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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.

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  • 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
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 21:01
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    I think those Qs should get shunted to EL&U where they're loved for some reason. Commented Oct 27, 2015 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. Commented Oct 29, 2015 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
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 14:48
  • So if a word doesn't exist in English language, the question becomes "word Golf"?
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 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.
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 19:10
  • @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Actually I should have asked it on ELU in the first place.
    – Usernew
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 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.
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 12:00

2 Answers 2

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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)

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    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. Commented Oct 27, 2015 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.
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 16:48
  • Agreed. But we only need to ban SWRs, not fun! :D Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 16:49
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    But I hate fun.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 16:53
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    So young and already so jaded ... Commented Oct 27, 2015 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.

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    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
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 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.
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 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.
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 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. Commented Oct 28, 2015 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
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 22:08
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    +1 for understanding my true intentions for asking that question.
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 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
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 4:43
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    @MaulikV Exactly!
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 6:02

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