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I posted a question I had (Suck er vs suck-up right here.) and you guys put the question on hold as off-topic just because it had the word "sucker". Why is everyone so offended on this forum? I asked whether a "suck up" could also be called a sucker since they are "sucking up".

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    What makes you think it was just because it had the word "sucker"? That's not what the close reason says. – Alex Mar 12 '19 at 23:29
  • Where do I see the reason? – Kaique Mar 12 '19 at 23:30
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    There's a box right under the question that displays it. Here's a screenshot. – Alex Mar 12 '19 at 23:31
  • Did you read the question? it couldn't be answered using a dictionary but the help of a native speaker. – Kaique Mar 12 '19 at 23:32
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    Then you would probably benefit more by editing the question, or this Meta question, to explain why you think a dictionary wouldn't help, rather than assuming that it was closed for a different unstated reason. – Alex Mar 12 '19 at 23:34
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    Those words are pejorative but not taboo so I doubt that anyone voted to close because they were offended. The way I judge questions like this is to look both words up and see if that seems to answer the question. In this case it seems to, but I'm a native speaker so YMMV. Mentioning what dictionary you checked and why it didn't solve the problem would be enough for me to reopen the question. – Laurel Mar 13 '19 at 1:05
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    Our Details, Please... meta post gives tips about how to ask a question like this one. As @Laurel says, merely demonstrating that you checked a dictionary and why you’re still confused would get the question reopened. The issue here is not the language, the issue is that we don’t want to spend time answering questions that a dictionary could easily answer. – J.R. Mar 13 '19 at 1:49
  • Here's the logic of a non native speaker. "He's always sucking up to the boss" if he sucks up then he's a sucker why would he be a suck up? Lol see these are little things we wonder about all the time. – Kaique Mar 14 '19 at 14:40
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    @Kyle - suck up is a phrasal verb. Being a sucker is something totally different. At least three people have told you in these comments that merely showing evidence that you tried to learn more about what these words mean by looking in a dictionary would have been enough to get their votes to reopen, yet you gave up editing your question and chose to call us “intolerant” instead. – J.R. Mar 15 '19 at 11:07
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Yes, we are for real. We also expect people asking questions to do some research before they ask their questions, and to share the results of that research when they ask their questions.

When this doesn’t happen, people can waste time composing answers that the OP already knows.

We have another user who went through the same thing you did: asking scant questions early on, and then learning how sharing a little bit of research goes a long way.

Here is one of that user’s early questions:

What's the meaning of “The wind had been knocked out of me”?

Could you please explain meaning of the phrase generally and meaning of "wind" in this case.

Full text:

My back struck iron: the trailer’s wall. My feet snapped over my head and I continued my graceless plunge to the ground. The first fall was seven or eight feet, the second perhaps ten. I was relieved to taste dirt. I lay on my back for perhaps fifteen seconds before the engine growled to silence and I heard Dad’s heavy step. “What happened?” he said, kneeling next to me. “I fell out,” I wheezed. The wind had been knocked out of me, and there was a powerful throbbing in my back, as if I’d been cut in two.

That question was closed, and the user was informed:

You may have not known this was an idiomatic expression, but you should at least share what research you did do, so that we know you at least made an earnest effort before asking.


Go forward several months. One of that same user’s more recent questions reads:

What does “they got their money” mean?

...corporations whose principals told exciting stories to Wall Street, they all got their money.

There's some defenitions for the phrase "get your money's worth" in online dictionaries but I couldn't find any defenition or meaning for "they got their money".

So could you please explain it to me?

Does it mean the shares of corporations whose principals told exciting stories were traded better on Wall Street?

The full text is here:

When people ask me to help them turn their presentations into stories, I begin by asking questions. I kind of psychoanalyze their companies, and amazing dramas pour out. But most companies and executives sweep the dirty laundry, the diffi culties, the antagonists, and the struggle under the carpet. They prefer to present a rosy—and boring— picture to the world. But as a storyteller, you want to position the problems in the foreground and then show how you’ve overcome them. When you tell the story of your struggles against real antagonists, your audience sees you as an exciting, dynamic person. And I know that the storytelling method works, because after I consulted with a dozen corporations whose principals told exciting stories to Wall Street, they all got their money.

This time, the question got upvotes, answers, and no close votes.

The newer question not only assures everyone that some research was done, it also informs everyone about the direction that research went. It’s only a few additional sentences, but that extra information makes a world of difference in how the question is perceived and received.


At the time your question was closed, it simply read:

Suck er vs suck-up

Can anyone explain the difference between the words "sucker" vs "suck-up" is someone who's always sucking up to somebody also a sucker?

I don’t see any problem with the words sucker or suck-up, but there was no evidence that you’ve even looked these words up to learn what they mean. If you have looked them up, tell us what you found, and then we will better understand why you are still confused. If you have not looked them up, well, start with that, and maybe the dictionary can answer your question without our help.

I’m confident that you can catch on much like that other user has. I’m pleased to report that that user now has 3 gold “Famous Question” badges.

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  • Thank you. I'll remember to do everything you said next time. I was just a little upset for having my question put on hold. – Kaique Mar 13 '19 at 2:58
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    When a question is put “on hold”, that action is neither punitive nor permanent. It’s a temporary measure; the hope is that the OP will come back and edit the question with clarifying information so that it can be reopened. It’s primarily meant to prevent an influx of answers to a question that isn’t ready to be answered yet. – J.R. Mar 13 '19 at 9:51

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