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A lot of the satellite SE sites have jargon that is specific to the site's domain. For example: Cooks might suggest a user sauté something; Home Brewers may talk about their wort; Photographers will discuss fancy lens terms I don't understand.

Is there a recommended way to provide definitions for these terms? The SO platform has a glossary meta-question and all sites have tag wikis. Both seem like good solutions.

Is there even a place for glossaries on these sites? i.e. Should we expect users to have a certain base domain knowledge when participating?

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3 Answers 3

I would recommend simply asking a question eg. "what is sauté?".
It will either be closed as general reference (on english.se) or lead to a series of very good answers about the best way to sauté, why you saute, where it comes from etc..

I don't see the point of a site-specific glossary, I think dictionaries are fairly well available on the net.

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This would certainly fit into the Q&A format best, though perhaps it could be assissted by the creation of a special mod-only [glossary] tag, with a (closed?) index "question", the same way we do for faq here on Meta.SO. –  Josh Caswell Jan 31 '13 at 19:31

Google is an excellent dictionary, most SE sites tend to focus on creating repositories of useful but hard to find information in a question and answer format. Google and Wikipedia already have a far better format to explain basic terminology than SE. Most sites are geared towards people that already have a basic understanding of the topic so creating glossaries would largely be counter intuitive or a waste of time.

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Mi Yodeya has rather a bit of jargon. We have a glossary with one post per term (not one big mega-post like the SO glossary). This facilitates linking to the glossary from the main site. That seems to be working pretty well, though our glossary is harder to browse because it doesn't maintain alphabetical order.

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