Sometimes, I (I think we all do) come across a passage or quote where we couldn't quite understand what author means in that context.

So, should asking such questions be on-topic?

Users can get better perspective from others who actually read this.

  • Do you have a reason to believe that some might consider this off-topic? I wouldn't normally ask, but this seems to be fairly directly within the scope of the site...
    – user80
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:38

1 Answer 1



That seems to be exactly what a site for Literature should be for. Literary analysis often involves attempting to understand exactly what an author is trying to say in some particularly obscure passage.

Some questions of this form might be better off at English Language & Usage or English Language Learners, though.1 Before posting your question, you might want to think about whether it's more a language question or a literature question. If you're asking about the meaning of a word or phrase, one of the language sites might be the best place to ask. If you're asking about what an author was trying to say by a word or phrase whose meaning you know in general, then definitely ask it here.

1 Or possibly another language site, if the literary work you're talking about isn't in English. I don't know much about their scopes though.

  • That's good insight, different than what suggested on other question.
    – A J
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:49

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