I have just cast two reopen votes for those closed as "primarily opinion based (POB)" because I think it is very grey area where you can't define which is POB and which is not on Language Learning.

People have their own methods and preferences in studying and learning other languages and I believe this site is designed to share them which could be opinion-based sometimes.

I am not entirely against the idea of closing POB questions, but I propose we refrain from closing questions for a month or two unless they are "blatantly" off-topic.

I think it is more important to see and understand what kind of question is well-received with upvotes and how answers to this "potentially closable" questions are voted by users until we have firm policy and guidelines.

What we need now is trial and error, not a rule which might be applicable to other well-established communities.

3 Answers 3


Close votes (and of course reopen votes) are how the community makes it apparent what questions are acceptable and what questions are not.

Leaving everything open for months would just make a mess. You don't put a moratorium on cleaning the kitchen until you've perfected that peach pie recipe.

The only case where it makes sense not to use close votes is if there is an ongoing meta discussion regarding whether this question is acceptable (either about that question specifically or about a category of questions of which this is an example). In that case, the place where the acceptability of the question is decided is meta, not the close votes. Once the discussion has settled, the question should be closed or reopened if necessary according to the conclusion of the discussion.


I don't have an exact number, but I know I've personally been involved in the reopening of quite a few closed questions. It may seem that people are being quick with their close votes, but they are also being quick with their reopen votes.

It might seem counterintuitive, but votes to close and reopen are actually the quickest way to determine the community's will for what is on-topic and what is off-topic. If we put a moratorium on close votes, we are not being neutral; we are saying anything goes.

Trial and error is great. Some trials will be closed, and some won't, and that will lead to us understanding how we—the users of Language Learning—feel about the site's scope.


A question is "on hold," rather than "closed" for five days. That was a change that SE used on its more established sites to give time for people to "rethink" a question that may not be the best.

Sometimes a question is reopened in its original form by five votes. More often, either the OP, or some other editor will make changes that address the concerns of the voters. In these cases, the question usually gets the five votes (or one of a moderator) needed to re open. And sometimes, even one of the five original close voters will vote to reopen the improved version.

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