I am a user of different stack exchange sites. I know it is not only good manner but also kind of policy: to ask but also share the knowledge and provide the answer for others. I know there is a phrase "question vampire" about people who ask questions, although the questions are often of low quality. In some cases the account can be banned and an account holder can't ask questions anymore.

The ELL site is for people who learn and English is their second language and often do not feel confident enough to provide the answers.

Is it ok to be a such user and (for sometime, probably years) ask questions and do not answer questions of others. Is such account in a risk of ban? If yes is it the way to enjoy the community but be full legitimate user?

  • 2
    The term is "help vampire", not "question vampire", BTW. Feb 11, 2013 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


Indeed you may restrict yourself either to answering or to asking. Good questions are essential to the site’s health, and the entire justification for its existence.

I for one (and I think many of my colleagues) promoted this site precisely because ELU was for its own reasons rejecting excellent questions: questions which made me think more deeply about very basic aspects of my language, aspects which I had taken for granted. No doubt there are “question vampires”, but I don’t think anybody who consistently comes up with good questions is in any danger of banning. On ELU there is one user, a non-native speaker, who is famous for his questions, which consistently draw attention to some of the oddest and most interesting quirks of contemporary usage. Yoichi-san is a star: he has over 500 questions, and only ten answers, and has earned more than 13K of rep—a huge achievement when you consider that upvotes on questions earn only half as much rep as upvotes on answers.

For me, answering questions is easy and fun, but a good question is damnably hard; so good questioners are worth their weight in gold.

  • Correspondingly, the three top-rated users on ELU have asked a total of only 82 questions (52 of them from me), but have answered about 5000 questions. In principle I'd like to be able to come up with more questions like What exactly is an “adverb”?, but I find it surprisingly difficult to think of them. Feb 10, 2013 at 21:31

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