Close reasons are changing. You can find more details on meta.stackoverflow, but basically, this is what's happening:

  • "too localized" is going away.
  • "not constructive" and "not a real question" are being replaced by

    • "unclear what you're asking"
    • "too broad"
    • "primarily opinion-based"
  • "off-topic" will let you pick a specific reason from a list OR let you type in why you think it's o/t.

As a community, we'll be able to add custom "off-topic" close reasons to the list, if we choose to do so. Do we want to? If so, what reasons would we like to add?

As a reminder, we already have this meta question about what questions are off-topic. It might be a good place to start.

This won't be happening until sometime next week, so we have some time to talk about it first.

  • Gilles posted substantially the same question to meta.french.se, which might be interesting: meta.french.stackexchange.com/q/431
    – user1478
    Jun 13, 2013 at 1:04
  • Why is "too localized" going away? I thought that was a perfect choice when someone asks about song lyrics or something similar.
    – istrasci
    Jun 18, 2013 at 17:53
  • 1
    @istrasci Too many people were abusing it across the network to close questions they didn't want to answer. You can see some of the discussion in the comments here.
    – Troyen
    Jun 19, 2013 at 5:05
  • I put together some stats, which may or may not be helpful here: meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1046/…
    – user1478
    Jun 19, 2013 at 10:05
  • Oh, I guess I didn't realize these reasons were changing across all SE. I thought it was just our JL&U reasons.
    – istrasci
    Jun 19, 2013 at 14:16
  • Those interested in the network-wide "too localized" discussion and some examples of how "off-topic" is being expanded to cover some of TL can read the discussion at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/185102/…
    – Troyen
    Jun 19, 2013 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


As with the first suggestion over at meta.french.se, it would be a good idea for us to have a specific "translation request" close reason since those questions don't seem to fit under any of the other new categories - arguably the closest is "too broad" in many cases but that may be confusing for new users.

Some wording adapted from here could be used. It would probably help to have some upfront advice available on how to convert a "please translate this" question into a useful SE question, perhaps with examples, since there certainly are on-topic translation questions as well.


In this answer, Troyen took a look at 14 questions closed as TL. Of those 14, five were closed as typo questions. Since we won't have TL anymore, it seems like our choices are:

  • Leave the questions open. This seems undesirable, because they're not useful to anyone.
  • Close these questions as off-topic. This is a little strange, because they seem like on-topic questions, for the most part.
  • Close these questions with another reason:
    • Duplicate: We'd have to create a question to make them duplicates of. I proposed something similar before, but in retrospect I think this is a bad idea.
    • Unclear what you're asking, too broad, primarily opinion-based: None of these reasons make sense to me.
  • Delete these questions after a few days. This is undesirable because, at times, we want to leave bad questions around even if they're closed, for example when another user adds useful information as a comment or answer. We don't want to throw away the hard work of other users!

Although it seems a little odd to call typos "off-topic", perhaps we can do exactly that; in essence, we're declaring that the purpose of JLU is not to fixing your typos or misreadings. Right now, I'm thinking that's our best choice. (This may change if a network-wide solution for typos is adopted.)

So here's my attempt at writing up a close reason:

Typo. This question was based on a typographical error or a misreading. Since the error has been corrected, there is no longer a question to be answered. if you feel there's still something you don't understand, please edit the question to include this information so it can be re-opened.

What do you think?

  • 1
    ssb also proposed an alternate phrase "no longer relevant"
    – Troyen
    Jun 21, 2013 at 3:05

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