I am trying to find out the pronunciation of a computer term, but since it is (mostly) a poll-type question, I figured I would ask for advice first in order to avoid getting raped by the seemingly ever-increasing aggressive people on the SE sites. :-|

What I wanted to do was to simulate a poll by posting the question (I’m not sure whether it is more appropriate here or on the English site), about how the computer term should be pronounced and give a bit of explanation about the two main pronunciations—both have their merits. (I considered clicking community wiki as well, but that is no longer available by default.)

Then I was going to post both of the pronunciations as answers so that people can vote for the pronunciation they use. I also considered posting the two main pronunciations as comments to the main question, particularly since it prevents people from down-voting the one they don’t use; posting them as answers relies on the honesty of users.

The assumption is that after a decent number of votes, a relatively clear picture of what the more popular (and thus de facto “correct”) pronunciation is, while still allowing for the possibility of someone giving an answer/link about a possible de jure answer.

(In one of the discussions about polls on Meta, someone suggested that polls belong on pollmnkey.com—which for the record is blocked by the anti-ad section of my HOSTS file. If that is considered correct, then wouldn’t posting the question there and then posting a link to that poll on a StackExchange site not be extraneous and redundant? Worse, wouldn’t that make it difficult to form a valid SE question since there is no actual answer? Besides, who wants to register yet another account on yet another site, especially one that would be used infrequently?)

So now I’ve got two questions (in addition to the original question, um…, in question):

  1. Would such a question be more appropriate for SuperUser or English?
  2. Would I/my rep get killed for asking it and/or the question get shut down, leaving me scratching my head with a still-unanswered question?
  3. Should I use a third-party site instead, and if so, how do I get people to vote on it?
  • what's the question? Feb 22, 2011 at 4:07
  • How a computer term is pronounced. Technically it is a computer question, but not specifically about hardware or software. I suppose it could be considered a language question (and there are other pronunciation questions on English, though they are mostly non-computer related).
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 at 4:12
  • 2
    It's not GIF is it?
    – random Mod
    Feb 22, 2011 at 5:03
  • @random, GIF already has entire pages dedicated to it: google.com/search?safe=off&q=pronounce+gif (and I have always said jif; gif sounds too soft and mushy—which for the record is correct according to CompuServe, so Mac users are wrong).
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 at 5:27
  • 1
    That's what we have chat for @Synetech
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 22, 2011 at 9:18
  • -1 for asking for advice before asking a question‽ Really? I can understand a down-vote for the question itself, but for asking ahead?
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 at 18:13
  • 5
    No. Downvote = "No to polls"
    – random Mod
    Feb 22, 2011 at 19:41
  • No. No you don't. If you have a poll goto poll.com or something. We're a Q&A site.
    – jcolebrand
    Mar 11, 2011 at 21:41
  • @drachenstern, “no. no you don’t”? It would be clearer if you quoted the specific question.
    – Synetech
    Mar 12, 2011 at 0:03
  • @Synetech ~ I Need to Ask a Poll-Type Question
    – jcolebrand
    Mar 14, 2011 at 15:13
  • I don’t? I could have sworn I did. I thought I had to go to the bathroom too, but maybe I don’t…
    – Synetech
    Mar 14, 2011 at 17:51

2 Answers 2


Poll type questions are ill advised for any of the Stack Exchange set of sites.

For pronunciation, your hypothetical question is better for English Language & Usage as their FAQ states the following territory:

The English Language and Usage Stack Exchange is for linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts. Questions on the following topics are welcomed here:

Usage, word choice, and grammar
Pronunciation (phonetics and phonology, dialectology) [...]

If you posted the question on Super User it would be closed as off topic.

Not sure how EL&U would handle it. Though, if it was made into a poll, would most likely suffer the same fate as here.

If you need eyeballs on it, you could ask the people who hang out in chat.


I am racking my brain, but I can't think of any way ...

How do I pronounce [this computer term]?

.. would be on topic for Super User even a little.

  • A computer term is part of computer software/hardware isn’t it? Especially if it is something that can be answered from documentation/specifications.
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 at 5:32
  • Pronunciation isn't a computer problem. It's a language hurdle/quirk/game. @syn
    – random Mod
    Feb 22, 2011 at 5:53
  • No, but then lots of stuff can be relegated to other sites. It’s a matter of multiple categories; eg does a video-editing program go in the video folder or the editors folder? Does an Ubuntu question go on SuperUser or on Ubuntu? Does an encryption algorithm go in StackOverflow or Math? A JavaScript question go on StackOverflow or Programmers or Webmasters or DocType? It’s really about more fitting, which I guess is now clear in this case.
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 at 6:01
  • 1
    @Synetech Have you considered asking the question on English SE. I recently migrated a similar style question there without issues. Feb 22, 2011 at 6:36
  • Yes, that’s what I’m going to do. (I assume you are talking about the one asking how to pronounce AJAX, right?)
    – Synetech
    Feb 22, 2011 at 6:50
  • @Synetech Yeah. That was the one. Feb 22, 2011 at 8:22

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