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This question: Where did Horace Walpole get the adjective "Gothic" to describe The Castle of Otranto? which I asked last night has been closed (although I cannot see by whom). Apart from a complaint in a comment that this might be off topic, since it is about terminology, I cannot see any cognizable reason why it would be closed.

“Gothic” fiction is an important genre with major (but not perfect) overlap with fantasy and horror. The Castle of Otranto, the subject of the question, is certainly fantasy. So this is a question about terminology that is closely related to the fantasy genre.

Moreover, even if “Gothic” fiction in general is considered off topic, this question cannot be, since it is a question about a specific (and influential) work of fantasy fiction. The thrust of the question is, What did the subtitle of The Castle of Otranto mean? It is well established that all aspects of on-topic works are on topic for this site (see here: How should we handle questions that are about non-SF/F elements in a SF/F work?). Moreover, this meta question: Is it reasonable to ask about the meaning of phrases in a science-fiction work? shows strong consensus that asking about specific language used in fantasy or science fiction work is on topic. And that is exactly the nature of my question, asking about what the subtitle means.

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    I VTLO it open in the queue, seemed fine to me. Just as an aside though, what do you mean by you can't see who closed it? Is that information now hidden on the question page from the question asker? (Though you should be able to find out a couple of other ways if you really wanted to).
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 20 '20 at 14:33
  • @TheLethalCarrot Yeah, the OP now can't see from the question page who VTCed. The info is visible in the revision history though.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 20 '20 at 14:35
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    I voted to close because "gothic" doesn't mean fantasy (per se). We could ask the same question of the word "story"
    – Valorum
    Nov 20 '20 at 14:51
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    @Valorum But The Castle of Otranto does appear to be fantastical; from Googling (I haven't read it to be sure).
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 20 '20 at 14:52
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    @TheLethalCarrot - I'll bow to the judgement of history but this just doesn't seem like a good fit.
    – Valorum
    Nov 20 '20 at 15:09
  • @Randal'Thor So when it says "(Viewable by the post author and users with the close/reopen votes privilege)" (emphasis mine) it's lying?
    – DavidW
    Nov 20 '20 at 15:12
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    @DavidW Yep.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 20 '20 at 15:32
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    Question has now been reopened.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 20 '20 at 18:06
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    I’m not sure how the second meta question relates. It is about terminology in an SFF-nal work. Not terminology to describe a work, regardless of it’s on-topic-ness. I VTC’d because I can’t see how asking Why the description (which isn’t specifically about Sci-fi or fantasy) of a work uses a particular word is on topic for our site.
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 20 '20 at 23:37
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    @Edlothiad: This is clearly a question about the history of the SF&F genres as a whole, despite superficially appearing to be about a single work. Specifically, it is about when and how the term "gothic" came to be associated with the SF&F umbrella. Therefore, I consider it an on-topic history-of-genre question.
    – Kevin
    Nov 21 '20 at 21:44
  • @Kevin that could be made a lot clearer. Maybe I didn't read it right when I read it, but to me it seemed to be why this specific work was labelled gothic. That's also what it said in the title, more than once in the body and really seems to be the crux of this question here. If it's about the genre as a whole, it should clearly state it's intention.
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 22 '20 at 8:23
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    @Edlothiad: But then it would get closed as "too broad." So it had to focus in on one specific work.
    – Kevin
    Nov 22 '20 at 19:07
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    @Kevin, I'm not sure how that would make it too broad? It would be a single question about a very specific topic...
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 23 '20 at 7:17
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    @Edlothiad: Because someone would falsely accuse it of being a "list question" and then it would be closed as usual, and we'd have a slightly different too-long-meta-thread about it.
    – Kevin
    Nov 23 '20 at 8:18
  • Maybe the OP asked about "Gothic" in Castle of Otranto because that was the very first use of the term. Maybe he should have asked "why did Walpole choose that word to define the sub-genre?" Dec 3 '20 at 6:22

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