There are several existing questions that is on the edge of being off-topic but is kepted around because it is constructive in helping clear up other questions which is ambiguous due to a language block between different countries. Specifically I am referring to:

However, these seems more like a meta question to me than a question that fit into the scope of our regular site. Isn't meta meant as a place to ask questions to clarify existing questions on the main site? Aren't these two questions about clarification of terms used in other questions?

So my question is, are these two questions a better fit for meta and be migrated there, or should they stay on the main site?


One of the main reasons why I am bringing this up is because of a recently closed question: https://cooking.stackexchange.com/q/22468/8305

This seems to fall in a similar category as the above two question but it is closed because it isn't really constructive in the fact that is doesn't help clarify anything on the site as Aaronut mentioned in his comment:

I'm not sure how this is constructive; the "false friends" question is meant to help members and contributors here understand how to interpret other people's posts (and know how their own posts might be interpreted). What's the benefit of this question considering that pronunciations can be trivially looked up in any dictionary?

Based on that alone, it sounds like Aaronut is treating them as meta questions.

And of course, having these borderline questions on the main site will draw out similar questions that are less constructive like the one that was recently closed.

2 Answers 2


While the false friends question may exist for "meta" reasons, that does not necessarily mean it belongs on meta. We have to look at the content itself and its potential usefulness to a broad internet audience.

I believe that the aforementioned question benefits everyone, or at least everyone interested in international cooking. If you read a cookbook written or translated from French, Italian, Russian, etc., then awareness of these "gotchas" would be important. It falls under the umbrella of recipe comprehension which is called out as being on topic in our FAQ.

The pronunciation question, on the other hand, really doesn't aid anyone's comprehension of the recipe, and isn't likely to solve any profound problem in real life. It might avert a 5-second conversation in a kitchen - "hey, hand me the fetid cheese" - "uhh, you mean feta?" - "oh, right, that". Problem solved.

There are always going to be good, valid, on-topic, constructive questions that inspire similar but off-topic or non-constructive questions; that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the original content, just that whoever tried to piggyback off of it failed to win the lottery. No need to start worrying about it unless it turns into a persistent problem.


They're not really off-topic. But they are poll-bait.

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