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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 ...
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 `...
61
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between ELU and ELL?

Someone has suggested that a question of mine should be migrated to the ELL site. Why are there two Q&A sites for the English language? What can I ask on each site? Note: ELU refers to English ...
33
votes
11answers
4k 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.
56
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
28
votes
6answers
947 views

Why are answers being posted in the comments on the question?

For example: Etymology of "to coin a phrase" I have seen this several times on this site, and it seems to be a departure from how things are done on other sites in the SE network and how ...
49
votes
9answers
848 views

Google is not General Reference

The description for the "General Reference" close reason states, This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference ...
50
votes
2answers
3k views

List of common abbreviations and acronyms (NOAD, ESL, PIE…)

Abbreviations are always a potential source of confusion. Some people might happen to know what OED stands for, and can figure out what NOAD must mean, but others may not be so lucky. Googling for PIE ...
63
votes
2answers
823 views

Basic questions are not so basic

It has come up in other threads that we have a lot of "basic" or "lowest common denominator" questions. However, a few myths about this need to be put to rest. First, we do have a general reference ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Where can I ask for free proofreading?

I know that proofreading is prohibited in this site. However, I'd like to ask if there are free online websites to do that. I remember once there was a website where I can help people in Spanish/...
83
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 ...
60
votes
7answers
3k views

Word for disrespecting eldest half-sister by referring to her husband as girly-girl-manly-boy though he's amused but the rest of the family isn't?

Are these single word requests getting out of hand, or am I just still too new to this site to recognize a long-standing problem and standard ways of dealing with them? I thought that by using ...
27
votes
7answers
949 views

What emphasis to use when referring to words?

Let's say I'm asking a question about the word "cheese". Which of the following should I use? I see various versions being used all over, and it'd be nice to have something consistent. Does the word '...
11
votes
1answer
408 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) ...
102
votes
3answers
2k views

A friendly reminder: ELL is not EL&U's trash can

We've been getting a lot of migrations to ELL lately. That's actually fine by me – I think a lot of them are okay on ELL, even if they're not suitable for EL&U. The two sites have ...
48
votes
7answers
772 views

Bring back the Summer of Love (aka Make new users feel more welcome)

I'm a big fan of SE sites and spend an awful lot of time on StackOverflow. When I saw an English Language site, I pointed a few of my friends and family this way (one of whom is an English professor ...
12
votes
4answers
418 views

Why is it not mandatory to provide comments on a down-vote?

At present, users wanting to be courteous leave comments after down-voting a response, but there is nothing that requires a user to do this. I don't much care about the lose of rep. or the down-vote ...
24
votes
4answers
574 views

On deleting low quality single-word-request answers

This morning, I and my fellow moderators are faced with a quandary. Once again, we have a pile of disputed low quality flags in our queue, the majority of which are for answers to single-word-requests....
20
votes
2answers
832 views

“New attribution rules”

User oerkelens edited one of my answers, with the comment "Saved good answer from potential deletion on sight under the new attribution rules". I had not heard of any new attribution rules, and went ...
22
votes
1answer
555 views

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 ...
27
votes
4answers
586 views

Should we encourage posting distinct answers separately? (Particularly for [single-word-requests])

In a comment on this [single-word-request] answer, the question was raised: I'm … adding all my ideas to one answer. Is that the right way? Rather than generating many answers and letting each one ...
5
votes
1answer
270 views

Etiquette on duplicate questions

Sometimes we may miss a previous post that contains the answer to one of our questions or even miss an identical previous question. Do you recommend: Deleting the question (what would happen to ...
-26
votes
26answers
2k views

English Language & Usage's updated site theme is ready for testing!

As part of implementing the new unified themes across the network, we're gradually rolling out updated site themes for each site. As of today, we have enabled your updated site theme for testing. If ...
77
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 ...
21
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
560 views

What should we do about question titles containing vulgar words?

After "What is the difference between 'tits' and 'boobs'?" being censored, it's the turn of "What does 'suck it up ho' means?" to be sanitized. I think we need to come to a consensus. So, what should ...
9
votes
8answers
908 views

Common accepted online resources [duplicate]

What would be well-known, and in a certain measure reliable, online resources that should be checked before asking a question, or that could help with answering questions? I've got a few listed that ...
43
votes
9answers
690 views

Should we have a migration path to ELL?

I know that this has been discussed before but, at the time, it was not possible since ELL was still in beta. Now that it has graduated and has had its first mod elections and everything, it might be ...
10
votes
2answers
461 views

What the “primarily opinion-based” close reason is for

(tl;dr version: "Primarily opinion-based" is designed to stop "What's the best X?"-type questions. It's not supposed to be used on every single question that involves opinions.) Until last year, one ...
32
votes
7answers
790 views

Is EL&U becoming ESL?

Maybe it's just me, but I get the feeling we are seeing an increasing number of English language learner questions. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but is it what we really want? Aren't we going ...
14
votes
4answers
976 views

Do we really need to add “NSFW” in question titles?

Two recent questions contain NSFW in the title. Do we really need to do this? I think the title should be enough to understand if one should read the question when being in a specific place. We had ...
7
votes
2answers
318 views

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 ...
32
votes
5answers
687 views

Has anyone thought about changing the name of this site?

Wouldn't "Advanced English Language & Usage" be more appropriate and cut down the ELL questions? Just by the name of the site the users who post "ELL" are right. I believe this site poorly named....
-8
votes
2answers
424 views

Why are my comments deleted?

Hello, Congratulations -- you are one of the top new English Language and Usage - Stack Exchange users for the week of Aug 6 2012! http://stackexchange.com/leagues/week/english/2012-08-06 ...
50
votes
8answers
2k views

Referencing the existence of words that may be offensive

I left a comment on this answer in which I made a reference to a word that many people find offensive (although I didn’t use or even mention the word itself). I referenced the word because it was an ...
26
votes
3answers
664 views

A look at question quality

Table of Contents This is a really, really, long post. And yes, I hate to create another post on our current "quality" situation, but this post is seriously long to the point where I don't want to ...
31
votes
5answers
683 views

Why are most new questions being downvoted?

I was scrolling through the list of newest asked questions and noticed that only 3 out of 15 had non-negative votes for the question. Is this just an anomaly or is the quality of the average question ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

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 ...
16
votes
5answers
764 views

Extraordinary spike in low-quality questions by 1 rep users

I can't keep up with them, the brand new users who have 1 rep. There's too many, they're swarming the site and often their questions consist of one or two lines with no context. All the following ...
13
votes
2answers
186 views

Taking action on crowd sourced on-line resources based on SE answers

In a comment to What term can I use to express the delay between two connecting flights?, it is suggested that the entry for a description of a word in wiktionary be modified to be more in accordance ...
13
votes
4answers
369 views

How to handle old questions with answers stuck in a comment?

I am noticing a bunch of older questions stuck in the Unanswered queue that have an acceptable answer posted as a comment instead of an answer. For the first few I found I just copied the answer into ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

Is EL&U succeeding?

What with all of the hubbub lately, I want to focus on asking one specific question that I think is at the core of the problem/drama: Is EL&U succeeding? This is fairly open-ended and I think ...
21
votes
4answers
422 views

Do we need to write the better questions ourselves?

In the ELL-Post-Apocalypse chatroom, KitFox made a very interesting observation (gently edited here for dramatic impact): We have gotten diluted with basic questions because basic questions fill ...
20
votes
10answers
890 views

What can we do to make this site more “intimidating”?

EL&U questions are spiraling out of control, and we get so many of them every day! People are always asking about comma placement, whether it's who-or-whom, where the apostrophe goes with a name ...
-8
votes
7answers
825 views

Does a question which shows no research, no effort deserve a downvote?

Does a question which shows no research, no effort deserve a downvote? If the answer is yes, I would like to know the reason behind it.
28
votes
6answers
428 views

General Reference = general clairvoyance?

This question asked what you call those words that sound like the sound they make. It was closed as general reference. Really!? How the hell is the guy supposed to look up the answer when he doesn't ...
16
votes
4answers
306 views

How should we handle single-word-requests that don't have a matching word? [duplicate]

I am digging through the old unanswered questions and periodically someone will be asking for a word that simply doesn't exist.
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 ...
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?

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