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, ...
Dan Bron's user avatar
  • 28.3k
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 phrases were said to have at various ...
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 ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
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 ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.8k
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 ...
Mr. Shiny and New 安宇's user avatar
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 ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
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 ...
undercat's user avatar
  • 554
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 ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 71.4k
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 ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 22.6k
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 ...
Dan Bron's user avatar
  • 28.3k
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 ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 135k
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 ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
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 ...
Hellion's user avatar
  • 59.4k
9 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 (...
Cerberus - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
9 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 ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
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; ...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 58.8k
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 ...
Kit Z. Fox's user avatar
  • 27.8k
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 ...
ColleenV's user avatar
  • 1,348
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 ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
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 ...
jsw29's user avatar
  • 8,508
8 votes

Are requests for arbitrary lines from novels on-topic?

I approach close voting in the first instance as if I were on a jury and I were under instructions to apply the letter of the law (the site's close-vote criteria) to the case before me. It sounds ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
8 votes

What is the point of the Microsoft-Word tag?

TL;DR: We certainly don't need it. It has no point. It's a meta tag, one of the bad ones It is irrelevant to the question if my own Sprachgefühl, Microsoft Word, the editor of my novel, a teacher or ...
Helmar's user avatar
  • 5,437
8 votes

Do questions about emoticons belong on ELU?

In general, the mere fact that a question is about emoticons does not warrant closure. The way emoticons are used makes them part of our language. You can look at usage, track etymology, and assess ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
8 votes

To what extent is analyzing poetry or verse off-topic?

It seems that the overarching guideline is that questions should be objective enough that they can have a "correct" answer, to avoid being "Primarily Opinon Based." Asking for interpretation of ...
RaceYouAnytime's user avatar
8 votes

Is asking which is an accurate original quotation off-topic?

Can't say for sure whether questions of that sort are strictly on-topic at ELU. Perhaps, if you'd like to know whether a famous quote was misattributed to someone, or challenge the authenticity of ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 22.6k
8 votes

Declaring a question about English usage "off-topic" in a forum named "English Language & Usage"

The question was placed On Hold for the following reason: Please include the research you’ve done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 135k
7 votes

Questions about English Literature

We don't do interpretations of writing on this site, but you can ask in our chat room. You may find some people who are interested in talking over author intent and artistic meaning.
Kit Z. Fox's user avatar
  • 27.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Naming vs. Single word requests

If you're able to follow the following steps, your question is most likely on-topic: You have a sentence where you'd use the word. (And not some weaselly sentence like "I should call it _____.&...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
7 votes

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

I don’t see any value in having a general policy either way on this. I would definitely be against a blanket policy against questions about Scots. As Dan Bron says: If there evolves a more acute pain ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.8k
7 votes

Posting questions from "How English Works" and proposing answers

Thank you for asking the meta question before posting your English question. You ask: Can I post my questions and answers here to check them? Or, how can I find the answers for the exercises? The ...
Lawrence's user avatar
  • 38.7k

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