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30
votes
2answers
309 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
3answers
843 views

Why was there such a negative reaction to this question: “Word for a person from another race?”

Is there a word for "a person from another race"? This question has three down-votes and was closed because "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic"...
29
votes
3answers
774 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
777 views

Waning gap of acceptable questions

After a couple days of break I revisited EL&U to find about a third of questions on the main page marked [closed]. It appears anything that can be looked up in more or less obscure source (NOT ...
29
votes
9answers
678 views

English Site Design

Hi all, I am Jin. I'm the designer who works on the design and CSS conversion for the Stack Exchange sites as they graduate from the beta phase. I'm very excited about the design for the English ...
29
votes
2answers
354 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 ...
29
votes
1answer
346 views

This misnegation question should not have been closed

(EDIT: This question has now been reopened. Thank you all for your help.) This question asked about the following passage from a news report: Pentagon experts on Friday said it was impossible to ...
29
votes
2answers
456 views

Overeager moderation?

I'm involved in a few StackExchange sites and moderate one not on the StackExchange platform. I find the moderation on this particular site to be over-eager. I know each SE community has its own ...
28
votes
6answers
426 views

Call for blog participation

The Powers That Be have bestowed upon us a new feature: Stack Exchange community blogs. There's also a Stack Exchange blog post about it. I think a blog for the English Language & Usage site is ...
28
votes
6answers
438 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
2k views

English Stack Exchange swag for top users

As a thank you for being awesome, if you are on page 1 or page 2 of … https://english.stackexchange.com/users?tab=reputation&filter=all … we'll be sending you a little care package ...
28
votes
2answers
407 views

Get your mind out of the gutter, you great conversationalist!

I'm not a huge fan of single word requests, but I don't think they should be closed for the wrong reasons, as this one was. The OP was looking for a word that describes someone with what we used to ...
28
votes
2answers
303 views

Proposal to fix the uselessness of the new off-topic close options

Bait-and-switch Close “Options” With the new close options recently implemented, when you click close on ELU, that takes you to a first-level menu of five different close options. From that first-...
28
votes
1answer
495 views

New close reason: include the research

After reviewing several Meta posts and related commentary, the moderator team has replaced one of the custom close reasons on the site. The General Reference close reason has been replaced by: ...
28
votes
1answer
429 views

I just wanted to say: Thank you!

I don't have a question at the moment. I had a question about whether "bear" was correct when used as a verb as in bear with me" I found the answer and much more on this site. I wanted to write a "...
27
votes
8answers
869 views

Is reopening of one's own closed question a misuse of moderator privileges?

Two hours after a recent question was closed by five users (four high-rep), the OP (also a moderator) voted to reopen his own question, which is, of course, an instantaneous and binding vote. This ...
27
votes
4answers
332 views

Is it OK to answer to old questions?

I was wondering—if we find an old question without an accepted answer, are we allowed to answer? Or should we expect down-votes for that? I don't know if it's a stupid question but I didn't find ...
27
votes
6answers
463 views

Regrets of a youth misspent

Every once in a while I get a notification that someone has voted on one of my old posts. I click the notification, and I notice that the old post has some ... room for improvement. Some are so bad ...
27
votes
4answers
595 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
293 views

How should I handle accepting answers when I don't know if they are correct?

I've just asked my first question here, and got some helpful answers. However, I am not by any means an expert on the English language, and therefore lack the capability to discern whether or not the ...
27
votes
0answers
520 views

Measuring typographical emphasis: the “lawler” and “lawler weight”

RegDwighт said: @Robusto wow, that's formatting to the max. Bold and italics and monospaced and in quotes. John has outlawlered himself.¹ It occurs to me that this is something we can measure. I ...
26
votes
6answers
475 views

Why are questions answered with no upvotes?

Maybe I am used to norms on other stack sites but I don't get why there are 5 answers for a question and no upvotes for the question itself. To me if you spent the time to answer something, then why ...
26
votes
7answers
1k 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 '...
26
votes
3answers
684 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
434 views

The 'higher rep' user's dilemma

From time to time Meta has discussions on how to improve the overall quality of the site. The most recent one is here: What can be done to bring up site quality? A not infrequent suggestion in such ...
26
votes
0answers
401 views

John Lawler's ELU answer links, by topic

This is more of an announcement than a question. But it's intended for Meta. For a class I'm giving, I've recently made up links to my answers here, on various grammatical topics. This list is on my ...
26
votes
0answers
620 views

“ELU updated site theme is ready for testing” is ready for voting, but still not visible

"ELU updated site theme is ready for testing" has been vigorously voted on. It turns out that currently it is 25 down and 10 upvotes. 34 down and 13 upvotes. At a net of -21 votes, it is ...
26
votes
0answers
323 views

Why isn’t “Please help” on our titular stoplist?

We just got in rapid succession these two soi-disant “questions” over on main: Please help to interpret Please help me with this sentence Strictly speaking as questions go, those are imperatives not ...
25
votes
5answers
635 views

UNDELETED: Deleting a highly upvoted but questionably correct answer (the one with the subjunctive)

In one of the first questions on this site, "If I was" vs "If I were", there are a slew of answers. The question had a somewhat more recent (Feb 2018) spate of activity with a very authoritative, ...
25
votes
1answer
760 views

I “really” want a deleted post back

I want it back. I am referring to an answer which was posted on my question: Did the English call a fruit “openærs” for 700 years? NB Users with 10,000 rep are able to view deleted posts The ...
25
votes
3answers
311 views

What is wrong with single character edits?

I would be quite happy for someone to correct a minor spelling error in an answer (or question) that I posted. Would that offend some people? Or is there another reason that it is not allowed? This ...
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.
24
votes
11answers
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 ...
24
votes
4answers
580 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....
24
votes
5answers
516 views

Excessive number of fundamental questions

More and more the site seems to be invaded by questions from users whose grasp of English is rudimentary at best, asking something (often indecipherable) about an unquestionably fundamental point of ...
24
votes
6answers
769 views

Who is Lauren Ψ and why is she changing posts? (Introducing myself.)

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm a StackExchange employee and I'm working on improving the English Language site. Basically, that means I'll be correcting things like grammar, spelling, ...
24
votes
1answer
304 views

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 ...
23
votes
17answers
548 views

Please air your grievances here

Some of you may be happily oblivious to the Winter Bash hat dash, in which case you can skip right over this question. For those who are afflicted with the annual fever, I would like to encourage you ...
23
votes
8answers
993 views

2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

Candidate answers, sorted by time of completion: WBT sumelic Lawrence NVZ tchrist choster curiousdannii MετάEd In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Is 'damn' offensive?

I have just asked a question about the phrase 'give a damn'. It has been edited, I would say bowdlerised, on grounds that the word 'damn' is marked as offensive in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary....
23
votes
6answers
376 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Would someone please explain why these question closures are such a bad thing?

I spent much of the past week involved in a rather extended discussion about closed questions. Near as I can tell, here is the logic: ELU has a lot of closed questions, at least compared to other ...
23
votes
5answers
180 views

Allow Questions to be Closed as Off-Topic and Migrated to ELL

I would like to make a pitch that we add a "this question belongs on ELL" to the Off-Topic sub-menu, and begin closing questions as Off-Topic, rather than General Reference, when they don't belong ...
23
votes
3answers
425 views

Show Me the Reference!

It's time for everyone's favorite game show, Show Me the Reference! The following seven questions were each placed on hold as general reference within the past week: Is it correct to use an ...
23
votes
1answer
590 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
1k views

Please vote on this proposal to ban from question titles certain words whose posts we usually end up closing and deleting

In reaction to high failure rates of questions with titles containing the word "problem", the Stack Overflow community long ago forbade these. You couldn't ask a new question with the word "problem" ...
22
votes
12answers
883 views

Community Promotion Ads - 2016

It's 2016 now, and we've made some changes to the sidebar size. As such, we can now restart the Community Promotion Ads for 2016! Keep in mind, we have updated some of the guidelines compared to ...
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 ...
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 ...
22
votes
5answers
735 views

Is this a good justification for frequent downvoting and closing?

There is a lot of downvoting on this site without any constructive feedback. Closings are also frequent. You can see this by just looking around. As I write this question, the three newest questions ...

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