No a question per se, but I wish we could encourage people who ask questions like: "Why is にゃにゃにゃ good and にゃにゃにゃ wrong?" to give a source for their sample sentences. It may happen that the person asking the question has crafted a bad example, or that the source is someone with bad grammar, a bad book or something else.

At least, in the wrong case, even the beginner knows it is likely to be wrong, but in the right case, it may actually not be right at all. A quote from a novel, newspapers or a text book something else is much likely to be correct by design. Still, mangas or animes may have some weird sentences too that beginners are likely to consider "correct" while they are not on purpose (and the Japanese reader/viewer or advanced learner would notice that).

So, how to politely and automagically ask "did you create this sentence" or "where did you take that from"? Editing the question and asking for references? Adding a "reference-needed" tag? Commenting the question?


2 Answers 2


I think commenting (the question) and requesting an example is the standard way. Edits should be reserved for when you know what corrections to make (for example if you did have an example to contribute to the question).

Perhaps the FAQ could be modified to encourage this practice, although really, it should be pure common sense.

(BTW, talking about FAQ, @Axioplase... ;-)

  • Well, given an example in a question, I was asking for precision regarding its origin. As for the FAQ, is it about my trademark "P!", or was meta not even the right place to ask? (or something else, like too many unrelated comments? I'm trying hard, you know :D).
    – Axioplase
    Jun 20, 2011 at 10:25
  • 1
    @Axioplase: Dave linked to the “Can I use a signature or tagline?” section of the FAQ, so probably he is referring to the “P!” line. (I have been wondering what that line means. It reminds me of the logo of Pip Co., Ltd., but probably you did not mean it.) Jun 20, 2011 at 11:33
  • @Axioplase: sorry to have left you to guess... As @Tsuyoshi noted, yes, it's about your trademark P!... I know branding is important, but... ;-)
    – Dave
    Jun 20, 2011 at 12:17

I agree. When answering a question “why is A good and why is B bad,” it is often helpful to know why the asker came to think that A is good and B is bad in the first place. I wish that the asker includes relevant information in the question from the beginning, but when the necessary information is missing in the question, it is perfect to post a comment on the question asking for an edit.

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