We've had a few questions recently asking for workplace definitons, you can see them under the tag terminology. However users regularly vote to close them under the close reason:

Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations... Questions seeking legal advice...

See these questions for examples:

I don't really agree with the close reason, as these terms aren't company specific and I can't see it as asking for legal advice. However, in the what's on topic section it makes no mention either way if they are or are not on topic.

So, can users ask questions about workplace terminology definitions? Do we consider them on topic? Should we be directing them to the English Language and Usage site?


2 Answers 2


I doubt we'll arrive at consensus on this, it's rather situational. I personally consider most such questions off-topic. Usually it's either an English language question or the OP is actually asking because he wants to know how a particular company uses the term, which we can't possibly answer.

Stack Exchange doesn't have a concept of questions that are "too simple" so basic and general questions like "What is an open plan office?" are answerable and can be argued to be on topic. At the same time our scope typically specifies looking for answers to practical problems and otherwise navigating the workplace in practical ways which is another reason questions like this are usually not that well received. Though I think basic questions like these can have value despite being largely theoretical.

In the end, I'd say you'd have to evaluate each question on its own merits. Some questions will invite substantial and useful answers that can help someone navigate a workplace. A large majority will have dubious value and should be closed, improved or redirected.


Given all the posts we already close/close & Delete, I don't think defining terms would be a terrible thing to take on. If it's asked a second time, it will get closed as a duplicate


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