Hot answers tagged

30

These are the main issues with answering questions that should be put on hold until they're reworked into a better quality question. Rewarding behavior leads to more of the same behavior. I have learned as the owner of many rescue animals over the years that the best way to prevent undesired behavior is to only acknowledge desired behavior, and ignore the ...


16

I think that evidence is desirable, but not required. And I certainly wouldn't want to discourage users from providing answers for non-controversial points simply because they cannot easily find support—nor push more answers into comments, which is annoying for many reasons. J.R.'s basic point is a good one—don't just make stuff up. But he's ...


14

The problem is a real one; but I don't much care for the proposed solution. It requires additional effort on the part of users who in many cases struggle to express themselves once. It separates the user's problem from her effort to solve the problem—matters which may have a common origin. It exposes the user to unnecessary risk. A question which ...


12

The way that I approach this as someone who enjoys language, but probably has a better technical understanding of the construction of software languages than natural languages, is to be very aware that my dialect may not be standard English in all cases and to mention that when I'm talking about something sounding awkward or being more common. try to find ...


12

Well, according to the answers to this question: Comment (you already did that) Downvote (I assume you did that as well) Invoke the Meta effect Write your own (correct) answer. I think there's nothing more you can do about this situation. You can't edit the post without changing the author's intention and you can't use flags for (partially) wrong answers - ...


11

There is no policy declaring that answers must have a URL attached to be considered valid. That said, there are a couple reasons why some in the community might appreciate a reference from a credible source: Such a reference might bolster the credibility of the answer. Such a reference can often make it easier for a learner to learn even more. Your ...


10

There are two sides to this coin. Some might wonder, "Why are people answering these close-worthy questions?" But others might wonder, "Why are we closing these answerable questions?" Incidentally, I've talked about both of these situations in previous meta posts: Do Not Feed the Bears Have We Forgotten Our Mission? In this case, I see a mix of the two. I ...


9

The As a learner, how do I choose which answer to accept? discussion might help a little. If you truly can't decide among all the answers which one helped you the most, you don't have to accept one at all. You've already up-voted the ones that you found useful, and that's the best way to express your appreciation in the StackExchange model :) Questions ...


9

Huh, weird. This gets asked often enough in metas, and I was fairly certain it was asked here too, but for the life of me I can't seem to find it. Anyway, here's the wisdom of the ancients on it. Bottom line is, people develop a certain 'answer barrier', meaning, what they don't consider a high quality answer for whatever reason1 goes in a comment instead ...


8

Your Q2 is interesting: Is "foo bars the baz" grammatically correct? If we followed your guidance to an extreme, and only answer what the O.P. is directly inquiring about, we'd end up with a lot of answers that are not as useful as they could be, such as: Yes, it's grammatically correct. I don't have any problem seeing answers go "above and beyond" ...


8

After reading through the question and other answers, this is my take on answers that merely answer the question. I see StackExchange sites as collections of knowledge indexed by questions. They are not merely an "answer key" where you search for your question and have that specific question answered directly. An answer, in my opinion, should give you some ...


8

If someone understands the SE guidelines and why they're a good idea, the answer to "what is the preference?" is (in my opinion) to simply act in good faith and do what you think is best for the site in the given the situation. You (the reader, not you fixer1234) know the advantages and drawbacks, so use your judgement. There is always going to be ...


8

Adding greater emphasis on the correct meaning in the citation would have probably been enough. There are dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of posts across the entire network that expand and complement otherwise high-quality answers. These "not really an answer" posts are allowed to stand because they help users get a better overall picture ...


7

It is best practice to find a dictionary definition that supports your use of the word regardless of your native language. This helps support your answer and helps the asker feel confident in it. As a fellow native speaker, I've found this can be difficult but not impossible. You may not find a usage that has a perfect example sentence but that does not ...


7

I am new here, so correct me if I'm wrong, but my assumption is that most knowledge seekers here have some other means by which they are learning the basics of English, and are seeking nuance. I think back to when I was studying Spanish; I got fantastic grades, but native speakers laughed at me. So I generally feel that most questioners have a dictionary ...


7

Answers should be in English, for the reasons that snailboat gives and also so that they can be verified by native speakers. We get quite a lot of answers by learners that are incorrect on various points, and it's common for native speakers to correct them. Answering in a language other than English means that such mistakes are much less likely to be spotted....


7

I've been there!. First, read this post of mine which I had posted in March 2014. Take some time thinking on it. Do you see the frustration I had in my mind then? I completely understand your concern when you are sincere in learning English but then native speakers downvote your answer or simply say 'that sounds wrong/down'. Yes, we have to accept that the ...


7

Are they suitable for the site? Yeah. But here's the thing. Firstly, I've always been a little bit hesitant to suggest that questions are a poor fit based solely on the answers that they would receive. Why? Because the asker often doesn't know what kind of response they'll get, and it's likely to turn people off using the site. Are these those kinds of ...


7

In general, if you think that something sounds wrong, but you don't want to say much more than that, I'd recommend leaving a comment. If you want to expound on that some more, however, and leave an answer instead, I recommend supporting your assertion somehow. Fortunately, there are several ways to do that, even if you are a little uncomfortable trying to ...


7

I think when people can listen to the source for themselves it is not appropriate. When I listen to the clip of the game I hear “gearing up for a huge storm”, and I think that is correct based on what they were talking about prior to the spot you linked. It’s understandable that you believe it is “strong” based on the sound quality and transcript, but I ...


7

While loquaciousness for the sake of loquaciousness is obviously a bad thing to have in an answer, I do think taking a common sense approach to writing answers is enough, and don't agree that ELL should have any other rules than ELU or other SE sites. First off, the underlying assumption - that the asker has a much lower level of English comprehension than ...


7

One thing that your post overlooks that should be highlighted is that ELL is not divided into "askers" and "answerers". In many cases, because they've struggled with the same source of confusion as they were learning English, a learner can explain something more effectively to another learner than a native speaker can. Native English ...


7

As an editor and proponent of what editors call plain language, I feel I have to act as a kind of apologist here, as well as provide possible side commentary to what's already been said. In the vocabulary of editors, plain language does not mean dumbing things down, nor does it mean changing the meaning of something for the sole purpose of making it use ...


6

I think the most important thing we can do as native speakers is provide something a grammar book can't, namely to tell what sounds natural and what sounds stilted, contrived, or just "off." My technique is to try substituting in different words of the same part of speech. E.g. the other day on a question about the definite article , conversation in the ...


5

I think the best way to answer this question is by way of example - if you see somebody wandering around looking lost, and they ask whether an incredibly convoluted set of directions will get them where they want to go; you can run through the directions, see that they will arrive in about an hour and be entirely correct in saying "Yes"...or you can point ...


5

Note that good answers don't necessarily need to be long My two most highly-voted answers (What is a candy or chocolate bar packaging informally called?, An army of hackers put America's power grid in its sights - meaning of in its sights) are some of the shortest I think I've written. All I needed to do was put a link to some kind of authoritative ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible