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I don't think ELL should be Word Golf.

I don't think there's anything wrong with Word Golf, at least in theory. People like to play games with words, and games can certainly be fun! But I don't think that's what ELL is here for. ELL is here to help people with learning the English language. To learn to speak. To communicate.

If people want to ask what the most natural way to express something is, I think that's just fine.

But when people ask questions with arbitrary requirements like "the answer must rhyme with orange" or "the answer must begin with the letter Q" or "the answer must be a single word", they're moving more into game territory.

It's no longer about learning English.

I am looking for two single words, both similar!

When someone throws something or someone out of a window, we have a word for it: Defenestrate

[ . . . ]

I am looking for two words similar to it:

1) - To throw someone/something out of a moving car.
2) - To throw someone/something from a rooftop.

I could not find any.

Posts like this are Word Golf. We should close them.

  • 5
    I was on the fence about the defenestrate question, but my initial reaction is, yeah, this doesn't belong on ELL. It might be an interesting question on ELU though if it was cast as "We have defenestrate - how would we create a similar word for..." – ColleenV Oct 26 '15 at 21:01
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    I think those Qs should get shunted to EL&U where they're loved for some reason. – Araucaria Oct 27 '15 at 16:39
  • This is complete word golf, and does not deserve to be on ELL. ELL is for learning about the language, not playing vocabulary games. (I wonder how that OP came across "defenestrate" in the first place, unless he was searching.) Maybe ELU, but not here. – Nihilist_Frost Oct 29 '15 at 2:38
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    @Araucaria agreed! They have a means of forwarding questions to us; do we have a means of forwarding questions to them? – hunter Oct 29 '15 at 14:48
  • So if a word doesn't exist in English language, the question becomes "word Golf"? – Usernew Oct 30 '15 at 7:04
  • @User please read the chat log and transcript again. I'm still amazed that you and the other answerer still don't understand what the goal of this meta post is. – M.A.R. Oct 30 '15 at 19:10
  • @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Actually I should have asked it on ELU in the first place. – Usernew Nov 1 '15 at 6:43
  • @User yes, since ELU has turned into that word golf already. We don't want to be whining about questions similar to yours that will flood the site in the future if we let it remain open, like ELU meta regulars do right now. I . . . have no idea how to put it in a more straightforward way than that. – M.A.R. Nov 1 '15 at 12:00
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Agreed. We. Hate. Fun.

As you said, we have to choose between being

  • a site dedicated to questions that rise during the process of learning English
  • a site for word/phrase golf or scrabble

We can't do both. The problem is, fun is fun to read, but is anti-rule. Stack Exchange is meant to be a place where rules are governing, and these two don't work out.

In fact, I'm saying this based on observations, though not mine. Programmers used to be a fun-related site. The result was catastrophic, since people didn't want to contribute content, while showing interest in reading it. So they either had to devolve into Reddit or Yahoo! Answers, or they had to improvise. If you're interested, this is a more elaborate explanation of what happened.

(subjective is equal to fun in this context. i.e. throw_the_wittiest_answer_and_win.stackexchange.com)

  • 2
    We like fun, but we need a good site. Compatible fun's ok, but fun that ruins the site isn't. Rules are a means not and end. – Araucaria Oct 27 '15 at 16:40
  • @Arau We could avoid getting to the state where all the regulars would whine about certain questions, like ELU'ers now do about single-word requests. – M.A.R. Oct 27 '15 at 16:48
  • Agreed. But we only need to ban SWRs, not fun! :D – Araucaria Oct 27 '15 at 16:49
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    But I hate fun. – M.A.R. Oct 27 '15 at 16:53
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    So young and already so jaded ... – Araucaria Oct 27 '15 at 16:54
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While your two examples of 'orange' or 'Q' are surely taken for fun, the given example of 'defenestrate' is not suitable. I don't think it's for fun. The tag reads 'vocabulary' and 'word request'. To me, it's fine (and thus +1 there!). If the OP asks for a 'single word', it could be his/her 'preferred choice' and in many cases they agree that okay, single word is not possible so they'd have a double-word word or a phrase.

No! We should not close such questions especially the 'defenstrate' one. For the OP, he's just curious that whether there's a word like what we have for throwing out of window. By no account, it looks 'fun' to me. At least, it is not intended by the OP for sure.

  • 3
    That's why I was on the fence about closing it. Learners don't know there are no such words, so if the answers stick to saying that instead of inventing words to meet the requirements, all is well. – ColleenV Oct 27 '15 at 11:48
  • Alright, awesome; let's just become ELU and whine about single-word requests we'll get in the future while we could've avoided them in the first place. Yeah, good job. Let it play out. Just don't expect me not to go shouting some time later on meta if we do this. – M.A.R. Oct 28 '15 at 12:42
  • Also, the 6th most upvoted question on meta.ELU is a good read. TL;DR, you're missing the bigger picture and helping learners doesn't necessarily mean maintaining site quality. – M.A.R. Oct 28 '15 at 12:45
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    The problem I see is that the reason for wanting such a bizarre set of requirements seems to be of the trivia-question variety: there's no actual need for that word, just a vague interest for curiosity's sake if there's some arcane combination of interesting factors. That's word golf. – Nathan Tuggy Oct 28 '15 at 20:19
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    @NathanTuggy And that's another reason I was on the fence about closing the defenestrate question in particular. On one hand, word golf. On the other, I know this word and wonder if there's a similar word I can use for a slightly different situation. – ColleenV Oct 28 '15 at 22:08
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    +1 for understanding my true intentions for asking that question. – Usernew Oct 29 '15 at 13:06
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    @Usernew thanks. To understand one's problem, you have to put yourself in his shoes. And, this is not easy for all! – Maulik V Oct 30 '15 at 4:43
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    @MaulikV Exactly! – Usernew Oct 30 '15 at 6:02

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