44

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 "...


18

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

A one line, low effort question should not be reopened. Even if the author was still engaged with the site, they shouldn't be rewarded for the extensive rewrite needed to salvage it unless they did the salvaging. If the question only needed a slight shift in focus to bring it on-topic, that would be different. It would be better to write a new question that ...


10

I agree with Andrew Leach's comment that closure as opinion-based is a bit odd, given that to some degree all SWRs are seeking an opinion on what might be the right word to use. However, I'm guessing that what triggered the VTC was the question being based on your own purely personal (and possibly idiosyncratic) opinion, i.e. that an alternative to a word ...


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 ...


9

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


8

Your questions have not been “wrongfully closed”. Please read: Our site tour. Our Help Center's guidance on why some questions are closed. Our Help Center's guidance on how to ask questions here. Our Help Center's guidance on the sorts of questions you should avoid asking here. The Stack Exchange network's theory of moderation. The Stack Exchange network's ...


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

Yes. More generally I think it's a good idea to create a sitewide close reason whenever we find that we're having to create the same custom close reason (Off Topic + Other) over and over again. The proposed close reason can be slightly expanded to cover analogous situations where a person asks an English related question arising from an error or ...


6

Don't regard "Did you look that up in a dictionary?" as a rude question. Take it at face value. It's a hint, a prompt. Either the O.P. used a dictionary first, or not. If not, a dictionary should have been consulted first. (Probably a few dictionaries, actually.) If so, then results from that prior research should have been included, summarized, or ...


6

From the following snippets of your question: We are assured that on EL&U questions must not be posted whose answers can only be opinion-based; it came to me as a shock today when someone with a rep of more than 50K ... began answering a question with "I think ..."; and while we only consider facts, and never opinions, here on EL&U, what a fact ...


6

I can tell you what I was thinking when I voted to close it, and my thinking is neatly encapsulated in Mari-Lou's comment below her own answer: "the OP didn't specify". As the question stands, it is unanswerable because we lack information. Specifically: What research was done. This was asked for, and though the OP refers to it it is not provided. I don't ...


6

Since I provided the original close reason I'll gladly elaborate. Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature is off-topic per help center. This includes poetry, so the analysis of it is off-topic. Regarding the grammaticality the poet has the poetic license that is mention in the other highly up voted comment. It's clearly stated in the ...


6

There is only a limited amount of space, character-count, whatever, allowed in the custom close reasons, so they tend to be either terse or densely-packed like the current General Reference reason. A question which asks "Is this grammatical?" is definitely proof-reading. A question which asks "Have I used flonk correctly in this sentence?" is proof-reading. ...


6

One way to keep a question open is to edit it in order to render the close reasons invalid. Note that you may need to do quite a bit of work. If it's not a duplicate, say why the nominated question and any of the answers to that question don't cut it. If it's within the Help centre's listed scope, make that clear. It's possible you might need to provide ...


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