Today, a user asked what エレクトーソ means, presumably because they mixed up the similar-looking kana ン and ソ. Tokyo Nagoya helpfully left a comment pointing out their mistake, and then Szymon edited the question to fix the spelling.

I assume that after seeing Tokyo Nagoya's comment, the OP could look it up for themselves. That is, the real problem wasn't "What is エレクトーン?", it was the mistake they made while reading the kana. This question probably won't be helpful to other users in the future.

I think we used to close this sort of question as "too localized", but we don't have that close reason anymore. And since I couldn't figure out a reason to close it, I posted a brief answer, but I'm not sure that was the right thing to do.

What should we do with this question? Is it on-topic? Should we have a close reason for "based on a typo/mistake" or some such?

1 Answer 1


I think questions like that should be closed. This particular question's problem was based on a spelling mistake. Once the mistake was rectified, it's an easy Google search to find the right answer.

Questions of that kind are unlikely to help anyone but the asker and that is a reason enough for closing, in my opinion. There may be some common misconceptions or invalid usage questions that can be helpful for others but not in case of a proper name spelled incorrectly.

As for a good reason, there's a new off-topic reason on SO that says:

This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers. [...]

We can adopt a similar reason that would say something like (feel free to change the text):

This question was caused by a problem that was caused by a simple spelling mistake or typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one is not about a common mistake and is unlikely to help future readers.

  • In the meantime, we can just close with a custom reason. I think the reason we didn't already set up a close reason for typos was because it would have only applied to a scant few questions.
    – Troyen
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 18:06
  • @Szymon , but what about "intentional errors"? Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 13:06

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