Recently I put in considerable effort into tabulating answers to the HSK6 语病 ("faulty wording") questions on the available exams; here's the link: What are the answers to the HSK6 语病 ("faulty wording") questions on the 22 publicly available HSK6 exams?.

Honestly, I'm rather surprised by how it's being received---I feel like we should be encouraging high-effort posts. And it's not like such lists haven't been made before: What are the most common Mandarin words for each pinyin syllable? and What are the HSK chengyu (idioms)?

I come from the era of making the Internet a better place, which is what I'm trying to do: I feel like this post could both be useful to HSK6-level students, and attract them to the site.


Question: What's up with the cold reception to the HSK6 语病 ("faulty wording") post?

I can move it elsewhere if need be, but I'm rather surprised.

1 Answer 1


First of all, here you're conflating questions and answers. The close votes (and downvotes) you got were on the question. The standard recommendation for moderating questions is: 1) off-topic, vote to close; 2) on-topic: leave open. Effort, or lack thereof, can be a reason for voting up or down.

Your question:

is off-topic and can be closed as "Needs more focus", because it doesn't ask about a specific issue, but about the answers to 语病 items across 22 HSK6 exams. The issue is not about lists. It's primarily about the scope of the question.

About the questions you used as examples to make your point:

Now, are questions like this always off-topic? The answer is no, they may be on-topic. However you must make no mistake about what they are and how they come to be. I call these "collector questions", because they are simply self-answered lists or community wikis disguised as questions whose purpose is to prevent more off-topic questions like them.

These are questions that experienced community members, maybe an elected moderator, create when the site has an influx of similarly off-topic questions. An example that we all know is Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese . Questions by new users that ask for resources are common, and are off-topic, so we have a big collector thread in a prominent position that we can use as a duplicate target.

This is perfectly fine, but it has to address an actual need. In case of the HSK6 faulty wording issues, there is no such need. The only one who asks questions about that is you, and the questions are individually on-topic. We don't need to create an otherwise off-topic collector question for that.

As an alternative, you could ask in here before posting your probably-off-topic collector Q&A and proceed once you gathered enough community consensus.

The effort you put into that Q&A unfortunately is not a factor. The best place to collect those 语病 solutions is your favorite notebook app or your blog. Not Chinese.SE.

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