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TKR's answer to the question here What is minimalist about the minimalist program? was reduced to a comment. Why was that done? Who did it? That answer had many positive upvotes. I see no legitimate reason to reduce it to a comment.

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  • It also seems to have been cut short to the maximum length of a comment, which means it's mostly gone. – curiousdannii Mar 26 '14 at 6:29
  • @curiousdannii No it's not. The answer still exists, it's only "hidden". – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 14:36
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    @Alenanno well it's mostly gone for most people! – curiousdannii Mar 27 '14 at 8:34
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I think my answer does answer the question (and the OP obviously did too). Note that the body of the question asks for something more than its title implies: basically, I understand it to be asking not only why minimalism is called that, but what are the reasons for its popularity. "For the life of me I don't understand its appeal" and "Is there a sensible reason for the existence of these lumbering structures" seem to go beyond the question "What is minimalist about the minimalist program", and my answer was directed at those parts of the question: namely, that the main reason for these structures' existence and popularity is a historical and institutional one. Presumably, whoever flagged my answer did so because they correctly thought it doesn't answer the question as summarized in the title, but this is not the same as not answering the question as actually posed in the body of the post.

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    I see. I think it would have been helpful if you had stated which part of your answer referred to which part of the question. Probably that would have helped preventing a flag (or the action based on it). – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 18:48
  • @Alenanno: Maybe so. But in any case, since the OP (and judging from the comments, more than one professional linguist) clearly think my answer is relevant, can it now be reinstated? If not, I'd at least like the rest of the original answer to be posted as a comment along with the first part, since as it is, it's cut off in the middle. – TKR Mar 28 '14 at 0:00
  • See this comment. I'll undelete your comment as soon as possible. I'll write an answer here when there is an update. – Alenanno Mar 28 '14 at 0:26
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TKR's answer has been undeleted.

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    Can it be edited then? I genuinely can't see how it answers either what is minimal about minimalism or why there are so many structures. The question is not asking why it's popular! – curiousdannii Mar 30 '14 at 4:21
  • @curiousdannii You can edit anything on this site, but without changing the core of its meaning. I mean, if the answer addresses some points of the question (which asks more than one question), then it's ok, incomplete but still ok. If you want you can discuss about this with TKR on chat, so you can properly talk about it (comments are not that comfortable for the task). You could also post an answer here saying how you think it should be edited! :) Let me know if you need more info. – Alenanno Mar 30 '14 at 8:57
  • I don't know how it should be edited because I don't know how TKR thought that it did answer it. I still think the answer should be deleted, but I won't bother flagging it. – curiousdannii Mar 30 '14 at 12:04
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    @curiousdannii "Not An Answer" is for posts that don't attempt to answer a question, like when people post comments or new questions as answers. In this case, it's clear that TKR did attempt to answer the question, so this doesn't apply. If you think they haven't done so successfully, the right thing to do is to downvote, comment, or both. – snailplane Apr 3 '14 at 22:02
  • If it's been undeleted, why is it still marked as deleted? Or has there been other tzurris? – jlawler May 20 '14 at 18:04
  • @jlawler TKR's answer is undeleted. Do you see it differently? Sounds strange. – Alenanno May 21 '14 at 8:59
  • My mistake. It was Tim's that's been deleted, and that was the one that I thought was interesting. I don't understand why that was deleted. It certainly isn't possible to turn it into a comment, especially since the comments were interesting, too. – jlawler May 21 '14 at 17:16
  • @jlawler The point is not whether it's interesting but if it answers the question addressing all (or at least most) points. Do you think it does? – Alenanno May 22 '14 at 9:11
  • @Alenanno: Answering questions, as they are posed, by people who are often innocent of linguistic knowledge, is not what we're here for. I couldn't care less whether a given answer "answers all points". The "points", as posed, are as often imaginary as real. What I'm here for is to provide answers, and like all teachers, I want to answer the questions the students should have asked, stripped of their false presuppositions, hasty assumptions, and unnecessary complexities. Whether the OQ gets answered or not is irrelevant; the purpose is educational, not personal. – jlawler May 22 '14 at 15:45
  • If the answer does not answer the question, it shouldn't be an answer in the first place. We're here to answer questions, you're right, but if that post does not do it, then it's not an answer. It's not a matter of whether you care or not, but how the site works. – Alenanno May 22 '14 at 23:59
  • I'd just like you to understand that if it is not an answer to the question I must enforce the rules. However if someone posted a question that might have that as an answer, then that would be a valid way of keeping the answer around for others to read. – Alenanno May 23 '14 at 0:08
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Like I said under your answer, a moderator acted on a flag. We cannot disclose the name of the user that flagged the answer of course, that's confidential information.

The answer still exists, by the way, it's only hidden. So we can undelete it if necessary. So if this user disagrees with the deletion of his own answer he can appeal to us here by posting an answer.

I want to make this clear though: We don't delete answers because we don't like the user, but we need to make sure that an answer conforms to the rules. So if other users or we see that your answer has problems, we need to act, otherwise this site might lose quality and therefore users.

So, to you and TKR, I ask to listen to the comments that told you that your answers do not really answer the question. They are not bad posts, actually they are very informative and I like them, but they need to answer the question first.

Ask yourself: does my answer addresses the points in the question as much as possible?


So Tim, your answer had some comments claiming it didn't really address the question, and you admitted so yourself in a comment. So I asked you to highlight the parts that did address the question in your answer, but I still see no edits.

If your answer doesn't answer the question, and you agree with this, don't you think that deleting it would be justified? We can't make exceptions for you or for anyone else, so please, edit it and answer the question or consider removing it. It's good information but it's not related to the question.

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  • If I flag an answer, any answer, does it get reduced to a comment? Can I do that, too? – Tim Osborne Mar 26 '14 at 0:02
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    So I'm the original asker of the question in question, and I too am disturbed by the demotion. It 1. answered the question 2. had many upvotes 3. didn't break any of SE's rules. So why downgrade it? – player.mdl Mar 26 '14 at 6:21
  • It didn't answer the question, it talked about why people like minimalism for poor reasons, but it didn't talk about what is actually minimal in minimalism. – curiousdannii Mar 26 '14 at 6:29
  • @TimOsborne No, flagging is something you must take seriously. We can take action if your behavior is disruptive. However, when something is flagged and we see merit we can decide to act. That is to say: there is no fixed response, it depends on the mod. – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 9:13
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    @player.mdl The moderator that converted the answer to a comment deemed it necessary. If he so desires, he can explain his reasons personally. However I would invite you all to discuss this politely. – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 9:15
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    @Alenanno sure thing. Excuse my ignorance (I'm a newcomer :), but who is the actual moderator? – player.mdl Mar 26 '14 at 14:04
  • @player.mdl There are usually at least 3 or more per site. I'm one of them (the diamond next to my name). You can see who the mods are by going to Users -> Moderators. Or just check this page. – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 14:11
  • @Alenanno, this post is a test to see you remove it, too. – Tim Osborne Mar 26 '14 at 16:00
  • @TimOsborne: Comments are disposable. Their only sanctioned purpose is to clarify a post, or request clarification. Any other use subjects them to removal. – Robert Harvey Mar 26 '14 at 16:06
  • @Alenanno, concerning my answer to the question. I conceded that it does not answer the question. I also stated that it was produced to respond to the general context that had developed. I would be very happy if my answer were removed entirely and TKR's original answer we're reinstated. That would end all this. – Tim Osborne Mar 26 '14 at 16:08
  • @TimOsborne See also this answer from How do comments work?. – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 16:09
  • @TimOsborne No problem on my side, I'm inclined to undelete it. :) But I wanted to speak to the moderator that deleted it before doing anything. I'll post an answer with the update. – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 16:19
  • @Alenanno, you guys are obviously in a position to kill my voice, if you deem it to be counterproductive. Let this be my sincere request that you not act so quickly when it comes to answers that receive numerous upvotes. In my view, that move reduced a viewpoint that is legitimate and worthy of representation. – Tim Osborne Mar 26 '14 at 16:23
  • @TimOsborne Technically we can, but we don't. Don't assume that moderators act on evil intent. Usually we do what we think is right and appropriate for each case. If you disagree, then you're more than welcome to post here or reach out in Chat. – Alenanno Mar 26 '14 at 16:27

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