When a question is closed, a post notice is shown and it states the question "is not currently accepting answers". Example:

Example post notice

This suggests that if the question wasn't closed, it could accept answers; in other words: answers could be accepted. But "accepting an answer" and "accepted answer" refer to this well-defined functionality that has nothing to do with questions being closed or not.

I know what the notice really means; but I've been "learning Stack Exchange" since 2015 or so.

Accepting answers (along voting and few other things) is what makes Stack Exchange sites different than discussion forums. It's quite a common situation when a new contributor is initially not aware of this, gets pointed to the help center, to the tour or e.g. to the already linked question. For a new contributor these things are not necessarily intuitive, he or she yet has to learn. Using the phrase "accepting answers" in official notices that have nothing to do with the functionality of accepting answers is incoherent, inelegant, possibly confusing and harmful.

I admit I have no proof it is really harmful. I'm just trying to walk in newcomer's shoes and I guess the phrase in close post notices is harmful. I imagine "it is not currently accepting answers" may be confusing for a new contributor who is just learning what "accepting an answer" means on Stack Exchange.

In my opinion the message It is not currently accepting answers should be changed to It is not currently allowing new answers or so. Shall we change it?

  • 3
    There's a difference between the question accepting answers (= permitting them to be posted) and the OP accepting them (= using the site functionality to mark them as accepted). The latter is site jargon; the former is perfectly ordinary use of the word in an ordinary sense (although it's slightly odd to ascribe agency to the question itself in this way). However, given the existence of the site jargon, I can see an argument for re-wording it, sure. Commented Jul 4 at 8:42


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