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I was looking through the close votes on Electronics.SE, and saw a lot of unclear and too broad reasons, including one that I thought was perfectly clear, and so I answered and voted to leave open.

Then a comment said that those particular reasons are used as catch-alls for questions that don't fit any other category, which effectively makes them other instead of their original intents. In this case, the actual reason was too lazy to google, which would probably do well as its own reason, but that's beside the point of this meta question.

But since there's no way to cover everything with a fixed set of options, would it be inviting abuse to add an explicitly other reason to close, possibly with required comments?

I hope this is applicable to all SE sites, not just the one that it came from.

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    The VTC as off-topic: other: comment here already exists. The specific reasons of unclear and too broad may also be one of several reasons that apply, either directly or by logical implication. – Nij Oct 22 '17 at 0:27
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    Please do not abuse markdown code formatting. – DavidPostill Oct 22 '17 at 10:48
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There already is one. That said, where existing reasons work, they're better. (This is the MSE one. The 'standard' close reasons often vary per site).

Its also worth remembering that by answering poor quality, unresearched questions, you're making it ok to ask them (I arguably answered one of them. Its between that, and answering as a comment which is bad, but an answer helps me also answer the question you didn't ask). The person asking the question is probably not going to care until they get question banned. FWIW, too broad is what I'd vote for here, but YMMV.

I'd probably point out its too broad, and try to help OP narrow the scope of his question past "I have no idea how any of this works" in addition to putting on hold

  • Its also worth remembering that by answering poor quality, unresearched questions, you're *making it ok* to ask them Okay, and thanks for answering the unasked one that I didn't think of. +1 for that. – AaronD Oct 22 '17 at 0:38
  • FWIW, I'm not sure I agree with labeling that one too broad. I'd call it off-topic as not researched, but like you said, YMMV. – AaronD Oct 22 '17 at 0:39
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    @AaronD: Off topic for lack of research is not generally valid. The only exceptions I know of where it is valid are on language sites, where a wide variety of canonical, concise references exist in a certain niche that all give similar results when a trivial search is performed (dictionaries and thesauri). Most other sites' topics simply don't have any comparably obvious resource to check. For example, SO can't close questions as "read MSDN" because MSDN doesn't contain all the known details even for MS APIs, never mind anything else, and there are no other sites to cross-reference against. – Nathan Tuggy Oct 22 '17 at 4:03
  • Those aren’t the standard/stock close reasons, they’re the custom close reasons – Cai Oct 22 '17 at 11:46
  • The freeform ones are custom. These are fixed per site. They used to be all the same once – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '17 at 11:56
  • @Journeyman the ones that are fixed per site are custom close reasons (as in you can edit them; go to the page where you can edit them and it says “Custom Off-Topic Close Reasons”) – Cai Oct 22 '17 at 12:06
  • The standard/stock ones are Broad/POB etc – Cai Oct 22 '17 at 12:07
  • In this context though, its in contrast to the freeform one, and calling them custom confuses things, and these close reasons are standard/stock/fixed enough in contrast. – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '17 at 12:32

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