I don't know if this question is appropriate here, as of yet I haven't developed the intuition regarding (un)appropriate questions for meta. I apologize in advance if this is a silly/useless question.

My question is, basically:

How much asking is too much asking?

The question has an answer on two levels, I believe. One on the more formal level, as in "ask one more question and get a warning", or more on the community level, "it is not polite of you to ask more questions / it is frowned upon by the community".

I'm searching for both answers.

I ask out of curiosity (regarding the "formal" level), and out of personal interest (regarding the "community" leve): there are times when I feel I'm asking too much in little time. Like I'm getting more of the site than what I am giving to the community. But how to be a good contributor to the community -- that's a whole other issue which has surely already been treated elsewhere.

  • $\begingroup$ You can ask at most 50 questions per month :) (This must be "documented" somewhere...) $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Mariano: at most as in "ask the 51st and you'll welcome the SE police on your doorstep" or how...? ;P $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 1:56
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    $\begingroup$ I dunno what happens, really, but the limit is enforced by The Software™. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ Related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3404/… $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ Your math.stackexchange questions get a large number of positive votes-so the questions are not a problem. Keep at it. Thanks much. I have +1'd the answers here which pre-echo'd this. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 4:54
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    $\begingroup$ What Mariano was referring to is meta.stackexchange.com/questions/89217/… You just get an error message telling you that nope, they won't accept the 51st question. It is not well documented (see the reactions from some established Mods and Employees in that thread; most people never run against that limit). $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ This is an answer to a similar question. I have sometimes wondered if it would be feasible to set up a voluntary payment system so as to reward the people who are answering questions. However, that would change the nature of the site as homework-style questions would be answered more often. (I questioned the ethics of such paid-for sites here, since closed and deleted.) $\endgroup$
    – ahorn
    May 18, 2015 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


Apart from the software-imposed limit of 50 questions per month, I'd say that the only limitation is common sense.

Flooding the site would of course be annoying. Asking many questions without waiting to see if they are answered or letting a reasonable time to go by for answers to come would also be annoying to me and —I think— generally disruptive. Asking many tiny questions in succession (imagine someone trying to solve a problem and instead of asking help with the problem asking micro details as s/he goes along, say) would probably have the same effect. &c. Asking repeatedly questions which gather more or less evident discomfort by the community would also be annoying.

But asking a good stream of interesting, useful, well thought-out, carefully crafted questions is a great way of keeping the site alive, I'd say!

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for pointing out that the real issue isn't really "asking too many questions" but rather "asking poorly thought-out questions". If you always try to ask well thought-out questions, you should automatically not be in any danger of asking too many questions, because thinking a question through takes time in itself. $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Jan 17, 2012 at 3:07

We can never have enough good questions. In my opinion, your questions contribute much of interest to the site. So please do not hesitate for a moment to ask as many further questions as you desire. In fact this meta question sparked me to view your questions, which led to my answer to your prior (unseen) question on applications of Zorn's lemma to extending morphisms - which includes a link to a paper that many readers will probably find quite interesting (it shows that a property P holds for all the subobjects of a given object if and only if P supports both the chain condition from Zorn's Lemma and some finitistic conditions on subobjects that have the flavor of mathematical induction). So even a question whose appropriateness you doubted can spark useful contributions. Please don't doubt any more!

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your confidence! I guess I should be more confident in my own questions... $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2012 at 13:39

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