I recently asked the question Is the phrase “final solution” used in the field of software development? on the site.

While the first version of the question was poorly worded, it was then edited to improve the scope and objectivity.

However, the question was closed after that. I cannot understand what’s wrong with the question in its current form in order to ask better questions in the future.

Does anyone know why it was closed?


I have now updated my original question with some extra context, so the wording of the question now is not the same as when I made this post.

  • Who knows why any particular person downvotes. That said, it may be because of the association with Nazis. I know that doesn't sound like a rational reason to downvote, but sometimes it happens.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 23:48
  • 1
    A good argument against the 3-vote system. Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 3:18
  • 2
    @GArthurBrown It cuts both ways: only three votes are required to re-open. And this is one of the few (the only?) question badly affected so far.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 19:28
  • @GArthurBrown Not really. You have only been here for a couple of weeks, and still <1K rep, so you cannot know what it was like before. There was a huge backlog on the queue, and the small number of 3K users managing it could never keep up. The new 3-vote system also works for re-open; in fact, that question was closed once, but then re-opened quite quickly. Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 19:37
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    @Cascabel: I do agree. I am also relatively new, but it was quite a thing to keep up.
    – fev
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


The actual question

Are there any instances of this particular phrase in technical publications or communication from international tech corporations?

is on topic, in my opinion. I've re-opened the question.

  • I think people might have misinterpreted it as "Should I use this phrase?".
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 19:27
  • @hb20007: I suggest you stop editing your question and keep it as simple as possible. It is a sensitive matter and you mustn't be surprised that people react.
    – fev
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 19:38

I've written extensively on the question's chat page about why I don't think this question is good or useful for the site.

Here's the upshot: "what's wrong with the phrase x" would be a good question for english.SE; "what are some alternatives to x" would be a good question (and already exists), even "is the phrase x in widespread use in a technical context?".

But that's not what this question turned into (after several edits). The way it is written, its now basically "can someone with better Google skills than me find me a couple of obscure examples of people using this phrase in a technical context".

I mean, I don't know if you're trying to win an argument with someone at work that told you not to use this phrase or something, but finding a couple of isolated examples, even in technical publications by major companies, tells you nothing about how broadly used (or acceptable) the use of this phrase would be.

  • I'm trying to follow here. So you said that "Is the phrase x in widespread use in a technical context?" is a good question for the site, but then you said that my question is not good for the site. But my question is exactly that.
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 7:54
  • Also, btw, it's not related to winning an argument. The usefulness of the question comes in knowing that some people actually use this phrase without thinking too much about it, so the next time one sees the phrase, they need to try not to take offence and give the benefit of the doubt.
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 7:56
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    @hb20007 I think if your explanation of your motivation for asking had been included in your question at the start, it would have been better received.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 10:54
  • @ColleenV Maybe... But I was afraid that people would focus too much on that and miss the actual question. People already seemed to misinterpret the question and I wanted to keep it simple.
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:37
  • @hb20007 When you’re talking about an emotionally charged phrase, it’s not a good idea to leave too much open to (mis)interpretation, especially when there has been a recent rise in anti-semetic acts and rhetoric in some parts of the world.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:43
  • @ColleenV I did not think about it in the context of the recent events. I have updated the question now to make my intentions clear.
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 13:12
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    @hb20007 Your question asks specifically, "are there any instances of...", which is not the same as asking about "is (x) in widespread and/or general use". This distinction is not trivial. Compare to this question about phrase usage, which embeds "ngram" word usage graphs and stuff like that. Finding a few examples doesn't tell you whether those examples are typical or exceptional.
    – BradC
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 13:16
  • @BradC Please consider "are there any instances of..." in the full context of what I am asking. The full question is: "Are there any instances of this particular phrase in technical publications or communication from international tech corporations?" I am not asking for any instance of this phrase. I am looking for it being used in communication from a tech corporation or a research paper. This is much more significant than a random person using it on the internet.
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 13:21
  • @BradC If you can suggest a better way to word the question, without using the phrase "any instance", I would gladly consider it.
    – hb20007
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 13:21

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