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This question made me uncomfortable when it first appeared because of the language used in the excerpt. But it didn't generate any complaints from the community, so I didn't do anything. It received an answer.

The author then changed the question in a way that invalidated that answer, and also changed it to one that is off-topic (proofreading). I closed as off-topic, then thought better of it, rolled back that change, and reclosed as unclear.

That reclose could be a little iffy, so I'm bringing it to meta. Based just on the post it's not unclear; however, that the OP wanted to change it so drastically said to me that he isn't yet sure what he wants to ask. Rather than inviting more people to spend time providing answers that he might decide he's not interested in, I closed. I did not close it because of the language; I closed it because of the churn.

Since I was editing anyway, I put the passage behind spoiler markup so that people browsing the front page don't need to read it if they don't want to.

If anybody objects to either of these changes, please let the community know either on this meta post or by using votes, comments, or flags on the question itself.

Should we take any other action with this question?

  • 2
    I have not looked at the question (and do not intend to do so), but using spoiler markup seems reasonably appropriate to avoid inflicting "mature content" on a reader. (On the other hand, should spoilers be used for content that is so badly written that there is not enough mind bleach in the world to purge the experience from the reader's memory? ☺ Lauren Ipsen's answer indicates that the quality of the sample text might be at least as offensive as the erotic content.) – Paul A. Clayton Aug 16 '14 at 14:41
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I think your choice to close (for either reason) was correct. There wasn't a question there as presented.

The piece was very badly written, and adding sex on top didn't improve it any. It would take me as an editor six times as much copy as the paragraph posted to explain all the things wrong with the paragraph posted, from a structural, descriptive, and aesthetic perspective.

If the author wants to learn how to write coherently, I suggest s/he can be pointed to a workshop or similar site. I don't mind the idea of answering a question about "how to make erotica more erotic," even if the text is really explicit, but this was not that question.

My feeling is that this was posted for shock value, and the person didn't expect that we were going to critique his/her use of metaphor and sentence structure.

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Technically, I'm not certain it's correct to roll back and also close the question. IMO, the original question was valid (albeit extremely poor - but that's always a hazard of critique-style questions, and doesn't invalidate the question itself).

So if you're rolling back, you might not close (because you're rolling back to a valid question). As you say, the result is a closure that appears unclear "from the outside".

But given that:

  • The user was behaving poorly,
  • The question is poor,
  • This is not a question that received much engagement,
  • Not rolling back would somewhat invalidate the existing, high-voted answer,

I think that closing is more than appropriate, and the technicalities are not a problem. Your comment "I'm putting this on hold while you sort out what you want to ask" also more than justifies the closure.

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