This question "What does Sidious mean?"

Should it not fall under this,

  • Primarily opinion-based: Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to some questions will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

I can't see any reason why a moderator should not close this?

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    Down voter please say why this you think this question is not opinion based. – KyloRen Jan 27 '17 at 13:22
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    I downvoted because I disagree with both your assessment of the question and the idea that a Moderator should take unilateral action to close it. – Valorum Jan 27 '17 at 13:56
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    Downvotes on Meta just mean "I don't agree with you". Try not to take it personally. – Valorum Jan 27 '17 at 15:33
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    It is always possible that the origin of the name was revealed by the makers of the films, in which case an answer is possible that is not opinion-based. – Blackwood Jan 27 '17 at 15:40
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    It's not the mods' job to trawl the site looking for 5-year-old questions that have never received a close vote but you happen to think should be closed. If you think a question should be closed, vote to close it and move on. – Kevin Jan 27 '17 at 18:07
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    It is also not the mods' job to unilaterally close close questions unless they very clearly need to be closed very quickly. The question of whether a question should be closed is largely up to the community, not the mods. – Kevin Jan 27 '17 at 18:09
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    @Kevin, should have been closed years ago when it was created. So, the rules really don't apply? And therefore, it is perfectly fine to encourage someone to ask a question that will be primarily opinion based as long as the mob up-votes it? – KyloRen Jan 27 '17 at 18:40
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    I've edited your question to remove your "edits". They were overly dismissive and certain fell short of Be Nice. – Valorum Jan 27 '17 at 19:52
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    You may be interested to read Good Subjective, Bad Subjective, Stack Exchange's take on which questions are considered too opinion-based to leave open. The question "what does Sidious mean?" could certainly have sensible and well-reasoned answers even in the absence of any quotes from people involved in the making of the films. Some of the best answers on this site (IMHO) are based simply on good arguments without needing to be backed up by canon quotes or interviews. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 27 '17 at 22:49
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    As an aside, why is it so important to you that this popular question be closed? It's not as if you're arguing about one of your own questions here. If you don't like the question, downvote it, vote to close it, and move on. What harm could its existence possibly do you? (And if you're still on a crusade to 'prove' that the SE system doesn't work, I would advise you to give it up. Surely there must be better and more productive ways to spend your time. If you don't agree with the SE system, you don't have to use it.) – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 27 '17 at 22:52
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    @Randal'Thor,I am not picking on this question alone,there are many questions like it that are still open, but there are also many question like it that are closed. And I thought I was discussing,not arguing. I don't agree with the SE system, no hiding that fact and believe me,I know I can't change anything,talk about trying to put the spilt milk back in the glass with a fork. Why, you ask? I am still confused, there is no continuity and when I saw this question I wondered why it was not closed. I was looking for a simple answer, preferably one without the "B/c it has many UV's" – KyloRen Jan 28 '17 at 0:16
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    If the word is not based on opinion, then why does the word doesn't have any synonyms or translations to other word? The answer just said that it is possible that it is based from insidious, it is an opinion while no one can prove that it really was derived from insidious. – Invoker Feb 1 '17 at 9:10

First up, moderators should only be taking unilateral action to close a question when it's clear cut that it's off-topic. In this instance, yours appears to be the only close-vote that this question has ever faced, against some 30,000 views and as opposed to 30+ upvotes spaced out over nearly 4 years.

Secondly, the question isn't at all "opinion-based". The OP is asking why a character was given a particular name and whether that name has a hidden meaning that wouldn't be immediately obvious to a non-English-speaker. Both elements of the question are theoretically answerable without the least bit of opinion. The fact that no-one has yet found an interview from Lucas that says "I chose the name because it sounds a bit like 'insidious' and that fits in with the Emperor's character" is neither here nor there.

You may wish to note that your close vote has now been reviewed and rejected by three high-rep users; CHEESE, Jason Baker and myself.

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    @kylo questions should be considered based on the question itself, not the posted answers. – Kevin Jan 27 '17 at 18:03

The question could have answers that are not opinion-based.

I can think of two ways that this question can be answered that are not opinion-based.

  1. The makers of the films let it be known that the name was chosen for some particular reason. So far, nobody has found such an answer, but that doesn't mean that one won't be found.
  2. Someone can explain the meaning of the name. If someone answered that "Sidious" was an old term for "X", that would be an answer that was not opinion-based.

So far, there haven't been any answers that meet either of those criteria, but that doesn't mean that there couldn't be one, so I don't consider the question to be "Primarily opinion-based".

Most of the existing answers are along the lines of "Sidious" makes English speakers think of "insidious". That seems like a very reasonable opinion, but not a definitive answer. You could comment on the answer to say that it lacks verification, and you might choose to down-vote it for the same reason. But those are not reasons for closing the question.

Questions are usually closed based on the flagging and close-voting of regular users. Moderators would, and should, only circumvent that process in exceptional cases.


I'm guessing that like in this case, the answer shows that it's pretty easily answerable without going into opinions. Note that the asker is not a native English speaker, so they might only have needed some linguistic context, no opinions.

  • Are you serious, Sidious is a made up word, ANY, I mean ANY answers are going to be opinion based. – KyloRen Jan 27 '17 at 13:55
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    @KyloRen - Made up by whom, and why. Answer those and you've answered the question without a scintilla of opinion. – Valorum Jan 27 '17 at 14:03
  • By the writter of coarse, has he/she said what the name means? – KyloRen Jan 27 '17 at 14:05
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    @KyloRen - Not as far as I'm aware, but we don't close questions based on there not being an answer because as long as Lucas is alive, there's always the possibility that he might decide to enlighten us. In the meantime we can make well-reasoned guesses based on his other character names, past works, interviews about his "process", etc etc. – Valorum Jan 27 '17 at 14:17

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