I name a product with a word that may be not common to native English speakers, but common enough to be listed in a reputable dictionary. Some people say that it's a bad name, even though I haven't told them what the product is. I think that it's because they are not familiar with the word. As a non-native speaker I cannot confirm this.

In the help page What topics can I ask here?, I don't see any inhibit to my question. So can I ask such question?

I have opened a discussion in ELU too: Is asking about a name of a product (not naming it) is on-topic?

  • 1
    What do you mean by "bad"? If simply a poor choice for a product then off-topic as opinion based. If you are looking for unpleasant connotations of the word then on-topic as you are seeking guidance as to usage and the product is irrelevant.
    – Chenmunka
    Aug 1, 2016 at 9:35
  • I don't know why it's bad too. I think there is no wrong with the word itself, but since I haven't told them what the product is (just saying that's my choice of naming), I don't think it's about a product either.
    – Ooker
    Aug 1, 2016 at 9:50
  • In that case, I would say ask the question. You don't have to mention in the question that it relates to a product.
    – Chenmunka
    Aug 1, 2016 at 10:00
  • but then, I image that if I don't mention the naming part, people will ask "why it's bad?", and I have no answer to them.
    – Ooker
    Aug 1, 2016 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


For this sort of question to be on-topic (and I think it can be) I think you just need to avoid asking "how would you name this product?"

I would say "I chose this word to name a product because I thought it would make people think of X and Y, but now my friend says that it's a bad name because Z. The product is a type of sth. Does the word have a bad connotation when used as a name for this thing?"

You don't have to be too specific about your product, but the thing you're naming can make a difference to whether the word seems bad or not.

  • I don't know Z. Could it make the question too broad?
    – Ooker
    Aug 1, 2016 at 16:48
  • 2
    More detail and context shouldn't make a question too broad. I would go ahead and post your question and let the community help you refine it. You may want to include a link to this discussion in a comment under your question. @Ooker
    – ColleenV
    Aug 1, 2016 at 17:00
  • I have asked it: What is the connotation of the word “Lightninged” when using it as a name of a product for education?. I'm not sure that I use the tag correctly or not.
    – Ooker
    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:53
  • @Ooker I think it turned out to be a good question. The image was a really nice addition.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 3, 2016 at 11:30
  • This answer mainly talks about the marketing side of the name, and it has 3 upvotes. Other answers do mention about the marketing side too. Will it make the question less on-topic?
    – Ooker
    Aug 3, 2016 at 15:16
  • 1
    @Ooker I don't think an answer can make a question off-topic. If it is not the type of answer you hoped for, it may mean you should clarify your question.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 3, 2016 at 16:40
  • Well, technically, the answers are a defining factor why we close questions @Colleen, but I see where you're coming from.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 5, 2016 at 19:05
  • @TIPS Uh, so you're saying that I can turn an on-topic question into an off-topic question if I write a bad answer to it? I don't see how that's possible.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 5, 2016 at 19:19
  • No, that's not what I meant. I meant that one good reason we close, for instance, proofreading is not to allow rep-farmers to gain unjust rep. One good reason that we close unclear questions is the vague-at-best answer they'd get. And so on.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 5, 2016 at 19:24
  • @TIPS So, we agree that questions are judged on their own merits and not by the answers that people add to them. I guess you're saying that the reason we have a system to close questions is to prevent poor answers until a question can be brought on-topic (if it can at all)?
    – ColleenV
    Aug 5, 2016 at 20:00
  • Yes, and yes. IOW, we close certain questions 'cause getting a bad answer is a worse treatment, but we don't close any question solely because the answer it got is bad.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 5, 2016 at 20:03

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