45

This will be a much better site if we all spend a bit more time looking for ways to save questions, and a bit less time looking for reasons to kill them. THIS. Exactly this. (I don't actually have much to add to your excellent post; I just wanted to say that I agree with what you say and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Also, I'm totally stealing "...


19

My problem with the "General Reference" justification for closing questions is a bit different from the one raised here by phenry: Too often people vote to close a question on that basis without doing any research into the poster's question themselves. A case in point occurred yesterday. A poster with a reasonably strong track record at EL&U (1,...


14

Well, if you're missing something, I'm missing it too. I have no idea what the close-voters were thinking, but in any case, it's reopened now. (Hint for the future: there really isn't much you can research for a word request. The bad word requests are the ones that don't give a context, and newsflash: two example sentences is perfectly sufficient context.)


13

Teacher: "Billy, how do you pronounce f-u-g-u-e?" Billy: "Foo-gway." Teacher: "No, I'm sorry, that's wrong. The dictionary says that it is pronounced 'fyoog'." Billy: "You asked how I pronounce it."


13

No Stack Exchange site is a tutorial service. No Stack Exchange site is a research service. No Stack Exchange site is a substitute for looking in a standard reference work. I propose that any question which does not show elementary research be closed in short order. The current close reason contains enough detail to explain what can be done to improve the ...


12

On August 25 KitFox posted an answer to the question Why are most new questions being downvoted which I think bears quoting in this context: Before you downvote: Did you ask the OP to clarify and give them at least one day to do so? Did you edit the OP's question to include information that the OP had buried in the comments? Did you clean up and retag the ...


12

The argument in favour of closing as GR is that ELU is not a place to little by little collect the entire OED, one answer at a time. Thus, posting dictionary definitions (the archetypal GR case) doesn't "improve the internet". What it does do is give someone who doesn't have a clue about how to look in a dictionary a free ride. The argument against closing ...


11

Clicking the "Close" link does not commit you to casting a close vote. Once you click the link, a dialog will appear showing a list of close reasons. If others have cast close votes already, a number will appear next to the reason(s) that they selected. You can then X out of the dialog box instead of selecting your own reason and clicking the "Vote to ...


10

It's not a real question. The title gives the impression of a question, but the text simply says "Look what I found. Interesting, eh?". If you had worded the main text to make it clear you were serious about the question and to show some constructive argument, it might still be open.


10

I've been here, done this, and bought this T-shirt. It's even been through the laundry a few times. First, we get a spate of bad questions – that leads to a lot of closed questions. And that leads to a question on meta, asking, "Are we closing questions too indiscrimantly?" or, "Are we too getting too snobby?" or, "Are we the rudest community on the Stack ...


10

I'll give you specific statistics about the five questions you link, but there's no easy way that I can think of to get at data in general: 0 users voted to close 5 questions 0 users voted to close 4 questions 2 users voted to close 3 questions 1 user voted to close 2 questions 7 users voted to close 1 question That at least seems suggestive that there is ...


10

The question is unclear because you have done some research and come up with an answer, and have not advanced any cogent reason why what you found is unacceptable. Thus you have answered your own question, and it's not clear what more is needed. If what you found is unacceptable because you have identified your own research as not meeting your high ...


9

I don't see either one as non-constructive. The best answer to the guillotine one would list all reasonable possibilities, with connotations and usage notes. Just because there's more than one word that fits doesn't make the question non-constructive. Not constructive would be something like "I have this context where either beheading or decapitation would ...


9

I support Lynn's argument and suggestion. I believe it's up to the asker to demonstrate that a question is not answerable by General Reference, and research is the way to do that. A question is only put on hold not closed outright, in order that it can be reworked and re-opened [brought off-hold]. So saying that a question is answerable as General Reference ...


8

Your premise is wrong. Basic questions have never been what the site is for. Whether they are closed GR or closed OT, basic questions should be closed. Stack Exchange is a growing network of individual communities, each dedicated to serving experts in a specific field. We build libraries of high-quality questions and answers, focused on each community's ...


8

I haven't been here long enough to say why this is off-topic, but I can, as an erstwhile professional in the lit-crit biz, with union card (PhD) to prove it, say why it should be. This falls, I take it, under the exclusion of "Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature"; and there are two things about Criticism &c that demand its ...


8

Your question (next time please link it in your meta post to save me from hunting it down) was closed because you are looking for a name for a computer program. That is off-topic as per the site rules. It is something that can only be answered in the context of your program, because programs often stretch or confine word meanings in ways that aren't valid or ...


8

I'm pretty sure the mechanism (which is what determines how many levels you need to wade through, for example) is Stackexchange-wide. Other sites doubtless have more than one migration option, so they need that extra level of nesting. Until we get the Writers option back (dunno why it's not there, I swear I saw it recently, after the big closure revamp), and/...


8

Having given a sort of drive-by, "Huh?" to the question yesterday, I wanted to support and elaborate on RegDwight's comment: As far as the English language is concerned, the answer to "I need to differentiate between an adult female dog, an adult male dog and a puppy and am searching for polite terms" is not "goose, gander and gosling". It simply isn't. ...


8

The question has been re-opened by a moderator (who wasn't me, but I can explain what happened). Four of the close votes were for the duplicate; one was requesting the research made and presumably what was unclear about the referenced Wikipedia page. You are right that the linked question doesn't contain an answer to the question (or anything which might ...


8

[I]t seems that upon reading "How do you...", several of our high-rep users leaped to the conclusion that the OP wanted to know how they, as individuals, would pronounce "deque"... This is the problem that I've noticed most about this Stack Exchange site compared to others that I participate in. Every other site is clearly about getting the best answer for ...


8

The help center welcomes expert-level questions about English spelling and punctuation, and about the history of English words.¹ The list of welcome topics is illustrative, not definitive. Expert-level questions about the history of letters, numerals, punctuation symbols, scribal abbreviations, and other symbols which represent English on the page are ...


8

Actually, the most effective way I have found to keep a question open is to leave a comment explaining why it be kept open. Clicking "leave open" is a fairly weak tool. At most, enough "leave open" votes can end the post's review period and start the closevote aging process. "Leave open votes" do not invalidate or count against closevotes, and the post ...


8

Now, this is only scratching the surface, but there is an option I think should be added to the list: "there is no discernible research done before asking the question". It doesn't need to be written exactly like that. There is such a reason: "Please include the research you’ve done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site ...


7

I tried to address this in What the "proofreading" close reason is for, but I may have been too long-winded for my own good. tl;dr version: If the questioner is clearly more interested in getting an answer than in understanding the answer (i.e., if it smells suspiciously like a "do my homework for me" question), I usually vote to close as Proofreading. If ...


7

Worst idea ever. If we give them the link, we are completely defeating the whole point, we are just doing what they want and training them to be gimme-the-codez beggars. This has been raised many time before, and shot down every time for this very reason. Furthermore, it dramatically fails the litmus test of whether it improves the quality of the site for ...


7

Perhaps what we need is an insufficient research close reason. We can and should downvote for a lack of evidence of research, but there's no legitimate close reason for that. Maybe there should be? @AndrewLeach wrote a great post earlier this year about showing research. Here are some quotes: The answer to "how much research is needed?" is "...


7

I fully support a change. The key point is that this site wants questions about an underlying principle of grammar or usage. Many people who have had questions closed complain that they have identified a particular source of concern, e.g. "I've said that I don't know whether send a postcard is correct", and don't understand that we want them to explain what ...


7

Here are the important parts of the timeline: You asked the question on Signal Processing. You got an answer there. You left the following comment on said answer: [...] If you think there is no word for this, I think this question is better suited in English Language & Usage Peter K., a moderator on Signal Processing, migrated the question to ELU. (...


6

I understand what you are saying and I disagree with you. I have personally been pushing many of the closed questions into the Off-Topic category. Why? Because I don't wish to imply that those sort of questions are on-topic here. Closing a question as "Not A Real Question" and "Not Constructive" implies that there is something salvageable there, if the OP ...


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