Should one ask a question here even if the answer can be found googling the internet?

I asked myself for instance what the meaning of rain check is and where it came from. There can be found several explanations. But should the questions still be asked in order to build a nice set of questions on this site?

2 Answers 2


(Inserting gratuitous plug to listen to Stack Exchange Podcast #40, which covers this issue)

Yes, of course! If we were only asking questions that have never been asked before, this site would become a quiet, tiny place.

There's a lot of information on the Internet, but it's not always clear if that information is complete or correct. The beauty of a Stack Exchange site is how easy it makes it to find that information, and to all-but-assure the best/correct answer is right there at the top!

You should remove "This is Googleable" from your vocabulary. More often than not, it is a mischaracterization of the issue. The "general reference" close reason from English SE was supposed to be a way to avoid simply re-creating resources like dictionaries and thesauruses on this site (i.e. can be "answered by a single link to a standard internet reference"). It was never designed as a way to close down questions because answers can be found elsewhere on the Internet.

But should the questions still be asked in order to build a nice set of questions on this site?

But a caution about "Seeding" this site —

Please be careful about simply asking questions just to increase your numbers. Ask questions based on actual problems that you face… especially this early in your site development. If visitors feel that those seeking help don't actually need the help they're requesting, the whole exercise would likely be perceived as a waste of time.

Please read this blog post for a more thorough explanation:

Your New Site: Asking the First Questions


In these cases, I don't believe the key question is, "To ask, or not to ask?" Instead, the main issue is, "How should I ask?"

If I was going to ask about rain check, for example, I wouldn't simply ask:

What is the meaning of rain check? Where did it come from?

That's basically asking everyone else in the community to do research for you. It exhibits laziness. A site peppered with questions like that will get old in a hurry.

Instead, I would try to find the answer myself. If I wasn't satisfied with the answers I found (perhaps they contradict each other, or maybe they don't come from authoritative, reliable sources), then I might ask the question here. That said, I'd be sure to include what I already found (with quotes and links), and also explicitly explain why I wasn't satisfied with the answers I had already uncovered.

By “doing your homework” first, and also sharing your findings, you'll have a much more robust question – one that is more likely to be appreciated instead of resented.

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