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Created this question as a result of this question titled How to Start a Linguistics Book Club? and the related official SE Guidelines for Subjective Questions.

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So I have two points to make here.

First: I think it's clear that this question could be rephrased to meet the guidelines for subjective questions. The problem is that it invites opinion (or speculation) over personal experience; other than that I don't think it breaks any of the guidelines. One suggestion I made in the original thread: Solicit personal experiences on what works and what doesn't in running linguistic discussions for laypeople. (Perhaps nobody will have personal experiences about running a linguistics book club, but I'm guessing some of us will have experience with running popular linguistic discussions more generally.)

Second: I suggested in the bad stats thread that we should aim to help people with practical goals if we want to strengthen the user community here. This strikes me as a good example of that: someone has a practical goal that's related to linguistics, they have a question about how to achieve that goal, and we are in a position to give answers. Good answers will be linguistics-related. (It would be fine to exclude non-linguistics-related answers like "Put up an ad on Craigslist!" or "Make sure to serve snacks!")

Anyway, I think it is very much in our best interest to find some way of refining or redirecting questions like these rather than simply downvoting and closing. We want to be a useful resource, and here's a way in which we can be useful (and enlarge our userbase) without breaking any SE guidelines or diluting the purpose of the site.

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  • +1 @Dan Velleman: Thanks, feel free to edit the question directly if you like, really not going to be the end of the world to me. My guess is at this point if it was agreed that a question like, "Based on personal experiences running linguistic discussions for laypeople, what works, and what doesn't?" should just be a new question; in part because it addresses issues related to people getting offended by comments getting deleted and I don't care if the question is deleted; meaning just delete the question as is, and post a new one that's "approved" by the community. – blunders Oct 17 '11 at 19:49
  • Might also add that I'm unable to find anything within your answer that I do not agree with. – blunders Oct 17 '11 at 19:54

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