I was just browsing the main page this morning, and I decided to look at some of the posts by new people. One of the questions had garnered three votes to close and a comment from a regular user to the following effect:
'Welcome! This website is for research level mathematics, and what you've posted is an exercise. I suggest you post it on M.SE'
I sort of stared at it for a moment, and I thought about the definition of welcoming. Now certainly the message did indeed begin with a hearty welcome. It then immediately turned the user away (inherently not welcoming).
But here's the problem! The comment was right (ignoring the initial comment of 'welcome')!
So there have been complaints that MO is not welcoming recently (I have grown to despise the word at this point, but okay). But the question is this: Can we simultaneously be welcoming and also turn away such a large number of questions? Isn't this simply a contradiction in terms?
I think that the correct answer is really that we ought to be welcoming to people who actually belong here (and that we cannot be welcoming to people who don't belong here). Am I misunderstanding the idea here? Has welcoming become some kind of catch-all buzzword for being 'nice' or 'polite'?
Note: This is not a rhetorical question. I am sincerely confused.