A question on "What does "you like stick and I like aerosol" mean? has been closed as "Primarily Opinion Based".

It's not opinion-based. There is a clear meaning to those who know that deodorant comes in two (or three) types: stick, aerosol (and roll-on).

It might be better on ELL than ELU, given that it's more about culture than language as such. But it's definitely not a matter of opinion.

Update - It's been re-opened. :)

Anyone who wants it migrated to ELL or closed for lack of research, have at it. (I'd prefer it to stay open, but those are at least potentially valid concerns...)

  • It is better on ELL. Unfortunately, when a question is put on hold it doesn't necessarily mean that all five votes agreed on the same course of action.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 10:02
  • 2
    I also think it would be better on E.L.L. than here, but E.L.L. itself often doesn't like us sending over unresearched questions and they do have an add the research closure reason similar to our own.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 13:50
  • 2
    All that would be needed for ELL is for the author to explain what they think it means “literally”. We can probably guess in this case but it wouldn’t be the first time a fluent speaker had a blind spot because of their familiarity with the language. @tonepoet
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


I can fugure out the meaning literally but I don't think that's what it really means.

This sentence in the question could be taken to mean that the question is a song/poetry interpretation question, which is off-topic, and which would mean it would be appropriate to close it as primarily opinion based.

Even if you think it isn't a poetry interpretation question but is actually about the "literal" meanings of the words, IMO it would still be a low-effort, no research question. (I can't remember which close reason I actually used.)

If you think it meets your standards of research, vote to reopen, I guess.

  • 7
    Seriously, imagine you are a non-native speaker and you look up the phrase "you like stick" How on earth would you be any wiser as to its meaning? -1
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 10:43
  • 1
    So you think the OP is asking "I know it's talking about deodorant, but I don't know why deodorant is relevant"? I think if the OP knew it was deodorant, they would have said. I think they know the meaning of "stick" and "aerosol", but don't understand why sticks and aerosols are being compared.
    – AndyT
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 10:46
  • @Mari-LouA True, very true. I've voted to reopen.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 10:46
  • @Mari-LouA How is that relevant to the site standards? The rule is: you show your research. It's a rule that's important because most people are actually terrible at explaining their understanding of things, but citing references helps us know some of what you know. Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:09
  • 3
    What do you understand by the words I can fugure (sic) out the meaning literally A stick is "literally" what exactly? It perfectly explains why the OP was confused, an easy question for native speakers, too easy, ergo the Q should have been migrated.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:18
  • @Mari-LouA Don't think that dictionaries are completely useless for this sense of the word. Macmillan's says "an amount of a solid substance in a container that you push at the bottom so that a small amount comes out of the top". The basic sense is there. Contextually they still probably wouldn't have got it, but if they'd explained their understanding we'd at least know. And I don't dispute the question probably should've been migrated. Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:19
  • 4
    Where did I say dictionaries are completely useless for this sort of thing? The OP understood the most basic meaning of "stick", its primary meaning, and it didn't make sense. Then you have aerosol, so with a bit of imagination they could have understood a spray of some sorts, But insect repellents also come in stick and spray form, would that have made more sense??
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:23
  • @Mari-LouA If we're getting to a question of whether deodorant or insect repellent makes more sense, then that takes us into poetry interpretation territory. Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:24
  • That irrelevant comment above deserves a DV.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:25
  • @Mari-LouA Which one and why? Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:36
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    "Poetry and interpretation" for Jupiter's sake. The answer is deodorant.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:38
  • @Mari-LouA It's not irrelevant at all! The song is about little differences in relationships, while the sense of stick is a valid question, whether the author meant a stick of deodorant or insect repellent is firmly in song interpretation territory. Either would make sense, either is within the realm of possibility. Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 11:40
  • 3
    There are probably good reasons for closing the question, but POB is not it. If this is POB, then the entire enterprise of SE is primarily opinion based because it allows more than one answer.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 13:29
  • Can you find where it states that we have a strict prohibition about questions regarding poetry/lyrics? I have personally tried to find one myself before, but I can not. The closest thing I can find to a consensus directly addressing the subject is this answer by Mitch, but it is less of a strict prohibition, and more of a 'we don't like P.O.B. questions or otherwise off-topic questions' post. Also, the terms literary analysis/criticism mentioned in the help center are vague, and do not seem to apply to this question.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 14:11

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