I think the answer is Yes, we should expand the help text, and this is my proposal...
The "on-topic" Help page currently has three principal parts:
What topics can I ask about here?
What notation and symbols are commonly used here?
Where can I find answers to simple and basic questions?
I propose, first relegating the "What notation" ...
There's one link in the site switcher dropdown:
And one under the ? menu (now shown to all users):
And one in the footer:
And here’s the link (since the app doesn’t have a direct way to get there):
EL&U is not a transcription service, bluntly, but in the past we have entertained questions which ask about phonological phenomena and accents that can be demonstrated in a clip, e.g.
Is D-glottalization a plausible explanation of ambiguity in Donald Trump interview with WSJ?
Peculiar pronunciation of 'architecture'
British politicians ...
I've looked at your recently deleted posts and there's very few that were deleted as spam or abusive - in general, you average about 1-2 per day from what I can tell, which isn't a lot, and far fewer than other sites on the network get.
After thinking it over a bit and talking with people about it... based on the recommendations here and those I got from ...
There is a difference between "What topics shouldn't I ask about?" and "What types of question shouldn't I ask?"
The first covers the subject matter; the second the actual questions which are asked.
That's actually shown in the lists:
The meaning of words, or synonyms for words, unless you have first looked them up in a dictionary or thesaurus.
They would have different meanings
How to not be a spammer
On this page I would expect to see advice for how to avoid being a spammer.
How not to be a spammer
On this page I would expect to see advice for how to avoid being a bad spammer. Gotta make sure your spams are lit!
If it aint broke then don't (try to) fix it
say the Americans and they are absolutely right. "How to not be a spammer" deals with how somebody should take care to not be a spammer. "How not to be" might well be the more widely used construction, and could probably be used instead without significantly changing the emphasis or meaning of the statement, but ...
You have two questions here:
Is “how to not be” grammatical?, and
predicated on (1), how can that wording be changed in the help center?
How to not be ungrammatical
For a fuller analysis of the grammatically of this wording, you should ask on EL&U Main. Meta is for settling matters about the site, Main is for settling questions about English.
How do I write a good answer?
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