As meaning has recently become our most-used tag, it seems like a good time to discuss this. Please note that I'm not advocating any course of action, just raising the topic for discussion.
Many questions on this site are of the form "here's a short excerpt from a piece of literature - what does this particular word/phrase mean?" We often tag these with the meaning tag.
- Some of these questions (for example) are very interesting and thought-provoking, inspiring answers based on deep literary analysis.
- Some of them involve details of historical context (example) or complex wordplay (example). These too may need lengthy research and increase appreciation of the book.
- Some of them simply require a dictionary or some knowledge of the English language. It may still be possible to write a long detailed answer with lots of dictionary references or a mini grammar lesson or some illustrative pictures, but in essence these questions could be solved by a short paragraph explaining the standard meaning of an English word or construction.
Historically, some users have voted to close questions of the latter type because "these are ELL or ELU questions, not literature questions". I've always argued against such close votes because these may not be "literary" questions (whatever that means) but they are questions about literature.
Recently I've noticed an uptick in meaning questions, and I remembered what Shog9 said about needing plenty of "meaty" questions as well as the padding of "aperitif" questions. Again I'm not saying we have a problem, but I wouldn't want this site to consist primarily of questions of the 3rd type listed above, without anything that requires more in-depth analysis. And I'm not advocating any course of action, just proposing that we discuss this - now, at this point - to see what we, as a community, think about such questions. Obviously we want to encourage questions of the 1st or 2nd type; how about the 3rd type?