This question was closed as a question answerable from a dictionary:

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The double entendre on "balls" is doubtless a dictionary question; but I don't think a dictionary is going to explain the cultural context behind the boldfaced utterance, the use of tickets to the Policemen's Ball as a 'coded' reference to bribery and corruption.

I think the question should be reopened.

ADDED: The question has now been reopened.

  • Well, I didn't VTC as GR, but as "unclear". As seen from the comments, the issue the OP has with understanding the phrase isn't clear.
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 27, 2015 at 15:49
  • 3
    @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Well of course it isn't clear. If it were clear there wouldn't be anything to ask about. But it's thoroughly bracketed, in the title and formatting. Nov 27, 2015 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


I have seen too many questions closed as answerable by a dictionary when they shouldn't have been. I think that we might need to work on the wording of that close reason to make folks think twice when they're looking at meaning-in-context type questions. Just because a dictionary definition exists that fits doesn't mean a learner understands that is the definition that applies or the nuance of the meaning in that context.

In my opinion, the only questions that should be closed as answerable by a dictionary are "What does this word mean? / How is it pronounced? " type questions that have no context.

  • 2
    I agree! What about the questions regarding use of one word over the other? For example, I recently saw a question about the use of "has/had" usage, which have been closed now. What about those types of questions? And this question?
    – Usernew
    Nov 28, 2015 at 6:15
  • I concur. I recently saw a question where the person was confused about the use of personification, and they received frankly rude responses about picking up a dictionary then the question was closed as off-topic. We need to err on the side of leniency. English language learners are necessarily not going to word their questions in the clearest manner. We are here to help and we should try to help when possible.
    – Era
    Dec 3, 2015 at 16:34

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