There's a question on Meta Stack Overflow about whether the current text for the welcome banner is grammatically correct.

It currently reads:

Welcome to Q&A for [site description]

Apparently, a lot of people consider that grammatically incorrect and would prefer this:

Welcome to a Q&A site for [site description]

Is one "more right" than the other?

  • Wikipedia defines Q&A as an abbreviation for "Questions and Answers".
  • Dictionary.com defines it as a stand-alone noun meaning "an exchange of questions and answers".

With either of these definitions, "Welcome to Q&A for..." makes grammatical sense.

"Welcome to a Q&A site for..." would fit the possibly alternate definition of "Question and Answer" that @Brendon Stanton pointed out, but it's a bit wordy. For a tagline, I would probably stick to the shorter version.

  • 3
    I don't see how it makes sense with the Wikipedia definition. The expanded phrase would be "Welcome to Questions and Answers for [site description]," but "Questions and Answers" is not a place that people can be welcomed to. I suppose one could argue that the questions and answers themselves are what is being welcomed, but that seems like a very strange thing to say. – David Z Oct 30 '11 at 9:17
  • Well, I see your point, but 'Welcome' doesn't apply strictly to a place. I see it more as just a friendly greeting. – Lynn Oct 31 '11 at 0:33

I think either would be correct.

The first welcomes people to the questions and answers housed on the site, while the second welcomes people to the site, which just happens to contain questions and answers.

  • 1
    What was the purpose of this question...? – user11550 Oct 30 '11 at 0:58
  • 2
    @Mahnax I would like to know what the community thinks. I have submitted my own answer for consideration. – John Oct 30 '11 at 1:07
  • Fair enough. I'm aware that answering your own question is okay, it was just awfully quick. – user11550 Oct 30 '11 at 1:09
  • @Mahnax I was online and I had my answer. I was unaware there was a required waiting period. Also, my answer still leaves room for answer that says (and provide reasoning) that either is incorrect. – John Oct 30 '11 at 1:10
  • There is no required waiting period that I'm aware of. Your answer could use a few details as to why either would be correct, but other than that, it's fine. – user11550 Oct 30 '11 at 1:13

I have no basis, but neither sounds like especially good phrasing to me. It depends greatly on what you take the meaning of "Q&A" to be. I personally always read the abbreviation to myself as "question and answer." This would make the first one incorrect, because "welcome to question and answer for..." lacks an article and disagrees in number with whatever would likely follow.

If you have to choose one, I would pick the second. It is a bit verbose, but there is no grammatical invalidity associated with it.

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