I go to several sites here on SE, often to get answers to questions I have. This particular site is unique for me because as a native American English speaker, my role here is as a teacher. I'm almost never the student (although I have learned several things here).

When I fall into the role of "teacher" in life, I ask questions that I think will further the learner's understanding. I can easily see doing the same thing here.

Is it in any way inappropriate for me to ask questions to which I know the answer? Even if I don't plan to actually answer the question myself? For example, I'm thinking of the common phrase, "funnier than hell". I imagine that phrase could be puzzling to people who aren't used to it. I also imagine that there are people here that could explain it better than I could. Would it be somehow impolite to ask about what that phrase means, as if I didn't know?

  • 1
    I agree wholeheartedly with Stoney's answer. Another thing to point out is that there's an option, when asking a question, to post the answer along with it at the same time. This is good because, in the time you're composing your answer, other people won't have to waste time composing another (thinking they're helping out, when really you're already answering.) :). So yes, go ahead, please! :) there's actually a badge for this I think?
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 18:54
  • There is indeed such a badge. I would qualify the enthusiastic response with the caution to avoid the appearance of reputation mining. I know that you're an experienced SE user on other exchanges, so you probably already do know that, but it's worth remembering that self-answering doesn't alter quality requirements. In no way am I implying anything, just offering a reminder. Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 22:42
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    I understand SE's attitude concerning self-answering. On Seasoned Advice (cooking), I do it all the time. It's a natural for me because I love to experiment and often treat my kitchen like a laboratory. Here I feel a trepidation about the whole thing, but I think I'm over it - you guys have helped. I'll do it. The subject matter is bound to inspire colorful and helpful responses. It will be interesting to see how the thread evolves. Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 8:40
  • @StoneyB's answer's just perfect. I have already asked and answered my own question and I'll do it again if I can. It gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge on a point others of the se community (ies) you belong to haven't thought about yet. And I've found asking a question to which I already know the answer is a hell lot more difficult than answering this question or any other question!
    – None
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 8:22
  • Well guys, you talked me into it. Maybe I worded it badly, but Holy Crap! The comments are um... challenging to say the least! Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


Answering your own question is not only permitted on SE but actively encouraged. See this question on Meta.StackOverflow and the similar questions to which it links.

And I think a question along the lines of “What the hell does ‘funnier than hell’ mean?” is (with apologies to Milne) a Useful Post to Put Answers In. One of the problems with SE's Q&A format is that apparently very trivial questions can have valuable general answers—which go unnoticed (and in some cases unfindable) because the question itself is so narrow. Writing the question yourself provides an opportunity to make your useful, generalizable instruction more accessible through the search function. It thus fulfils the overarching purpose of SE: making the internet a better place.

Finally, my applause for raising the question here: it demonstrates an admirable sensitivity to the local folkways.


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