After a discussion with a native speaker, I realized that parts of the foot vary in terms of vocabulary and wondered what interesting aspects of the conversation might turn up in a question on the subject.

The comment seems to have been deleted, but I was emailed that someone commented asking if these words could not be found simply in a dictionary.

I'm not asking "should we avoid starting questions that say 'what is the Korean for the word cat?'" I think it's clear that that would not be useful nor interesting.

Nevertheless I thought I would check meta and find out if my question on the foot were equally too simple and uninteresting and thus should be avoided.


Just to state the obvious first, vocabulary is our second-most popular tag, so clearly some vocabulary questions are fine! However, on-topic currently asks users to avoid:

  • Simple general reference questions and character recognition requests that can be answered by a resource such as a dictionary (although requests for help and clarification after consulting a resource may be acceptable)

(emphasis mine).

But it also says that the following questions are allowed:

  • Specific problems encountered when learning Korean appropriate usage of language in real-life contexts
  • how to express an idea in idiomatic Korean
  • the meanings of Korean words or expressions where not clear from dictionary definitions

Taking all of those together, I'd summarise it as: If you're asking a question that looks like it could be answered just by using a dictionary, it has to be clear what the particular 'angle' is that makes the question more interesting than just 'what is the Korean for the word xxx?'.

For example -

  • The fact that you noticed that that terms for parts of the foot vary (you mentioned this above, but I'm not sure it was stated in the actual question)
  • wondering if there's some easy way to learn parts of the foot
  • wondering if names for parts of the foot relate to names for parts of the hand

etc... any of those additional perspectives could elevate the question beyond a simple reference question.

The current answer to the question is good, partly because it has considered some angles that a dictionary wouldn't give. But perhaps it's true that the question as initially worded could have been clearer at presenting those possible angles - sometimes asking a question too straightforwardly can leave other users guessing a bit at what's really being asked.

  • thx, let me try to clean that up over the next few days...i suddenly got busy with family/work/etc. a very good answer - again, thx! – 제이 죤스톤 Dec 22 '17 at 7:08
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    @WEBjuju thanks to you too for all your recent work adding content to the site ! – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 22 '17 at 21:16

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