I know from other StackExchange sites, that please identify this questions are unwanted. The most cited reasons are from the Let's Play the Guessing Game blog entry.

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

A half-remembered description of something you vaguely recall is not what I’d call a practical, answerable question.


Because these questions are based on vague, broad, half-remembered descriptions, it is unlikely anyone else will be able to find them through a web search. I have a difficult time imagining how you’d construct a web search, either on Google or via Stack Exchange’s built-in search, to find something that you can’t fully articulate. What’s even worse is that these questions, by their very nature, will contain a bunch of broad, speculative “maybe it’s like…” catch-all terms that are likely to trip up future visitors who end up there by accident.


I understand that it’s sometimes fun to guess what someone is thinking of. I also appreciate that it takes a lot of expertise and deep domain knowledge to take a vague, half-remembered description and nail the exact thing. But I would also argue that these questions aren’t educational in any way, because there’s no way to learn about the process of discovery.

I am asking because this question was asked, but would like your opinions not only based on that one, but if we want those kind of questions is general. I personally agree with the points Jeff mentions in the blog post and would like to ban those kind of questions here, too.

Another Example.

1 Answer 1


I personally don't like these questions at all, so I'd be in favor of 'banning' them.

While I sympathize with the OP of your example question for wanting to buy the exercise equipment at hand, probably to help him revalidate, it would be much easier if he simply went back to wherever he saw it and asked the name there OR take a picture and show us.

Either way, if he's looking for an exercise that has a certain beneficial effect, then he should focus his question on that aspect and if the machine is well known, it might even be in one of the answers. This has the benefit of being more widely applicable, since anyone looking for that kind of exercise will get an answer; it might yield a better answer, because perhaps there's a similar exercise that doesn't need a machine and it takes out the guessing, the answers either perform the requested exercise or they don't.

So I'll leave a comment guiding him to change his question, so we can help him solve his problem.

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