Hot answers tagged

21

UD is a source that is written by amateurs, and rated by amateurs. I've used it from time to time, but it's best when supplemented with other examples. As for whether or not the UD is an "acceptable" source, that depends on the nature of the question. For example, suppose the O.P. is asking something like: What's a good slang term for a person who ...


20

That's a tough one. You can put this off until the day before the bounty expires. Or not. It's totally your choice; whichever answer you find more helpful is the one you should choose. My $.02 (or less, admittedly it's not worth much): If the answer is idempotent, I'd go with the earlier answer for several reasons: 1. He was first. And he defined it ...


19

So I’ve looked over the guidance I can find about incorrect answers and what to do about them (especially if they’ve been accepted or have attracted a lot of votes) on the main meta. The consensus appears to be : Write a correct answer Downvote incorrect answers Leave comments on incorrect answers explaining why they are incorrect The answer to Should I ...


18

Urban Dictionary can be a resource for slang phrases that are not in traditional dictionaries. However, it is not at all an authoritative source, since it is mainly an entertainment site. For questions not specifically about slang or obscure phrases, if you can find another source, it would be better to do so.


16

For the most part, the first-time posters who submit one-word answers followed by a little filler to meet the minimum character count are not interested in anything more than participating in a quiz-show-format guessing game. They have no sense of what EL&U's standards are or what sort of resource the site is hoping to be—and admittedly single-word ...


15

I understand that it is disturbing when a dubious answer far outscores a careful and authoritative answer. However, a number of factors suggest to me that the present case is not an especially hard one to judge. Essentially, the key elements in the controversy are a no-research-shown question posted on August 13, 2010; a brief (four lines) but confident-...


13

Absolutely and completely fine. So … if you have a question that you already know the answer to if you’d like to document it in public so others (including yourself) can find it later it is OK to ask, and answer, your own question on a relevant Stack Exchange site. To be crystal clear, it is not merely OK to ask and answer your own question, it is ...


13

tl;dr: Leaving these lying around just encourages others to follow their bad example. We don't want that to happen. Deleting is good for the site. SLAs are NARAs We used to have “Not A Real Question” close reason, sometimes called a NARQ. It seems that now we’re discussing the flip side of that, or NARAs: things posted as answers that are “Not A Real ...


12

If something is irrelevant to an answer, it should be edited out. If something is only relevant as an example, but the example is too inflammatory or distracting, it should be changed. The fact that Donald Trump is Hitler Jr doesn't make that pertinent to answers.


11

OP has effectively raised two "feature requests" here... 1: Can we have a "flag" option for Please convert this comment into an answer? 2: Should ELU disallow the posting of answers as comments? As regards #1, this seems a bit unnecessary to me. Any user can cut & paste the relevant comment into an answer (and make it Community Wiki, and/or ...


11

The main reason this is bad that I know of is that it may prevent the automatic deletion of low-quality questions. This makes the site have more low-quality questions that show up in search results even though they aren't useful (or it makes more work for voters to delete these questions manually). Some people also seem to feel that it's a bad thing because ...


9

Sven Yargs points out that the problem is with poorly supported but otherwise correct answers; tchrist advocates deletion of single-line answers (SLAs) because they are not real answers. MετάEd concurs, but leaves it in the hands of the moderators (reviewers). The key question is whether an SLA that gets to the heart of a question should be shored up or ...


9

A question asking for people to coin a word is out of scope for this site. A coinage in an answer might be in scope, depending on how well-reasoned it is. If the answer is a coinage which follows naturally from the way the language works, such as your example "samsaraphobia" which follows from the common practice of sticking "-phobia" on new things people ...


9

Bear in mind that you are answering on the website "English Language and Usage". An Indian proverb is not part of the English language; a literal translation is not part of English usage (unless of course the proverb has been absorbed into English or there is an English version; but that's a completely different situation). This isn't an obvious point and ...


9

People leave partial answers in comments for various reasons. Regardless, if you see useful information or partial answers in the comments, you can use that to write a detailed answer yourself. It'd be nice to give credit where it's due.


7

I do answer a question in a comment if I think the question is marginal and worthy of closing. I consider this a kindness and an expediency. Kindness because I'm giving the benefit of my knowledge, expediency because I don't have to write a dissertation on the subject. Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and I think this is why so many here still gnash ...


7

As my flagging of a comment instigated @sumelic question, I'll share my thought. Questions on pronunciation are quite interesting, particularly for non-natives as myself, as resources are very sparse outside what's in dictionnaries. ELU could help in that and fill a real need, even though natives might not realize it. About dialects and sharing personnal ...


6

UD is a great source. A quick scan of the definitions give you a reliable definition of the term. Moreover, it also provides variant definitions, and the up/downvotes give you an idea of how many people would accept those definitions. Note the wisdom of crowds. The crowd is rarely wrong. (E.g. The audience on Millionaire has been right 95% of the time - much ...


6

I'm not the downvoter, but I will wager a guess that perhaps they felt that your answer was too brief and didn't provide any background or explanation, particularly when compared with CopperKettle's answer (which was posted half an hour before yours). Yours basically just asserts "Yes, it's grammatical and common"; the other goes into detail about what it ...


6

No, combining answers is definitely Not A Good Thing. The Stack Exchange format encourages unique answers to questions, each of which may be voted upon and from which the OP chooses the answer best for their needs. Combining answers makes this primary aim impossible; and where the different answers come from different people it completely subverts the ...


6

I guess I am not surprised that no one bothered to answer the question I actually asked... but it sounds like there is no comment-to-answer flag and no official StackExchange tool to do this. So the answer to this question is, "No, there is no way to do this aside from copying the comment manually and posting it as an answer."


6

I would certainly take "Shylock" these days to refer to the unsavoury aspects of loan-sharkiness rather than be anything to do with religion. I'm aware that British attitudes to language differ slightly from American attitudes. But we also need to bear in mind that this is a site about language. Knowledge is amoral, and it's up to those with the knowledge ...


6

It's because it had a net positive score at the time that six recommends were racked up. There's a notice on it. Eventually if the user doesn't return pretty soon and fix it up, it will probably be deleted, either by three 20k users once it's negative, or by a moderator.


6

"We expect answers to be substantial, and backed up by references. [⬅️ This therefore is not an answer. :-]" —tchrist♦ By this, I suppose what tchrist means that because his comment does not qualify as an answer, due to a lack of substantiation, that it has immunity from the rules against answers in the comments. This explains part of the reason ...


5

There really is no private messaging system. Chat (where you are more than welcome!) does require people to be online, but you can start a discussion with a particular individual once a threshold number of comments has been reached. (A little box shows up, asking you if you'd like to move to chat). I don't know of a guide, but in essence it's a way for users ...


5

A general problem that turns up on some sites (I've seen this discussed on Christianity SE) is that the self-answerer is concentrating on the excellent answer they have in mind, and the question is thrown together as an afterthought just to lead to the answer. That's a problem: the question should be as well written and as well researched as ever. It should ...


5

Once a post has gone to moderation, the resolution is moderator’s choice. Deletion is a perfectly reasonable choice when the post does not belong on the site. Deletion leaves the site clean while also educating the author. We should not lower the bar further for answers than for questions. I enjoy a good SWR, but they’re few and far between. SE management ...


5

TL;DR: It totally depends. Only answer bad questions when you provide a good answer. Otherwise, keep it in the comments. What would have been a great thing If however you do see something interesting that might be of use to future visitors then yes please answer. But please answer with an explanation. Any answer on ELU should answer the why. If you had ...


5

It is a four word answer: “Fume is another possibility.” Kudos for properly crediting the work of another author that you relied on when you wrote it. All it lacks is the comprehensive explanation and/or supporting facts which would help future visitors understand why it is the best (or a good) expert answer. This is what the template is getting at. As for ...


5

My advice would be always check if the saying exists in English as well. It seems that "Words are like arrows, once loosed you cannot call them back" is a well-quoted saying in English and is wrongly attributed to all sorts of individuals. So, you almost missed out on a giving great answer. Go do it!


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible