I wrote a question today where I stated that I was "writing to disk" and wondered if that sounded old fashioned. I wanted to ask for opinions and poll what others felt and to see if other terms made more sense such as "writing to a file", depending on the context.

This is a programming related question on writing to a file on disk. I understand that opinion-based questions are off-topic for all of the sites that I thought about asking it on.

I know that we have English Language & Usage but I felt that it wasn't appropriate there either because I wanted to query other programmers.

Am I correct to believe that Stack Exchange as a whole is not the appropriate place to ask this kind of question?


4 Answers 4


I'm a high rep user at ELU (and also a programmer). I think the question will be on-topic, as long as you follow these rules:

  • Make sure you're not asking for opinions.
  • Include your research that you've done so far on the topic (this is to avoid your question being closed with this close reason). In your case, I would check to see how often (and in what context) the phrase is being used with tools like Google NGrams, Google Books Search (which is related to NGram), and just a plain old search of the internet. Be sure to include what you found in your question.

I'm not very active on ELU, but they have a computing tag, with questions on computing terms. It would seem that your question would fit there too.


This is a borderline one for Retrocomputing. There are several questions there regarding the meaning of obsolete terms but none (yet) regarding whether or not a term is 'old fashioned'.

It could be worth asking on the meta or chat of that site to gauge opinion.


Speaking as ELU user, it is very likely on-topic on English.SE. There's even a tag which tackles questions of the sort. The contemporary English tag. However as all SE sites it's not very friendly to questions which poll what others felt. As Laurel already points out a certain prior research would be necessary for your question to be on-topic.

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