# What is the difference between “on hold” and “closed”?

I flagged this question for review and suggested it be closed. My flag was declined, but the question was put on hold. So that I can write better flags, I'd like some clarification. It seems to me from the FAQs that a question would never be outright closed. It's put "on hold" first. So, really, I should have flagged it to be put on hold. Is that correct?

If a question was totally unsalvageable, would it be closed or deleted? (This is a hypothetical. I'm not applying it to the linked question.)

Thanks for your help.

• What kind of flag did you make? Was the flag declined or "disputed"? The question was put on hold (which is essentially just a preparatory phase of closing), so your idea found some agreement from other users. – hardmath Sep 10 '15 at 1:15
• Aside: it's also a duplicate of multiple questions on limits with radicals at points other than $0,\infty$ – user147263 Sep 10 '15 at 1:23
• It was a flag for moderator attention. The question had been edited so much that the answers were addressing a completely different formula. The response was that there was insufficient evidence to support the flag. Perhaps they were only addressing the close suggestion, as the question was put on hold. But unless all of the answers and comments are deleted, no amount of OP editing will prevent further confusion. – Adam Hrankowski Sep 10 '15 at 1:24
• I declined your flag. The history shows that the OP never edited that post. What this actually means is that all of his edits were done within 5 minutes of initially posting the question, which is a reasonable amount of time to allow for fixing formatting. No answer was posted within that time according to their timestamps. I declined your flag for those reasons. Reading this meta post made me look back. I now see that another user Ganymede changed some of the signs at the end. I don't know why, and I find that mysterious. Further... – davidlowryduda Sep 10 '15 at 3:49
• ... the OP made his question very clear in the comments. I am now rolling back Ganymede's edits, giving the question a better title, and reopening the question. – davidlowryduda Sep 10 '15 at 3:51
• I note that the OP had previously posted the question, received 4 downvotes, deleted it and then reposted it. Probably a sign to wait for the dust to settle before putting the effort into an answer. Also, his impression that the limit tended to infinity should have elicited a response: "Why do you think so?" – Adam Hrankowski Sep 10 '15 at 4:16
• Adam, your profile says something about tutoring students. Just remember that you have much less genuine interaction with the students here, along with very little ability to compel them to clarify their questions, or behave well at all. I suggest going slowly with flags ( I do very few), answering only when the question seems worthwhile, and generally not holding your breath waiting for sense out of a person who has asked an unintelligible question. – Will Jagy Sep 10 '15 at 4:41
• Thanks Will. Sounds like good advice. – Adam Hrankowski Sep 10 '15 at 4:45
• Next morning: Adam, if you wish to make a comment addressing one person, they will be notified of that comment if you have put an at sign @ followed by at least the first three letters of their user name, but no space between the @ sign and the letters. You should be notified of this because it is directly under your post (question or answer, both work). – Will Jagy Sep 10 '15 at 17:49
• Let's see; I don't make that many comments per hour as a rule, so I am able to go back later or the next day, look at the comments I made (under "Activity" then "All Actions"), and see what may have happened near those comments. That is how I noticed your reply of some 13 hours ago. – Will Jagy Sep 10 '15 at 17:54

If you think a question should be closed, the correct flag to use is the one that says "should be closed:"

The big red button at the bottom is for issues that cannot be resolved by community members (those are relatively rare, though still large in absolute terms). Closing a question is something that community is quite capable of.

• I believe I tried that. Maybe it was my Internet connection. Or maybe I missed the confirmation note. If I inadvertently flagged the question twice, would there be two outstanding flags, or would the second one overwrite the first? Thanks for posting that screen print. – Adam Hrankowski Sep 10 '15 at 1:34
• A flag wouldn't overwrite another one. You could cast two of those, although it's hard to miss this fact: already raised ones would show a message in red. A key point is that "should be closed / is a duplicate" is raised for ordinary users, not for moderators. Mod attention flag is a different category. – user147263 Sep 10 '15 at 2:06
• I believe what must have happened is that while I was having Internet connectivity problems, I was unable to raise the desired flag, so I thought, Oh, I'll try this one. If I had managed to raise the "closed" flag, would I have been given the option to comment? It seems that the issue is that I must have raised the wrong flag. – Adam Hrankowski Sep 10 '15 at 2:14
• I see that the OP is now asking how to test if the limit goes to infinity. Now my answer fits.:D Thanks everyone for your help. – Adam Hrankowski Sep 10 '15 at 4:22