The on-topic page has a list of topics which are acceptable. One is "a single word in relation to multiple languages or a single word/single language". What does this mean? Can the page be clarified?

(I ask in relation to this question, and was surprised to see that line on the on-topic page. I don't think that question should be on-topic, but according to the on-topic page maybe it is?)

1 Answer 1


I guess the bullet item that you're referring to is about words that had a common origin but have taken on different forms in different languages (father, vater, pitra) or how one of them influenced the origin of the other (*television, Fernseher, doordarshan).

  • 2
    So it's essentially about cognates? That's what I thought the first part was, but what does the "single word/single language" part mean? I think it's probably okay to ask about a grammatical marker from one language, but not a lexical word.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 8:11
  • @curiousdannii That bullet point means that questions about a single word or a single language are on topic. Earlier these questions were kind of frowned upon by the community which preferred more "extensive", i.e. more ground-covering questions, but are now accepted.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 15:52
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    @Alenanno I still think this part of the on topic page is very unhelpfully vague.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 4:17
  • @curiousdannii You're free to suggest a better wording of course, in this topic. Or we could provide a longer definition here to clear the vagueness and link to it from there.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 10:11

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