on-topic. Which languages are on-...
4
votes
0answers
72 views

What process is required to get the Help Center text changed?

Recently, I voted to close this question Can anybody understand what she's saying? (it was subsequently deleted by the original poster) based on the answers to this Meta question: Exactly WHY is this ...
4
votes
0answers
73 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Are questions asking definitions about tech stuff on-topic?

I want to ask what the difference is in common English usage between two particular words having to do with Internet browsers.
1
vote
2answers
167 views

Question deleted with multiple up-voted answers, why?

Recently there was a question that attracted a lot of answers: Is there a word for a person who can't do things right? Or can't handle things, and ends up messing up? It was nicely coming along. ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

endure, perdure, persist: why not keep open?

Closure should not necessarily follow Protection, nor should Deletion necessarily follow Closure. These are three independent steps. “endure” vs “perdure” vs “persist” was protected 23 hours ago, ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Why is this question off-topic?

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/60880/why-dont-english-speakers-give-the-name-jesus-to-their-children was closed as off-topic. However, the FAQ clearly states that word-choice questions ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Why are requests for headlines off-topic? What about more general work-related questions?

A recent EL&U question requested A short punchy phrase that encapsulates “the mining industry is on the improve” . It was noted in comments that this is a request for a headline and is ...