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This post explicitly asks why people use the phrase in question:

I assume people say it just for fun, unless there is a good reason to say it this way, is there?

My answer is the only one that addresses this issue. It should not have been censored.

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3 Answers 3

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I agree that your answer shouldn't have been unilaterally deleted by a moderator, especially when that moderator also answered the question. I don't think the deletion was done maliciously, but the moderator should have asked another member of the mod team to take a look to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

I don't see any reason why the community shouldn't be allowed to vote on whether your answer is valuable or not. Your answer doesn't do a great job of explaining how the bit about political ads is relevant to the question, but that can be fixed with editing.

The answer should be undeleted and the author given the opportunity to improve it based on feedback from the community.

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  • Colleen, this happened to me and I complained about the mod. S/he claimed I did not answer the question. Then, I was sent a notice from the "support" people quoting back to me what s/he said. Too much, really.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 16:27
  • Can you see it? ell.stackexchange.com/questions/308059/… //so unfair. And it can not even be undeleted.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 16:33
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    @Lambie It’s been undeleted. If you think a mistake has been made, you should bring it up here on Meta. Moderating this site is a lot harder than most of the community understands, especially when a mod really cares about the site. I don’t believe for an instant any of the mod team would do something maliciously, so when they make a mistake don’t just stew about it. Follow the process so we as a community can decide whether that’s the sort of thing we want moderators to do and lets keep it from happening in the future.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 20:13
  • I was unable to undelete it. But now, it has been undeleted by the mod. I tried explaining it to the mod; he rejected my arguments. OK? Bur now has undeleted it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 21:18
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    @Lambie My advice was to post on Meta., not argue with the mod. The reason your answer was undeleted was probably because of this discussion.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 0:05
  • Yes, I realized why it was undeleted (this discussion). This site continues to be very confusing to me. Should one always question about deletions/not deleteables on Meta? I have some other issues, too (reporting mods and getting quoted back to me what the mod originally said with no regard for a cogent argument (mine). But that's another issue.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 17:42
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    Meta is to discuss issues of site policy with the community to reach some sort of consensus on how we want the overall SE guidelines to be applied on our site. If you think a mistake has been made in the application of the rules, it might be worth starting a discussion to see what the community thinks the policy should be. If you are having an issue with the mod team that you’ve tried to resolve and couldn’t, you can always escalate to the community team using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 12:36
  • Colleen, I did that. Sorry, I sometimes don't use the "right site wording". The Contact US is what I used both times and they ignored my actual arguments and quoted back to me what moderators had said. They are like cut-and-paste robots.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 15:30
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    @Lambie They agreed with the mod and aren't obligated to debate it with you. In general, the system errs on the side of not undercutting a mod's decision. They may not reverse the decision but still advise the mod to be a little more careful in the future. Sometimes you have to just let it go. You might try a meta discussion prior to escalating to the community team so you can see if your opinion about it aligns with the rest of the community. Having others support your POV is more persuasive than arguing logic sometimes.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 15:56
  • Oh, yes, that's like a tautology. What's the point if they are not willing to take into account an argument. Whose talking about debate? I'm talking about feeling humiliated when you take the trouble to lay out an argument and are not listened to.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 17:06
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    @Lambie I sympathize. I learned when I was a mod that you can't take the stuff that happens here personally. Text is a terrible medium for a conversation between people who don't know each other. The person that blew you off probably was facing stress from situations unrelated to you and didn't understand how their terseness would affect you. They don't know you or why you deserve their respect. It's no excuse, but it's how things are. The way these systems are set up isn't very humane.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 17:52
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    Right, Colleen. Thanks for much for that. I really appreciate it. There are misreadings which occur (by mods) who fail to take an entire context (read: discussion) into account and they step in in the middle when one has already lost one's patience and become snippy and they come to an inaccurate conclusion. Also, there is the phenomenon of language sometimes requiring much nit-picking and some people just cannot handle that. Cheers.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 17:53
  • @Lambie Absolutely. It's really frustrating but most of it is the fault of the system's design and not of the people trapped in it. It's an overarching problem present in most online interactions.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 18:38
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The answer was deleted by a moderator, not by user Barmar. That user did post a comment: "The question never says anything about political ads. It's about the syntax "approve" versus "approve of"." which may have influenced the moderator's action. Deleting answers which do not address the question as asked is not censorship, it is one of the things moderators are supposed to do. Moderator Gotube has already explained why this answer was deleted.

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  • I disagree that moderators should be deleting low quality answers, especially when there's a perception that they are in competition with a moderator's answer. The appropriate response is down-voting them. This answer of mine on a meta discussion on EL&U explains my reasoning. Answers which attempt to answer the question, even though they don't in your opinion, should not be deleted. They should be left for the community to rate.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 17:24
  • Even answers, on-topic, that were upvoted or not downvoted have been deleted by the same moderator. The moderator's criteria for deletion is quite subjective and not based on any fixed or standard SE policy.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 23:21
  • What about deleting this answer? ell.stackexchange.com/questions/308059/…
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 16:35
  • @Lambie That answer has been deleted, by Gotube, since your comment posted. I note that it addresses the question, which is about the meaning and usage of the word "into" only indirectly. It uses that word in a valid way which is different from the ways that the OP suggested the word might be used in the question, thereby demonstration a wider range of usage. But the answer did not explain this usage, not state any rules, principles, or generalizations. I would have been inclined tom downvote it, but not to delete it. Were youn suggestign that it ought to be deleted? If so, why, please? Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 17:09
  • @DavidSiegel The problem is that the OP didn't use the right terminology for the question. So, I corrected the terminology first. No, I was suggesting it should never have been deleted at all. The OP said: The device generates clean air and discharges it into the room. It should be release, not discharge. As a technical writer for instructions and so forth, I changed the verb from discharge to releases. Ergo, I helped the OP. The device generates clean air and releases it into the room. So, it seems to me I was helpful. Others downvoted me because they are not tech writers.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 17:16
  • @Lambie I am not a technical writer, but as a software overdevelop, I have done quite a bit of technical writing and have reviewed the works of many technical writers. I do not agree with the change you described. In particular I do not agree with the distinction between "discharge" and "release" you draw. And in any case, that change does not make the answer any more (or any less) responsive to the question, in myview. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 17:30
  • @DavidSiegel Believe the preliminary evidence: google: AC unit + release cool air About 5,470 results (0.67 seconds) AC unit + discharge cool air About 1,200 results (0.66 seconds) //AC systems + release cool air About 1,200,000,000 results (0.81 seconds)//AC systems + discharge cool air About 81,100 results (0.58 seconds) for discharge it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 17:42
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    @Lambie I will accept that as evidence that "release" is more commonly used in such a context, even far more commonly used, but not as evidence that "discharge" is incorrect or not natural. But even if I agreed that "discharge" is incorrect in that usage, that does not make the answer more responsive to the question, which is not about which verb to use. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 18:03
  • David, what I said in my post was improvement.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 18:25
  • @Lambie Perhaps it was. But if so, it was an improvement of an aspect of the sentence that the OP did not ask about, and it did not directly answer what the OP did ask, or so it seems to me, leaving the answer of poor quality, it seems to me. But as I said, I would not have deleted it. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 18:29
  • @Lambie The answer ell.stackexchange.com/a/308106/91457 has now been undeleted. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 18:36
  • Yes, I know it has now been undeleted. Two of my questions have been undeleted.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 21:19
  • David, he asked about INTO, which I have now specifically addressed, he also asked about the location of the AC, which the text does not tell us. It could be freestanding with a hose to the outside, it can be built into the wall or it can be hung from a window or in a large cooling system it could be on the roof, in all cases air is released into a space to be cooled.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 21:30
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Your answer is 3 paragraphs of the history of the "Stand by your Ad" provision.

At the time you posted your answer, the question clearly said that it was about the difference between "approve this message" and "approve of this message", which your answer doesn't address.

My own answer (now clearly off-topic given the OP's clarifications, and itself flagged for deletion) was posted about 18 hours before yours, and it already covers this history.

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    It is not a good idea for a moderator to support deleting a user's answer because it competes with or repeats their own answer. I realize that isn't really what you were thinking, but that's how it looks. We shouldn't delete answers simply because they repeat some of the points of other answers (unless it is actually plagiarism of course). If there is an attempt to answer the question, and the author put some effort into it, the community should have the opportunity to vote on their answer.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 17:29
  • @ColleenV I often consider that perspective and tend to leave the other answer be, where as a non-Mod I would flag it. In this case, however, the OP had clearly stated they were asking about one aspect of usage, not at all the history of the expression. Normally at that point I would delete my own off-topic answer, but --and yes, this part could appear self-serving-- we avoid deleting any content with lots of upvotes. My answer had 10 upvotes at that point. That said, I'm going with your opinion on this, and if it gets flagged again, I won't handle the flag myself.
    – gotube Mod
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 18:08
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    It doesn't matter what you think about the answer. It clearly attempted to address the question even if it didn't do it well. I feel like we've already had this conversation Answers are not deleted because they are "off-topic". Multiple answers from different perspectives are good things. The "right" answer floats to the top based on the community's votes.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 18:09
  • @ColleenV Indeed we have. I've got a poor memory. Hopefully it'll stick this time.
    – gotube Mod
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 18:27
  • It's hard to flip between being a moderator and an active community member. I had a self-imposed rule to not take moderator actions on questions I was involved with, but I wasn't as active an answerer as you are, so that probably wouldn't work that well in your case :) Deleting an answer by community member with significant reputation is rarely necessary.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 18:31
  • The answer has now been reposted. It still does not answer the question. If you are in favour of the deletion because it's a duplicate, it should be deleted again; if the point is that it's not an answer, you need to delete your own post as well.
    – user48076
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 9:40
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    @Nij The appropriate action is to downvote, not to delete. If the question is "I eat the raw fish" versus "I eat the fish raw" "Not an answer" is "You should not eat raw fish!". If an answer tries to discuss whether or not the article belongs in there instead of the position of "raw", it's still attempting to answer the question, and should not be deleted.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 10:05
  • When the question is "what's the difference between raw fish and fish raw", NAA includes "eating raw fish is a common delicacy" which is almost exactly what the two posts both do. @ColleenV
    – user48076
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 10:28
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    @Nij The community is already upvoting the more valuable answers and downvoting the less valuable ones. The system is working as designed. There's no reason to delete answers that include useful supplemental information relevant to the usage of the phrase asked about. Deleting them would only take away information and deny the authors the chance to improve them. It's a good thing when a question has multiple answers, even if some aren't perfect or there is some redundancy.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 12:43
  • If by "less valuable" you mean "posts that are not answers", in fact, they are not, since one is now at a score of +24. It's not about redundancy or perfection even, it's that they are not answers at all.
    – user48076
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 22:40
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    @Nij If people are upvoting them, they are by definition of value to someone. The answers aren’t just for the author of the question and they should be read in context with the other answers. If they were edited to include the same information as the highest scored answer, they would suddenly become more valuable and safe from deletion even though that adds nothing new? How would deleting those answers, which do have information relevant to the phrase the question is asking about, help learners?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 10:28
  • It's not about relevance, it's about what the post is, and what it is not. The etymology of the word is of value and would help learners, but it would not be answering the question. Help the learners by doing the right thing the right way, posting answers as Answers and leaving everything else for the appropriate places on the site.
    – user48076
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:59
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    The main issue here is that the answer was deleted unilaterally instead of by a sufficient number of "Not an answer" votes. It's fine for moderators to act unilaterally when that action is clearly what the community would probably do, or the content is clearly a violation of the CoC or harmful in some way. I don't think this situation was clear-cut enough to merit moderator intervention.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 19:32
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    Good lord. If an answer should be deleted because it is not an answer, flag it and if the community agrees with you, it will be deleted even if it is a mod’s answer. You don’t have enough rep to participate in the review queues after being an ELL member for years @Nij, so maybe you aren’t active enough here to understand what the community norms are. You’ve made it clear you think the answers should be deleted and nothing is going to persuade you otherwise. I think this discussion has run its course.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 12:05
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    @Nij On Stack Exchange sites, not an answer doesn't mean it doesn't answer the question; it means what posted was a question, a comment for the question or any posted answer, but not an altogether wrong answer. That's the flag description says. The Stack Exchange's idea is that an answer that doesn't answer the question should be down-voted, like any other utterly wrong answer.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 8:43

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