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100
votes
7answers
9k views

Please, everyone … details. Please!

I've seen a lot of questions crop up recently, where individuals are giving a very brief snippet of English, and asking questions like these: Is this correct? What does this mean? What is the ...
73
votes
21answers
4k views

Resources for learning English

This is a specifically created Community Wiki which gathers resources for learning English and it has been approved by the Community itself. It should be clear that the resources are not written by ...
53
votes
2answers
3k views

Not so fast! (When should I accept an answer?)

So, someone has answered your question, and you haven't even waited a full hour yet. That's great! As you might already know, the Stack Exchange model encourages you to accept an answer from those ...
15
votes
4answers
433 views

Commenting vs. Answering

I'm new to StackExchange, and trying to get a good feel for the difference between commenting and answering, but there are a few points still confusing me and I'd appreciate feedback from the ...
29
votes
6answers
1k views

Submitting Answers that merely answer the question

Lately I've noticed quite a few answers that provide an answer to the O.P.'s question, but provide no supporting information. Sometimes, comments are left, asking for more information; other times, ...
50
votes
3answers
2k views

Alternative websites for proofreading

What websites are available where people can practice writing English, and have their written work corrected by native speakers? (It'll be useful to point people to this question if they've asked a "...
62
votes
1answer
1k views

DO NOT FEED THE BEARS

A question was just asked on ELL, and it needs a lot of work. Here's a screen shot. There are two problems with this question: first, the way the initial question was asked; second, the way a follow-...
28
votes
4answers
672 views

How can I write a better title for my ELL question?

I have an ELL question; but the Stack Exchange format obliges me to write a title not shorter than 15 characters and not longer than 150 characters. So, how do I write a good title? Link to the main ...
15
votes
2answers
370 views

Is it really pointless to edit questions to use correct English on ELL?

I would have thought that, on a site aimed at language learners, it would be helpful to edit questions so they at least use correct English. The following edits have had rejections when they ...
54
votes
6answers
786 views

How do I determine whether a question fits on English Language & Usage or on English Language Learners?

It's been less than ten minutes since I've been on this page and already I have a dire need: A checklist on: how do I determine whether a question fits on English Language & Usage or on English ...
21
votes
14answers
2k views

Contributor's Guide to English Language Learners

I thought it would be nice if we had a community maintained guide to ELL written in easy to understand language and arranged to make the most important things to know easy to find. The help center has ...
34
votes
1answer
991 views

So, you found a sentence or phrase… (Why you should cite your source)

So, you found a sentence or phrase that confuses you, and now you want to know what it means. If your confusion stems from the fact that you are an English novice, then ELL is a good place to ask. ...
13
votes
5answers
658 views

Is This Tag Useful? Episode 1 - The Big Boss (grammar)

I guess one of the best ways to get your message across is putting a TL;DR in the beginning. If you agree with the sentiments of the TL;DR the rest might not be necessary to read but if grammar has ...
10
votes
2answers
196 views

Should proofreading questions be closed as offtopic?

I saw this question (https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/1291/what-incorrect-usages-are-found-in-my-sentence) which is fundamentally a question of the form: Here is some text. Please tell me ...
17
votes
7answers
988 views

How helpful is it to add “Hope this is helpful!” to an ELL answer?

Google tells me there are about 70 instances of Hope this is helpful on English Language Learners. I don't like to come across as a grumpy ole git, but it seems to me this level of "chattiness" isn't ...
40
votes
8answers
950 views

Requests for native speakers to answer questions

I have been seeing a somewhat increasing trend lately of questions which end with a variation of this sentence: I would like to hear a native speaker's opinion, please. Though I am sure that the ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Policy for questions that are entirely answerable with a dictionary

I've asked this question to garner consensus about what we should do with questions that are completely answered by a dictionary definition. This question, for example. (Reproduced here because the ...
11
votes
2answers
246 views

What is the difference between the “English Language & Usage” and “English Language Learners”?

What is the difference between the "English Language & Usage" and "English Language Learners"? Could anyone clarify the differences? Which questions should I ask here, and which ones should I ask ...
7
votes
1answer
220 views

When should I correct an ELL's grammar?

Let's say "Bob", a hypothetical ELL, comes to this site and posts this question. Which of this sentences is grammatically correct? How is you feel today? or How are you feel today? (...
56
votes
3answers
574 views

Have we forgotten our mission?

I unilaterally reopened a question today. Here's my paraphrase of the original question: In this phrase, which preposition(s) would be correct: Put the pen ..................... the book? I'm ...
15
votes
3answers
230 views

Wait a few minutes before closing new users' questions?

Summary for those lacking time to read the Great Wall of Text: We need to treat questions posted by new users differently than those by veteran users, and be a little less trigger-happy with the ...
20
votes
2answers
489 views

Stop throwing “Proofreading” close reason at questions that are clearly limited to a single point of concern

We have a handy close reason for questions that are basically just "find any problems in this chunk of text". That's fine, because those are terrible questions. They haven't actually gotten to the ...
14
votes
2answers
243 views

Handling scant “What does this mean” questions

We have recently seen a number of questions in this basic format: What does this mean? The magic words are squeamish ossifrage. I don't understand this quote. When encountering ...
19
votes
2answers
170 views

Ask even if the answer exists online

Should one ask a question here even if the answer can be found googling the internet? I asked myself for instance what the meaning of rain check is and where it came from. There can be found several ...
17
votes
3answers
242 views

As a learner, how do I choose which answer to accept?

After reading some meta questions, it seems there are a lot of unanswered questions, and also that it's not necessarily a problem. I'd still want to know on what criteria I should accept an answer. ...
10
votes
2answers
126 views

Meaning of Up/Down votes against ELL Meta questions

From comments here it seems that not all SO sites adopt the same convention regarding up/downvotes questions on Meta. I'm mainly familiar with ELU Meta, where as this question illustrates, a downvote ...
8
votes
2answers
126 views

Abolish off-topic tags [etymology] and [resources]

There are about 20 questions tagged etymology, and 8 questions tagged resources. Both are clearly off-topic according to the Help Center. Of the existing questions, they are either improperly tagged,...
8
votes
1answer
161 views

Questions with no answers but are answered in comments

I'm pretty new to this site. I was wondering what the accepted practice was with questions like this where OP has been answered in comments but there are no answers to 'accept'. What does the ...
18
votes
1answer
259 views

Minor recurring formatting errors (and how to avoid them)

Many of my edits fall into a few general areas; this seems to be true for edits made by other people as well. If people who ask questions on ELL would simply heed a few simple guidelines, the site ...
26
votes
2answers
315 views

Robo-reviewers on ELL

Occasionally, Stack Exchange receives suggested edits that replace a valid answer with spam. One particular answer on ELL has received this treatment fifty-two times (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ...
18
votes
3answers
365 views

What we need are good answers. It doesn't matter who writes them.​

This has come up before, but I think it's worth making the point again. What we need here on ELL is for people to write good answers. It doesn't matter whether they're written by native speakers. ...
11
votes
3answers
593 views

A proposed solution to the “grammar” dilemma — Please contribute your answers to the “what is grammar” post

This is the follow-up of Is This Tag Useful? Episode 1 - The Big Boss (grammar). (i.e. intended to be the community decision on the matter, if people agree with the sentiments of this meta post) TL;DR ...
9
votes
1answer
157 views

Searches that might help you find questions that need attention

This is intended to be a wiki where we can collect queries that will help find questions that could use some attention - maybe they need another answer, maybe the answers need up voting, or maybe the ...
22
votes
4answers
206 views

How much editing is too much editing?

Many of our users will not have extensive written English skills. We can't give a lot of feedback about the edits we make in the description box, but those edits might make it difficult for the OP to ...
13
votes
6answers
184 views

What should our FAQ contain?

Much of the FAQ will be somewhat boilerplate: “be nice,” “how to create an account,” “how to ask questions” — it’s all pretty static. Even the sections about “what kind of questions should I (not) ask ...
9
votes
13answers
364 views

2015 Moderator Election Q&A - Question Collection

In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic ...
8
votes
2answers
145 views

Memorandum of Formatting

Inspired by this question, I would like to find a comprehensive list of formatting elements recommended for use when asking and answering here. In fact, I would like to have two lists: For each ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

What does OP mean?

Obviously, it means the person asking the question, but what does the acronym actually stand for? And, I apologize for not being able to find the answer. If there is something I should have read ...
1
vote
3answers
194 views

What should we do with questions about etymology?

I've noticed over the past few weeks that there are occasionally questions that pop up about the etymology of words such as What is the origin of the word "ell"? and What does "You are ...
12
votes
5answers
311 views

Lack of Accepted Answers

This is my first time participating in a public beta, so I apologize if this question has an obvious answer or if the behavior I mention is the norm. What I seem to be noticing, as I page through our ...
12
votes
2answers
150 views

Should backticks be used or quotation marks while formatting?

I had a suggested edit on one of my posts, that suggested changing the back-tick formatting to simple quotes. I am unsure of what to do in this case. So I figured it would be wise to ask this here. ...
8
votes
3answers
220 views

How to salvage/improve questions: a guide by example

TL;DR: let's make a catalog of "How to salvage your question" examples. There are a handful of reasons that a lot of our questions on our main site, ELL, get closed on. Except for "duplicate of ...", ...
3
votes
3answers
62 views

Tag cluster: [grammar], [grammaticality], [grammaticality-in-context], [grammatical]

In my opinion, the tags clustered around grammar and grammaticality have gotten out of hand. All these tags: grammar, grammaticality, grammaticality-in-context, grammatical mean basically the same ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

What questions of etymology can be asked here?

I apologise for any inconvenience and consulted What should we do with questions about etymology?, and want to confirm if any questions about etymology are allowed here? ELL can attend, help and ...
20
votes
11answers
623 views

Formatting Sandbox – Please test stuff here

What the title says. Use this for testing stuff and gosh I can't believe we didn't have this till now.
38
votes
11answers
880 views

UPDATED: Site design for English Language Learners community

UPDATE 22 Feb. 2016 Looking at your comments, it seems like we need to tweak a few things: Capitalize the word "Learners" The bookmark should start "inside" the books and not below A colored ...
15
votes
1answer
295 views

ELL policy re. salutations and thank-you's in questions

When I come across things like "Hello everyone!" or "My English no good sorry!" or "Thank you for all you help!!!" I routinely edit them out. More than once, though, these edits have been rolled back ...
12
votes
2answers
152 views

Policy on homework questions

ELU has a rather detailed policy for dealing with homework questions. It seems like we don't have one on ELL, but lately we've been getting some questions that are basically "here is a homework ...
12
votes
3answers
226 views

How should we fix the problem of bad question titles on ELL?

I have recently noticed that question titles are not well-formatted or not entirely representative of the associated question content. The result is that this site seems to be like "Yahoo Answers", ...
10
votes
1answer
168 views

Please suggest a good web site where I can ask what is said in a short part of a video?

I'm already good enough at reading, but I have to focus on listening and also reproducing what I hear in the resources I use for listening practice. When I watch an English video, I don't need a ...

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