Do we allow questions that are looking for trivia or fun-fact answers in JL&U? Some example 'fun' questions from English L&U that are not closed by the community:

For nihongo, maybe something like asking for longest anagram (e.g. たなかのかなた)? Or find the author and title of the haiku that contains a specific line?

OK, not OK or 50-50?

  • I am ok with those, and those are in CW anyway.
    – YOU
    Jul 5, 2011 at 14:53
  • Fine as well (but definitely CW).
    – Dave
    Jul 5, 2011 at 15:43
  • 1
    Care for explaining what "CW" means?
    – Axioplase
    Jul 6, 2011 at 9:12
  • 1
    @Axioplase: Community Wiki Jul 6, 2011 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


To complete my comment (and address the question you tried posting on Main):

I'm fine with CW questions that have a factoid/trivia component to them. However, I think we should limit ourselves to well-known types of factoids/trivia (e.g. "common tongue-twisters", "longest anagram" etc). Made-up games with arbitrary rules probably shouldn't be on JLU, even as CW.


Dave's answer makes sense. There are plenty of these here.

Lukman's question is good though. It forces people to write long and coherent sentences in Japanese. (and others to read them) Famous writers have done that in other languages.

Anyway, is it too much to ask moderators to not arbitrarily close potentially acceptable questions?

  • I agree regarding not closing abruptly questions that aren't blatantly off-topic (though it's still difficult to judge what makes 'off-topic' given the ever changing mood on 'meta'). I think the problem is: as moderators, it is impossible to cast a closing vote (it immediately gets acted on and closes the question), so even if Amanda had wanted to, she'd only have the option of closing or not closing. Regarding the question: I think a good way to look at it is, "does it have any long-term benefit/interest to the community (or anyone)"... on that ground I think it wouldn't.
    – Dave
    Jul 6, 2011 at 15:49
  • I'm sorry for what seemed like an arbitrary closing, but at the time I thought Lukman's question was unambiguously off-topic. On the other SE sites I frequent, such a question would be closed in a heartbeat. I see now that there is some support for fun contest questions (thanks for linking me here, by the way!), but I still think Lukman's is too arbitrary. If enough people vote to reopen it, though, fine by me!
    – Amanda S
    Jul 6, 2011 at 15:51
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    In that case, I stand with Amanda: closing and letting it be decided by a re-open vote sounds fair to me.
    – Dave
    Jul 7, 2011 at 2:34
  • @Dave: How is closing arbitrarily a question "fair"? If it's obviously off-topic, close it. If there's a doubt and there are comments on meta from 2 admins saying that the question is ok (you've changed your mind now, that's your right) then you cast a vote for closing and wait to see if others want to close as well. This is fair. (because you need 15 rep to flag a post, but you need 500 re-open)
    – repecmps
    Jul 7, 2011 at 2:56
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    @repecmps: I think the issue is that the original meta question applied a much more restrictive definition than what was finally posted... Once again: one type ("trivia"/"fun") can be useful for users to come, the other ("arbitrarily defined exercise") might be fun for current users, but brings very little value to the site. -- Closing and monitoring for re-open is warranted because: 1) it prevents answers on a Q that will be subsequently closed 2) forces people to actually question whether it's on-topic, rather than just jumping because they want to answer a fun game
    – Dave
    Jul 7, 2011 at 7:32
  • @Dave: The original question is not restrictive at all. It gives a few examples that are successful and on-topic on another SE language website with a lot more experience and a bigger user base. That should be enough.
    – repecmps
    Jul 7, 2011 at 8:40

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