I am taking https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/47422/what-does-this-guy-mean-when-he-says-big-m as example, but the question is general to any similar question.

The user is asking the meaning of "big M" in "Firewall for 6 months? Are you big M?" which a reply to "I doubt this , i'm someone who migrated from Gentoo Linux , i still have lots of stuff to configure in Ubuntu , like firewall , a customized kernel , fonts , etc."
Given the context, I would think big M is referring to Microsoft, but it could be referring to Mc Donald's or Big M, a brand of flavored milk. Apart from the general context (a group for who don't like the Ubuntu Linux distribution), it is not clear the relation between a firewall the user needs to set up and Microsoft; a reference to Big M, or Mc Donald's, would be equally probable, as both has nothing to share with firewalls.

In which cases does a question about what somebody meant become a "try to guess" game?
What should be required from these questions to be acceptable?
If they are not acceptable, what should be the closing reason for those questions (I guess "too localized")?

2 Answers 2


A question becomes a try to guess game when one has great difficulty obtaining the answer even with contextual clues. The closing reason should be not a real question as the question is too vague.

When someone posts such a question, he has no idea if the answer can be adequately determined from context. It is then up to the community to decide if the question is not a real question.

I have just closevoted this particular question as not a real question for the record.

  • I guess that getting different answers, even if they are posted as comments, is a sign that the context doesn't allow to understand what the intended meaning is.
    – apaderno
    Nov 7, 2011 at 9:15
  • this does seem a bit too much 'try to guess'
  • definitely 'too localized'.
  • except the OP has no idea that it is too localized, they think it is a normal usage of some kind that they just can't find a reference for.
  • I think requesting more context is the only good option.
  • I agree, more context is necessary, but it is not always possible to understand the intended meaning even when the context is provided, simply because who wrote a phrase is using an association of concepts that is obscure to others (e.g. firewall, six months, big M).
    – apaderno
    Nov 7, 2011 at 9:18

You must log in to answer this question.

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