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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.

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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.

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  • 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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