29 votes

Can anything be done about mean-spirited requests for terminology?

You seem awfully certain that people are asking for these words because they want to use them to hurt others. There are many different reasons why someone might want to learn a particular pejorative ...
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  • 17.9k
25 votes
Accepted

Can anything be done about mean-spirited requests for terminology?

While I understand people may feel icky or annoyed that our language has mean things in it, I don't feel that it is our job to tell people where the line between "not that mean" and "...
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  • 35.1k
24 votes
Accepted

Should Scots language questions be considered in the English language community?

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the status of the Scots language with respect to English: Because there are no universally accepted criteria for distinguishing languages from dialects, ...
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  • 28.5k
21 votes

What good reference works on English are available?

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 ...
21 votes

This is not a site for "serious English language enthusiasts," and it never will be

I've come back to this meta question on account of the 2014 Mod election. I have this to add: since the beginning of ELU, many answer-providing users have objected to being treated like dictionary ...
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15 votes

What good reference works on English are available?

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 ...
14 votes

Where do we stand on legalese questions?

One of my favorite jobs as a judicial law clerk was writing jury instructions. The legal jargon of the statutes and the case law was created by legislators (often lawyers) and judges (formerly lawyers)...
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  • 72.1k
14 votes

Exactly WHY is this question Off Topic? Or not?

I cannot see any way in which it could possibly fall within the site's current purview to act as a transcription service for random video clips, so I voted to close and put in a custom "we are not a ...
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  • 58.7k
13 votes
Accepted

Are we here to do homework questions?

We could do it, but the question shows no research — the difference between reserved and ashamed should be elicited from a dictionary and only then asked about if it's not clear. Previous Meta ...
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  • 95.5k
12 votes

Question deleted with multiple up-voted answers, why?

Why the question was judged unsuitable for this site This question did not meet the criteria for single word requests, and the original poster never edited it or returned to it in the approximately ...
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  • 74.7k
12 votes

Are there any topics that are off limits in answers/comments?

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 ...
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12 votes

I am worried about being off-topic

Like you, I stumbled on this site by accident. My own first interactions were less than felicitous: I was chastized (rightly, as I see it now) for a sloppy answer, and never officially "on-boarded". I ...
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12 votes

I am worried about being off-topic

I'm a reader and a rare asker, not an answerer, so basically I'm one of those "eternal newbie" types. I feel the problem that you brought up is pertinent to any Stackexchange subforum, not this one ...
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  • 595
12 votes

Would "Is 'maiden name' now considered sexist" be off-topic? Can I ask if née replaces it in the same question?

Yes, it is on-topic. Asking for questions to elucidate the nuance of meaning in words is one essential use of ELU. It is not asking for opinions about the meaning (whether you like or support the ...
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  • 69k
11 votes

Is it OK to ask about Early Modern English?

Subjects which are on-topic are listed in the Help text. The English Language and Usage Stack Exchange is for linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts. Questions on the ...
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  • 95.5k
11 votes

Where do we stand on legalese questions?

I see no reason to close questions about legal English as long as they are about the language, not about actual legal interpretation as done in court. Even the definition of a legal term is about ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Would this question have been off-topic here?

I think NVZ is right: it may very well have been closed on EL&U, sadly. This site is very close happy about questions that are very interesting but that is not exclusively about modern English (...
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11 votes
Accepted

What sort of resource request questions do we accept on meta?

Requests for resources that help the community in doing research for better questions and answers should be on-topic on ELU meta. This actually goes against our established SE policy that meta should ...
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  • 22.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Why is my alliteration question off topic and put on hold?

Common ground I originally commented this: You could ask on Writers, but I don't think you necessarily need to ask on StackExchange at all. This is covered by the general references on rhetorical ...
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  • 28.5k
11 votes
Accepted

Please don't migrate "help me draw a syntax tree" questions

I migrated that question in response to an explicit flag on it from a serious contributor to the Linguistics SE site specifically asking for the question to be migrated over to Linguistics. Being ...
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  • 128k
11 votes
Accepted

Migration of question

Please do not simply ask the same question again. It's already been judged as off-topic and better suited to a different site (where comments indicate it's been reasonably well-received). If you ...
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  • 95.5k
10 votes

Would this question have been off-topic here?

Since both words are (now) part of the English language, I think that asking about their etymology would be on-topic at this site. Also, the question you posted at Linguistics SE shows research effort ...
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  • 152k
10 votes

Poll: additional question types that should or shouldn't be added to help/on-topic

Off-topic: Transcription Requests. We have had discussions about this before, particularly at Exactly WHY is this question Off Topic? Or not?, and as a couple of answers there state, a transcription ...
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  • 58.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Why are questions regarding names off-topic?

The primary reason naming questions are off-topic is because anything could theoretically be a name. Names don't follow the same rules or patterns that English uses and the rules that do exist are ...
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  • 35.1k
9 votes

Do questions about emoticons belong on ELU?

There is precedent for questions about emoticons. Some of these questions have been well-received, others not so much. I don't think it's wise to have a blanket policy for all emoticon questions; ...
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  • 58k
9 votes
Accepted

Why was this off topic?

The question was closed for lack of research. In other words, the community wanted you to be more specific about what official resources you already consulted before you posted the question. That's to ...
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  • 27.5k
9 votes

Closing on-topic questions as duplicates of questions closed as off-topic

Duplicates should point to a question that has at least one good answer that answers the question being closed as a dupe. In my opinion, the quality of the answers of the proposed duplicate are a ...
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  • 1,332
9 votes

How can I improve my contributions

It's utterly pointless to complain about comments being deleted. It's perhaps even more pointless to be upset by some being deleted while others remain. That just leads to wasted emotion. Comments ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Are questions about explaining what the text mean on-topic?

Generally such questions are off topic, unless the text is used merely to illustrate some general feature of English language and usage, and the question is formulated so as to make it clear what that ...
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  • 6,788

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