Currently, in EL&U's help center, the on-topic page lists a number of topics we can't address on the site:
But please, don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site.
- The meaning of words, or synonyms for words, unless you have first looked them up in a dictionary or thesaurus. See below for suggestions about simple and basic questions.
- Proofreading ("Is this right?", "Are there any mistakes?"), unless a specific source of concern is clearly specified. See below for hints on checking existing texts.
- Writing advice (see Writers.SE instead) or critique requests
- "How to improve my English?" (this is not constructive anyway)
- Translation and non-English languages — please see the translation tag info for details
- Naming, including naming programming variables/classes
- Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature
- Jokes that do not rely on the English language
I believe the same structure is used for all the stacks in the exchange.
What I'd like is a way to point askers to specific bullets in that list, ideally with magic link support.
That is, can we give diamond mods the ability to add anchors (
<a name="foo"/>) to each bullet in the list? For example, the second bullet above could have the anchor name "proofreading" (actual anchor names, like the text of the help center page itself, can be left up to the discretion of the community and its mods).
As a cherry on top, can we extend magic links to support these tags, like
[help/on-topic#proofreading]¹. It would also be really nice if visiting such an anchor had some kind of brief visual highlighting effect, similar to what happens when you visit a link to a specific comment.
This will help us give new users more specific guidance as well as head off enervating debate with more truculent users. It also helps ease the constraint of only having 3 custom off-topic reasons (now I could vote to close with "other: please see [help/on-topic#litcrit]"; see also and combine with the nutty idea in the footnotes).
¹ And if you want to go really nuts, have such anchored-magic-links expand to the content of the bullet plus the link back to the help center.