This question about confusion in science from language differences got some really interesting answers before it was put on hold. I think putting it on hold was a good thing, as it doesn't fit the normal question model. I do think, though, that it could be a good community wiki question, curating an informative list of just how much difference and confusion can occur from seemingly precise terminology. Would others agree?

2 Answers 2


(This is not an answer to the discussion prompt, but a suggestion on how to proceed following said discussion.)

  • I have converted the question to CW in the interim.
  • The question can now be handled by the usual community reopen vote/review process. If you believe the question has sufficient value to be kept around, you can vote accordingly. If you previously refrained from voting to reopen because you felt it should be kept, but only in CW form, now there is nothing holding you back.
  • If there is a consensus as a result of this meta discussion that the post should not be made CW (regardless of whether it is reopened or not), flag and a mod can change it back.

This is an answer to the discussion prompt :)

/takes off mod hat/ Also, this post is my opinion, not some dictate of policy or anything like that.

I am not in favor of reopening the question under consideration.

I am in favor of using CW to keep otherwise unsuitable posts very, very rarely, when a question and its answers are expected to be very broadly useful to most users of this site.

For example, see the current CW questions:

I am not in favor of expanding use of CW to keep posts around that are inappropriate for a Q&A model, and wouldn't be expected to be very useful to most users of this site. (Also see The Future of Community Wiki.)

  • I've seen just now this meta-discussion about my question. To avoid any conflict of interest, I'll restrain myself from voting in favour of reopening it :-) For what you are saying about CW, I was wondering: since at least a few SE sites allow big lists questions (e.g. Mathematica.SE), what about trying to identify, here on Meta, a few questions of this kind which can be significant to the whole community and can be asked as CW? For example, I'm thinking of questions addressing specific aspects of academic life across countries (e.g. cheating, publication requirements for PhDs, etc.) Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 13:59

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