The question What is the moment when all oscillators aligned to make a jump called? asks for correct term and is closed as off-topic. According to What topics can I ask about here? - Help Center, I think questions asking for terms fall on the categories of:

  • Conceptual questions.
    Example: Why is the Fourier transform so important?
  • Theory questions.
    Example: How do the Fourier transforms relate to the Fourier Series?

Knowing the terms is important to study. Yes it can be asked in ELU or ELL, but why should it be off-topic here? We even have a tag.


1 Answer 1


Since I was the one who closed the referenced question, I'll answer for that specific question and then try to generalize.

For that specific question, I believe there are many possible answers, none of which are "technically" correct and all of which are a matter of opinion. For example:

  • Removable Discontinuity : I don't personally think this is correct, because it describes the overall function rather than the individual components aligning.

  • Phase Alignment : The individual frequency components of the square wave are aligning, but I don't think this is a well-defined term, and it's more that the component amplitudes are aligning.

  • Component Amplitude Alignment : The individual components are aligning, but... I'm not sure that's quite right either.

And that sort of a discussion isn't really about signal processing. It's informed by signal processing, but the nomenclature is more closely aligned with the English stack exchange site.

Your more general point is valid, though: It's certainly possible that some questions about nomenclature are on topic.

  • $\begingroup$ You say that the possible answers are "a matter of opinion". Do you think the fact that there is no widely used term for this makes this question opinion-based? Perhaps the close reason should be "opinion-based" rather "off-topic"? But on the other hand, do you think that questions on terminology should be welcomed to the site, even it's a matter of opinion? Because it still allow other people to decide the answers are good or bad and vote on them? $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jun 12, 2018 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Ooker : Well, I thought off-topic fit better because of the relevance to the English Language SE site. I didn't migrate it, because I thought it might be too off-topic there also in its present form (needs background material, I think, for the ELU site). I'm torn about the matter-of-opinion question. Let's try this: I'll re-open the question, and add my "answer" above, and see if we get any other takers. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Jun 12, 2018 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure what you mean by getting another takers, but anyway, thanks for the reopen. I agree this sounds like a linguistic question about signal processing, but I think it's still a good and reasonable topic. $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Ooker : I meant any other answerers. Olli seems to have added an answer after his comment. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Generally speaking, for questions where the poster seeks for the best/better something, it's dangerous even for a reputable expert to make the ruling that there cannot be an answer. There's always something one doesn't know/notice/remember that might be the answer. $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2018 at 7:03

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