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Why is a question about the pronunciation of an algorithm name off topic?

If one is going to appear knowledgeable in an interview, they should know the commonly accepted pronunciations of their technologies. Many of them are not clear, and one might have only read them (never hearing them pronounced). And asking our peers is the best way to find out.

However, SO blocks pronunciation questions. In my opinion they should be allowed. It is relevant information.

  • If you are wondering. XOR is pronounced X-OR, not ZOR – Cole Johnson Aug 18 '12 at 6:01
  • There are sites on the Internet that will pronounce words for you, pre-recorded, with audio, and doesn't involve you asking other people. The information you seek is already out there. Good luck! – jmort253 Aug 18 '12 at 6:49
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    When I interview a candidate that knows the words but mis-pronounces them then I know I got a well-read but somewhat socially inept candidate. The perfect programmer. When I interview one that gets all the pronunciations right then I only know I got one that listened to other people saying them. – Uphill Luge Aug 18 '12 at 16:44

EL&U.SE FAQ allows pronunciation questions, consider posting there - just make sure your question is not already asked and that it complies with other site specific guidelines explained in FAQ.

The English Language and Usage Stack Exchange is for ... (serious) English language enthusiasts. Questions on the following topics are welcomed here: ...

  • Pronunciation (phonetics and phonology, dialectology)

As of now, there are more than 500 questions listed in their pronunciation tag:

  • Why is service pronounced the way it is?
  • How to pronounce “linearly”?
  • How do I pronounce “ratio 1:1”?
  • What is the commonly accepted pronunciation of FAQ?
  • ...
  • 3
    It really depends. The question has to be fleshed out enough, and we often close things as General Reference. Searching "XOR pronunciation", for example, yields several references. If a question doesn't show that they've done research, it will likely get closed. – simchona Aug 19 '12 at 1:33

Relevant for what? Stack Overflow does not exist so that you can "appear knowledgeable in an interview;" it exists to answer questions about code. How useful or not it is to you in an interview is entirely irrelevant to what we do here.

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    Tough crowd. OK, regardless of the motivation (and I havent looked for a job in almost 20 years), I want to know how to pronounce JSTL, which I have been using daily for 5 years but never heard anyone pronounce. I have been saying 'jostle', but only to myself in my head as I fall asleep at night. I googled to exhaustion and couldnt find an answer. I hoped to find an answer here. But apparently it will remain 'jostle' until someone corrects me. – John Fitzpatrick Aug 19 '12 at 20:30

The usefulness of the question is irrelevant. It would be useful to me if I could ask questions about whether I should see Ted or The Dark Knight Rises, but that's completely off-topic. The Stack Overflow FAQ has a clear outline for what types of questions are allowed:

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

Pronunciation questions don't satisfy any of these requirements. There are numerous other websites, which serve different purposes, whose communities would gladly answer your pronunciation questions. You can post them there.

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