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105
votes
12answers
79k 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
522 views

Eeeek! Where did my giant quotation mark go?

I don't care what @nohat thinks. The world is a bleak and barren place without ornamentation. Less is less. Deal with it.
31
votes
2answers
304 views

Blacklist the [words] tag

The tag words has been heavily discouraged since the early days of the site. A few weeks ago I manually retagged every question that used words, and there are currently no questions with that tag, ...
30
votes
2answers
717 views

What's with all the serial down-voting on the “boobs” question?

The question What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”? has a number of answers, and a dedicated group of people appears to have gone through and down-voted every answer multiple times. This ...
30
votes
2answers
351 views

The Great ELU Tag Clean-up Proposal of 2014

EDIT: So, none of this got done in 2014. Does this mean that we should just give up on tags? Doing almost any of these by hand will annoy people since they would all bump those questions to the top ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

erm… I lost 2,134 in reputation

Yes, I know. When a user is removed, or they delete their accounts their upvotes and downvotes are removed. But tonight I lost 2,134 rep. That's a lot. Seriously. This is no laughing matter. I just ...
22
votes
6answers
362 views

Why is promoting your product through your user ID not spam?

This new user https://english.stackexchange.com/users/324324/airport-chariot-car-and-limo has a user ID that nakedly promotes a car-hire service. In the last day or so they've posted a dozen or more ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I insert an actual NGram chart into my post?

I know how to include basic hyperlinks, and usually I think that's all I want. But sometimes I'd like to include an actual graph, especially if much of my answer text relates to that graph. Edit 27/...
20
votes
4answers
386 views

Call to action: fill in image descriptions

We had a request a couple of years ago to replace "enter image decription here" with some sort of generic text. I think this is a bad idea, as it doesn't add anything. Shog's comment on the proposal ...
18
votes
1answer
6k views

How much research is needed?

Please advise or enlighten me if such guidance already exists. For example, for this question, I sought to record my thoughts and opinions on how to gloss that sentence. Yet it was still closed as `...
18
votes
1answer
133 views

Should the 'language' tag be deleted?

The language seems like the ultimate cop-out tag. It has five questions with an accumulated score of -8, I expect it to sink further today with the question that made me stumble upon it. There is no ...
16
votes
5answers
806 views

What to do against downvote troll?

Someone around here likes to downvote every post of me, of course without giving any reason why he downvote my question/answer. All started one month ago, luckily an automatism reverted the downvotes....
16
votes
0answers
200 views

Should this question be closed?

I found no reason why this question is closed. This question asks whether a given phrase is the right usage for expressing a particular action. It is a particular doubt that may arise in a non-native ...
14
votes
2answers
469 views

Will there be a 2014 Community Moderator election?

I've been a user for twelve months, and I would like to nominate one or more candidates for the position of ELU moderator. Generally speaking, the mods on ELU are doing a great job, with a few who are ...
14
votes
1answer
442 views

What's being done to protect users' copyright?

I previously asked this question here on ELU Meta and on Meta too: Mass infringement of our copyright From the information that I got from the answers to that question from Meta and from ELU I ...
13
votes
2answers
426 views

Is there any way I could view the comments of a particular user?

Time and again, I have seen people making comments (polished and polite) here which I think I could borrow and use at other relevant places later because I often feel like I am at lack of words and ...
13
votes
1answer
118 views

What does “-10 User was removed” mean?

When I rollover my user name at the top of the main page, the first rep item listed is -10 User was removed It is not highlighted in red, so it doesn't link me to anything specific. I can't ...
12
votes
1answer
225 views

How do I edit my very-old-questions without pushing it onto the “active” feed?

I was just going through some old posts of mine. Thought I could improve them just a tiny bit. I have no intention of bringing them back onto the "active questions" feed. How do I edit them, yet keep ...
12
votes
1answer
112 views

Delete [pedantic] tag

The user Thursagen, which is suspended for three years (!), added the tag pedantic to several posts. An exhaustive check of the revision histories of all questions with this tag indicates that no ...
12
votes
1answer
98 views

Burninate [opinion], please

Today, a user contested the closure of his question with this comment: And yet there are opinion based questions all over this site. There is even an 'opinion' tag already. And he's right, there ...
11
votes
3answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
442 views

Should I trust a suspended user?

Sorry for this question, but I still need to understand the different dynamics of this site (site which I find very interesting and helpful). I'd like to understand if I can trust users who are ...
11
votes
2answers
152 views

How to discuss something with the mod team privately?

If I want to discuss some specific behaviors of a particular moderator with the broader mod team, how should I go about doing that? Without going into details, I worry that certain actions may ...
11
votes
1answer
407 views

Do we have any general guidelines on flagging?

There are a number of Meta posts about flags, both here on Meta.ELU and on Meta.SE. Do we have any guidelines for flagging comment as offense? (mELU) Why can’t I flag a question as offensive? (mELU) ...
11
votes
1answer
225 views

Why don't I get good hits when searching “Poor man's” with quotes?

If I wanted to search about the phrase "Poor man's X", The question When did the expression "Poor man's <noun>" originate? appears when I search for Poor man's But if I use ...
11
votes
1answer
297 views

What does ‘User removed’ mean? And why did I get a significant chop-down of reputation?

I was shocked to see 40 points dropdown in my Reputation this morning with the remark ‘User is removed.’ I have no idea about what it means! This happened after placing the question asking the usage ...
11
votes
2answers
220 views

What to do with those questions which have received answers in comments?

Take this question, or many others on EL&U where someone answers in comment and OP, despite have got an answer in comment,will satisfactorily forget that question will still remain open and appear ...
11
votes
1answer
195 views

Chat: What is a Room Owner?

I've been a room owner of various chat rooms: chat rooms I created myself, and now, the ELU main chat. But what IS a room owner? What can a room owner do, what can't they do, what should they do? ...
10
votes
3answers
363 views

Defensiveness when replying to comments

Maybe I am too blunt sometimes. However in most cases I find that a comment pointing out a weakness in someone's answer or comment is taken well. Speaking personally, I've often edited my own answers ...
10
votes
2answers
210 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
323 views

Tag Synonym Request: “Irish English” → “Hiberno-English”

tl;dr: Wikipedia uses Hiberno-English as the canonical form and uses Irish English as the autolinked-to synonym for the same thing. Irish–English with a dash and Irish-English with a hyphen are two ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the pragmatic benefits of having a good knowledge of formal English grammar?

Please help me out over this dilemma. I can write proper and "grammatically correct" English, and I feel I have a good vocabulary. And I know for sure my English is good enough for someone who is not ...
10
votes
3answers
401 views

Who is the boss here?

After a few weeks spent on this site, there is something I'd like to understand better and I think this is the place where to ask. I understand the are a number of rules regarding how and what a ...
10
votes
1answer
246 views

How to act when you are being serial downvoted

Today someone downvoted my answers serially: The hostile downvoting activity took place within a short span of time. How should I act?
10
votes
1answer
285 views

Request for aggregate data regarding deleted questions with subjects containing CORRECT, GRAMMA, or RIGHT

This support request will require the assistance of a Stack Exchange employee, probably a kindly Community Manager. As shown at the bottom of this answer, I present some SEDE results on just how many ...
10
votes
1answer
83 views

Please either burninate the “correct” tag or merge it into “grammaticality”

We have 38 questions tagged correct. This is a horrible meta-tag that does no good. It should either be removed altogether and put on the blacklist, or possibly merged into the grammaticality tag.
10
votes
0answers
174 views

Please pardon our mess

Some of you have noticed a bunch of deleted questions on the site lately, and have asked why. What happened is that there was a voting ring of users running sock puppets to post simple dictionary- ...
9
votes
2answers
329 views

A single vote closes a question! Have I just been granted “superpowers”?

I just cast a closevote (duplicate) on this question, which at the time had no comments, answers, or votes. As I write, it says Marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers 2 minutes ago, and there's an ...
9
votes
1answer
134 views

Where did the help pages go?

So there is a new top banner bar on my SE pages today, and I can't figure out where the help pages went (links to the Tour, Help Center, etc.). What am I missing?
9
votes
4answers
212 views

Project Reduplication of Deduplication - English

Stack Exchange recently started a collaboration project with the University of Melbourne, in an attempt to improve the automatic detection of duplicate questions. More information on the project and ...
9
votes
1answer
99 views

Has the policy on “excessive commenting” changed?

In most StackExchange sites, if an item seems to have attracted too many comments, those comments are moved to chat. (I have my own opinions about this practice, but in any event, that's the practice....
8
votes
4answers
375 views

About EL&U usage, purpose, and comments

I simply have to ask, and lash out (a tiny bit), about some of the comments and messages I have received on answers I've provided. I've had at least one moderator (I think?) and another senior member ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Is Wikipedia an acceptable source?

I have just posted an answer to this question where I cited Wikipedia as the source of my information. Is wikipedia a reliable enough source to go to when citing information of this nature? I ...
8
votes
4answers
253 views

Are the downvotes against my answers fair?

I know that we all sometimes think our answer is good or acceptable when in fact it isn't. Sometimes we fool ourselves in the moment, other times we stubbornly hold to our position. I've been a ...
8
votes
1answer
93 views

Is there a way to report a rude/inappropriate username?

A new user just posted a question, and I find their username offensive and inappropriate (I can post the name if necessary). Is there any procedure for reporting a username? I also found their ...
8
votes
2answers
190 views

What are the consequences of a suspension?

Before asking this question, I read Mark's similar one (About Suspension, posted on Oct 5 '11 and which got a few replies). In his question, Mark mentioned a member who was suspended but seemed to be ...
8
votes
2answers
93 views

How close am I to getting another gold badge?

I'm not exactly over the moon about the way SE has implemented their decision to grant me the power to unilaterally close questions - but if history has taught me anything, it's that you can't fight ...
8
votes
1answer
171 views

“Not within the scope of this site”?

I have a question about the usage of an English term and I finally decide to ask on ELU (English Language Usage). I provide some prelimirary research: 1) the origin of the term, 2) usage evidence ...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

Can a mod send me a screenshot of the comments which were under this question?

I asked the question "Why do I pronounce "horrible" so harrhibly?" a while back. It hit the HNQ and generated a lot of attention and chatty comments. Those comments were subsequently ...
8
votes
1answer
53 views

When reviewing Suggested Edits queue, how to “improve” the suggested edit?

I came across a tag-edit that I wanted to improve slightly, while reviewing the Suggested Edits queue. At the top of the page it says, "Approve, reject, or improve edits suggested by users." I see no ...