Am I being dumb again or is there not a close option for "Not a question" ? I added a close vote to this question because it isn't one. But I didn't see it. If we don't have one, why not? SO has one (or at least used to).


Last year there was a fairly substantial change to the close reasons across the StackExchange sites. You can read more about it and the reasoning about it on this blog post.

Honestly I couldn't tell you exactly when it rolled out here, but I think that the "not a real question" close reason disappeared quite some time ago. The close reasons on StackOverflow even got a further refresh in January this year so are quite different from what you remember.

As for the question you voted to close on, I slightly disagree because it is kind of a question, though phrased very vaguely. Its a question asking for recommendations based on likes/dislikes. However your instinct to close was correct, but the best reason is simply that its not on-topic as recommendations are explicitly off-topic in the help.


As iandotkelly said, the close reasons got a revamp a few months back. One of the main reasons was that they should be clearer and more encouraging to the asker.

I think the most fitting substitute for "not a real question" is "unclear what you are asking".

unclear what you're asking
Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.

I think they are pretty much equal, i.e. if you think the op did not post a real question, you are not clear on what he is asking.

However, as pointed out, the question you are talking to is a recommendation question and therefore off-topic.

  • Yeah - 'unclear what you're asking' is a politer way of saying 'not a real question'
    – iandotkelly Mod
    May 8 '14 at 1:04
  • But the question wasn't unclear, i knew what the OP was asking, it just wasn't an appropriate question for the site. May 8 '14 at 14:14
  • 1
    @DustinDavis "i knew what the OP was asking, it just wasn't an appropriate question for the site." - Well, in this case it isn't so much "not a real question" either, no? Your description sounds perfectly like "off-topic".
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 8 '14 at 14:17
  • 1
    Yep, as said before, the question you link to is a real question (as you said yourself, you know what he was asking). I was just answering the question you posted above as I understood it: "Where did the "not a real question" close reason go and what can I use instead?" By no means did I mean you should apply it to the twin peaks question.
    – magnattic
    May 8 '14 at 14:54

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