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Your question was quite interesting! People liked it: it attracted 4 upvotes, along with a detailed, upvoted answer from a reputable user. You should definitely not feel any embarrassment or shame that it was closed¹; you didn't ask a bad question, you simply asked a question that we (as a community, and as a site with a specific set of aims) are not ...


20

Grammar McCawley's The Syntactic Phenomena of English. It turns out that the first three chapters of this classic 1998 grammar are available free on Google Books. The rest of the book is not. This seems to be very good marketing for University of Chicago Press, or whoever made this decision, because it gives a good and useful sample of what's in the book. ...


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,...


15

Historical Resources These are books of possible interest to people who are investigating word and phrase origins and want to know what meanings those words or phrase were said to have at various times in the past. Several of them do not show up in a direct Google Books search for them by title; I've run into the hidden ones by chance, while searching for a ...


10

The OED is paywalled, but many people in the US and UK can get access to the OED for free through their local public libraries. This unfortunately leaves out quite a few people of the world. However it is a strong ELU guideline that if something like the OED is used or likewise any free on-line services, that both a quote and a link is given. I can't say ...


10

Okay, I guess I should have added my answers here instead of above in the comments. So, I'll try again. Dictionary.com gives all the source references on one page, from English and slang to science, computing, and medical dictionaries, including History and Origin, all from specific dictionaries. It includes nearby words, related searches, and all words ...


9

Yeah, someone should have simply answered the OP's question. It would most likely take only a minute or two. It would take less time to answer the question than to go around searching for an exact "duplicate"; also the OP wouldn't then have to pore over the "duplicate" thread(s) in an attempt to construct an answer to the original question. On EL&U, ...


8

Lexipedia: For the word you search, it has: Nouns Adverbs Verbs Adjectives Synonyms Antonyms Fuzzynyms


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 "...


6

The question, as asked, provided no context and no explanation for why the asker was asking, and we can thus only conclude that they are asking for the meaning of a phrase of the form "give someone X", which IMHO is definitely too basic to be asking here. The OP mentioned, in passing, having done a Google search, but I find it incredible that a search for "...


6

The only one of these questions that I had anything to do with was Is it correct to use an apostrophe to indicate something that belongs to an object? I was very much in favor of keeping this question open when I first saw it (and answered it), and I voted to reopen it after editing the question to make it more EL&U-like. But after receiving the ...


6

YourDictionary.com also has example sentences using specific words Crossword helpers: One Across OjoHaven's Crossword Solver


5

Well, it actually has been answered here. We have many questions on bare conditionals with if-deletion and inversion. It would probably be better to re-open and re-close it as a duplicate of one of those. Conditional sentences not starting with “if” A special use of “should”? Inverted conditional sentence using 'can' and 'will' What is the meaning of this ...


5

I don't see a problem with quoting from non-free resources if all the rules are followed. Specifically, we require answers provide enough content in the answer that it doesn't matter if the link works, to prevent link rot. It's not even required to link to the source as long as the source is named and there's enough information to find it (after all, we do ...


5

You're right users do abuse the general reference option to close questions because sometimes to actually explain the reason why in the "other reasons" box which pops up is, at least for me, problematic. It's easier to click GR especially if I can't find a duplicate. There can be several issues which summed up will justify to my mind that a question needs ...


5

The strongest argument in favor of this change is that it forces close-voters to mean what they say when they assert that an answer is available in a general reference. Unfortunately, to the extent that "closed: general reference" is a catch-all for questions rejected because they fall into specific (but unspoken) categories such as "closed: dumb question," "...


4

The timeline available to moderators shows that the question was closed with five votes, then you edited it and it was reopened with five votes. It's now had five different people vote to close again, starting eight hours after your edit. Bear in mind that the "research" reason requires that basic sources do not answer the question. You have found that the ...


4

Results: Seven questions cited. Two were reopened immediately prompted by the OP's provocation. One, as soon as it was re-opened was immediately closed as being a duplicate, Is it correct to use an apostrophe to indicate something that belongs to an object? It appears that everyone agrees on this final decision. The second and only question to be re-opened ...


2

I too voted to close the question. But before I did, I saw the correct answer had been given in the comment section by two users and an answer had also been posted. How many answers of onomatopoeia do we need? I also posted a link to an old ELU question with mnemonic tips so next time he has a better chance of spelling it right. Then (out of curiosity) I ...


2

I was the first to closevote the onomatopoeia question, and I freely admit if it had been asked a couple of years ago I'd have cited "Too Basic" as the reason. Since that's no longer available, I chose the best of a bad bunch. I don't accept that only things which can easily be looked up in one of the sources cited by our What good reference works on ...


2

Well, for the only one I voted to close on, Is it incorrect if the last word following a comma ends in a full stop and doesn't feature an “and” before the last word?: I searched list comma "without conjunction" and in the description of the top result, from the Houston Independent School District, ASYNDETON Commas used without conjunction to separate a ...


2

Not the best idea ever Let us take this example of a question that is currently on the road to being put on hold: Present perfect or past perfect? I saw this question in my review queue, it is a question which has been asked numerous times, but because of its title, it's damn difficult to find a duplicate. It took me about 15 minutes to find one, and one ...


1

The reason you're looking for already exists, and it's called "general reference". Personally I would word it a little differently, but fundamentally I wouldn't change it. "Linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts would already know this and/or be able to quickly look it up in commonly-available references." We have gone to ...


1

As one of the closers, I, too, will offer you a brief(er) response to "How the hell is the guy supposed to look up the answer when he doesn't know the name of the thing he's supposed to look up?" The answer is, he's not. So tell him. The OP asked his question at 9:46:19. Josh61 answered in comments at 9:49:10 as did Brian Donovan at 10:07:17. By the time I ...


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