I frequently see character identification requests, like this one:

that have no actual answer — as defined in Stack Exchange — but are answered indirectly either in comments or by modifying the title.

There's not an enormous amount of them, though relatively to the overall traffic of this site it's probably still an appreciable amount.

A couple simple searches

So I think it kinda reveals an awkwardness with respect to these questions, as they are answered but not "officially". I mean, either these are on-topic, and deserve an actual answer, no matter how trivial it might seem1, or are not on-topic, and therefore should be closed.

The current situation has the undesired side effect that these questions linger in the "Unanswered" section.

Open for discussion.

1: btw, the asker will never believe that the answer was trivial. only subject-matter experts will

  • Often these questions are basically "transcription requests". At one extreme are the "solve this Chinese CAPTCHA" examples, where we don't learn anything and they clutter the site. At the other extreme are seals, calligraphy, etc., for which getting a transcription can actually be enlightening. Answering impacts whether or not a question is autodeleted, so it's a bit of a judgement call. – Becky 李蓓 Apr 28 at 21:51
  • @Becky李蓓 if the question doesn't get closed, it won't be autodeleted though... – blackgreen Apr 28 at 21:55
  • Sorry - that example was my bad for not providing an actual answer. – dROOOze Apr 28 at 22:32
  • @dROOOze just to be clear, I wasn't looking to target you or anything. I used that question as an example. I was just asking myself (and other Chinese.SE users) if it's maybe better to add proper answers. IIRC, on-topicness of those seal identification questions was already established – blackgreen Apr 28 at 22:36
  • 1
    So I mean, no need to be shy when answering, right? – blackgreen Apr 28 at 22:38

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