This question was closed as off-topic, for reasons I can't understand. It's a question about slang (albeit the OP was a bit confused about the original usage as compared to the slang usage), which seems on-topic for EL&U. (It's not as if we've closed questions in the past just for being slang.)

I know at least one user voted to close as general reference, which it's really not. If we follow the close text guideline, which reads

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.

There really is no standard internet reference source for slang; Urban Dictionary comes closest, but people put up inside jokes and the like that it's really not that helpful.

So should this question really have been closed, and why?

1 Answer 1


The question is asking why the http error code for a missing file is 404. This is not only completely off-topic, it's also quite pointless: the reason the code is 404 is because that's the next number after 403.

If the question were edited to instead ask about whether 404 has acquired any slang meanings in general English usage, then it might be considered on-topic and reopened. Maybe.

Edit: @waiwai, having now re-read the question a couple of times, I agree that your interpretation is not only possible, but is probably what the OP intended. I've edited the question to try to make this clear, and have voted to reopen it.

  • 1
    I read the question as asking whether 404 meant a stupid person (the second line of the question body), and it was tagged [slang], after all.
    – waiwai933
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 23:14
  • 1
    ... and it is reopened and the now-irrelevant comments deleted. Thanks, whoever it was!
    – Marthaª
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 0:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .