I find myself uncomfortable with the title of this question, but don't want to get into an edit war, and the question is at the moment both protected and close to closure: Is it bizarre that a professor asks every student for a 3 inch by 5 inch photograph?

Calling any action by a staff member bizarre just precludes a sensible dialogue or response in my view. Perhaps the question wanted to find out how unusual is the request or how widespread this type of thing occurs.

Should I have just toned it down by an edit?

The Cambridge English dictionary gives these synonyms:

outlandish disapproving

Whereas the Oxford gives these:

strange, peculiar, odd, funny, curious, offbeat, outlandish, eccentric, unconventional, unorthodox, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, unusual, out of the ordinary, out of the way, extraordinary

fantastic, remarkable, puzzling, mystifying, mysterious, perplexing, baffling, unaccountable, inexplicable, incongruous, irregular, singular, ludicrous, comical, ridiculous, droll, deviant, aberrant, grotesque, freak, freakish, surreal


So even the dictionaries have different views of the power of the word!

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    Just a comment because I cannot judge from the perspective of a native English speaker, but the Italian equivalent bizzarro or the French bizarre (from which the English word probably derives) are not particularly loaded words, and so I don't perceive the title as strongly worded. Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 15:53

2 Answers 2


I don't think the word "bizarre" is too loaded with negative meaning, but to me it is more negative than "unusual". If the word bizarre was in the body of the question and I was editing it for another reason, I would probably change it. I would not edit the body of a question to only change the word "bizarre". In the word was used in the title of a question, I think an edit to only change the word would not be out of place. As the question is now closed, I would want to see a more substantial edit so we can consider reopening the question.

Getting into an edit war over the word is not useful. If the edit gets rolled back, bringing it up in meta or chat or flagging it would be fine.


When I retitled the question and introduced the word "bizarre", I was deliberately reusing OP's language from the body text. To me it seemed like OP was asking whether this was "bizarre" rather than "unusual." In particular, the question seemed to be whether this was something they could complain about to administrators.

That said, I would not be inclined to start an edit war if someone were to change the word "bizarre." Perhaps "acceptable" would be a good choice.

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