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Have a look at this question:

Are there nice wedding-related quotes in Doctor Who?

This is, at the best, a question with no clear answer; at the worst, it's a list question, looking to compile a list of quotes, like you might find on any net forum.

I can't think of any reason, other than that Doctor Who is insanely popular - it's one of my faves as well, but that shouldn't affect matters. Why am I the only vote to close?

  • That's the best question on the main site! – billpg Aug 31 '11 at 12:57
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This question wasn't closed because only one user voted to close it so far, but it takes five votes to close a question.

I don't see a good reason to close this question, so I'm not voting to close it at this point (I wouldn't vote to close even if my vote wasn't a moderator binding vote).

  • It's not a duplicate, as far as I can see there is no existing question that's similar.
  • It's not off-topic, it's a question about the SF work Doctor Who.
  • It's not “not constructive”, it's based on a practical problem and the answers would reference facts with a sliver of analysis (quotes and their suitability).
  • It's not “not a real question”, I can clearly understand what's being asked (a Doctor Who themed quote suitable for responding to a wedding invitation).
  • It's not “too localized”, the question could be useful to other visitors who are looking for Doctor Who wedding-themed quotes.
  • It's not “general reference”, I can't find anything relevant on Wikipedia, nor any directly usable site with the obvious search.
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    But how is this question answerable? A question with an essentially unlimited number of answers, with none of them clearly the correct answer, is a bad fit for a Q&A format. Conceptually, this is similar to a recommendation question, which is off-topic here. – neilfein Aug 21 '11 at 15:52
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    But there isn't an unlimited amount of answers. Very few shows in a seasons will have anything to do with marriage. Granted, there is a whole lot of Dr. Who out in the world, but the amount of possible answers will be few. I agree that this kind of question should be on topic, but closely watched. On the other hand, if it wasn't limited to a specific work, it would be too broad and thus should be closed. – PearsonArtPhoto Aug 21 '11 at 16:09
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    @neilfein The problem with list-of-works questions is that they attract non-answers consisting of a single item — these are non-answers because an answer would be a complete list. Here, a single quote is a useful answer; and I don't think there are so many as to make the answers unmanageable. – user56 Aug 21 '11 at 16:17
  • @Gilles Just playing devil's advocate here, but there have been 31.5 seasons of Doctor Who. You could ask about examples on pretty much any topic and get tons of examples. – user1027 Aug 21 '11 at 17:00
  • Okay, then. While I strongly disagree with this, I understand your reasoning. – neilfein Aug 21 '11 at 17:08
  • @Keen: Sure, but the topic of Wedding is a rather narrow one. I suppose the author could be more specific by listing a time frame, but... – PearsonArtPhoto Aug 21 '11 at 17:29
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    Apologies if this makes it seem like I want y'all to defend your positions; that's not my point at all. I'm just looking to understand the logic. – neilfein Aug 21 '11 at 18:00
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    It potentially is off-topic. Being a question about a sci-fi work doesn't necessarily mean it's on-topic: there's a list of questions that, even when about sci-fi/fantasy, are not considered on-topic. – Tony Meyer Aug 21 '11 at 21:14
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I nearly voted to close this question, and I'm a little surprised it hasn't been closed - and I also answered it.

There are two problems with the question:

  1. It's a borderline list question. The difference between "does any sci-fi deal with immortality" and "what works deal with immortality" is pretty slim; in theory the answers to the first are "yes, such as influential work A or early work B" and the second has a long list of works. The latter is definitely considered off-topic; in my opinion there isn't a clear consensus on the first, and it's the answers rather than the question itself that tend to weight people a particular way.

  2. The "nice" part is subjective. This leads to the "good subjective, bad subjective" decision. In my opinion this doesn't meet the standards for a "great" subjective question, but isn't totally terrible, either ("what's the best Doctor Who episode?").

For the 'list' issue, IMO specificity is important - it's the difference between "What Sci-fi film scores and soundtracks have won an Oscar?" and "What works feature humans gaining immortality and its effects?". Weddings haven't featured very often in Doctor Who, and so there are actually very few wedding quotes (the 'or about love' part of the question opens it up a bit wide, IMO).

I brought up this type of question (very small list, all items in a single answer) during the on/off topic discussion, but only at the end, and so there weren't enough votes to determine whether it was on-topic or not (+6, -1) - we still have many open questions that are examples of this type.

The catch with the 'subjective' issue is that what's "good subjective" is itself subjective. If there were comments on the question that indicated that people felt this was the issue (rather than the list nature), then I think the question could be edited so that it was better in this regard.

Doing some research to try and answer this (the two in my answer I knew immediately, but I was sure there must be 'classic' Who quotes that I wasn't remembering), led me away from voting to close, because it was difficult to find any (I don't think any of the examples in the current answers - including mine - answer the question especially well).

If this is on-topic, does that mean that (e.g.) "Does Star Trek have any quotations related to honour?" is on-topic? I think it depends on the whole question: here there are not many examples, so this isn't easy to find elsewhere, and we have a specific reason for wanting a quotation (it's not just a "fun" question) - for example, in my (edited) answer I address the question more specifically than just providing a quote or list of quotes, tying the quotes to the need (use in a wedding card).

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    it's borderline, but probably OK -- the saving grace is that it's extremely specific. Even if "nice" is subjective, there are hardly any to begin with, so a flat list of them all unencumbered by nice/not-nice judgment would be tiny, relatively speaking. – Jeff Atwood Aug 23 '11 at 5:19

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