Today I saw following question:
The complete question was:
For example, I recently wrote:
"Der Kampf dauerte, während Georg König war."
This was corrected to andauern.
I then, instead of closing as off-topic like I usually do, chose to VTC as "unclear what you're asking" and left following comment:
What exactly is your problem? Have you looked it up in a dictionary? right now the answer could be about anything. please add more details what your exact problem is in distinguishing these words. - link
There was a second close-vote added, and roundabout 15 minutes after I commented, an answer was posted.
While the answer may be correct in itself, it is not in the slightest helpful to the one asking the question IMO. It ignores the problems that OP might have with understanding the difference of 2 words and is in fact nothing but a "better dictionary entry".
That is somewhat sad, because if that question had been reformulated before an answer was given it could have become something much more. One of the pearls that Jeff Atwood describes in this blog post
now to force a reformulation of the question there is exactly one alternative. Closing it rigorously.
Closing a question:
- prevents it from being answered. - We want exactly that! because:
- allows editing and commenting for clarification. - We want exactly that!
- can be reverted, when clarification is completed. - Well that exactly is the plan!
Closing the question:
- prevents it from getting additional answers. - We don't like that! We can do better than a dictionary entry!
- allows editing and commenting for clarification. - But OP has probably already left, as he got an answer. Thus the question rots away in mediocrity!
This is somewhat sad. So the question is. Can and should we close questions faster, possibly even by binding moderator vote?
And if yes, how?