For example, how should one pose questions concerning what a programming concept should be called? I am not talking about naming within code.

The general purpose of such questions would be to enable users to find the right terminology to use to make further enquiries such as searching on Google / Stack Overflow.

For example, what is the name for combining two tables?

By this question I mean are there common terminologies for this? Are there specific methods of combining tables that certain phrases refer to?

Is this an appropriate Stack Overflow question?

I'm not even sure if this meta-question makes sense.

  • 1
    I would say that such questions don't display minimal research effort and as such, off-topic.
    – Oded
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 17:08
  • 4
    Sounds like something to ask in chat, if you're just trying to figure out what you should be searching on.
    – Servy
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


"What is the name of this thing" questions are off-topic on both Stack Overflow and Programmers.

These are poor questions for the same reasons that "identify this obscure TV show, film or book by its characters or story" are bad questions: you can't Google them, they aren't practical in any way, they don't help anyone else, and allowing them opens the door for the asking of other types of marginal questions.

See Also
Let's Play the Guessing Game

  • They might also be considered opinion-based given that more than one correct name might exist. Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 18:11
  • 3
    Their answers also tend to be exemplars of the bikeshedding phenomenon, attracting giddy upvotes and comments like "+1 I didn't know about this!" "Thanks, cool to learn something!", and so on.
    – jscs
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 18:42

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