I asked this question: Is this a known pattern: A utility class that attracts new methods, even when these are not re-used? - and the only "reply" that I got from the community is

If we had a name for every possible code abuse, we'd need a glossary the size of the Oxford English Dictionary."

Plus two downvotes and three close votes.

So asking for the name of a pattern in software development is not appropriate on this site... Well, then I don't get what this community is good for, and I think that I'll just turn my back on it... (Sorry for the rant, but I'm quite frustrated)

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    Possible duplicate of Are "name that thing" questions on-topic?
    – gnat
    Aug 11, 2017 at 8:59
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    Well, that's a useful pointer. I wish I had just gotten that information, instead of the "why do you think that there is a name, you idiot" comment...
    – oberlies
    Aug 11, 2017 at 11:57
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    @gnat Interesting. The high voted answers on the possible duplicate, and its duplicate seem to indicate that the not-meta question would be on-topic, since it appears to be asking what is the name of this concept as opposed to what should be the name of this concept.
    – 8bittree
    Aug 11, 2017 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


I think the community here does not really like to keep questions with the correct answer "There is no broadly accepted name" alive on this site. The fact our experts don't know a common name for a "well-known concept" is often an indicator for the concept not being so "well-known" as the questioner expected, or it is just too general or vague to have a specific name.

IMHO it is fine when you ask such a question, but when you get the feedback that the impression of "there must be a name for it" was probably wrong, and the question gets closed, don't take it personally. Also, do not take the downvotes personally; the community people here often put them on a question to get it deleted more quickly, not because it was badly written. However, if it turns out some of the experts hastily closed your question, and some others think differently about the close and are willing to answer, this site has also a fair process to handle this, the "vote to reopen" process.

Finally, I think @RobertHarvey's comment is a bit overly harsh, since it implies you were talking about an anti-pattern or some code abuse, which you IMHO did not, but as I said, do not take this personally. See his reaction in a context where we get several of such questions each month asking for a "common name" when there is none.

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    Personally, I don't like questions where the answer is simply an accepted name for something. Questions should generate answers that require some kind of sharing of knowledge or experience or taking different sources of information and synthesis - some kind of human action. We're not a community of dictionaries or glossaries - we're people here to share the knowledge and experiences that we've gained while practicing software engineering.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Aug 11, 2017 at 14:09
  • @ThomasOwens: sure, and I agree to you, but would you vote for closing such a question given a case where you know there is a name for concept described by an asker?
    – Doc Brown
    Aug 11, 2017 at 14:12
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    Since I have a binding vote and the community hasn't really objected to those, no. But if I see one with a couple of close votes or if I wasn't a mod, yeah, I would.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Aug 11, 2017 at 14:39
  • One of the problem I have with names is that when you don't know it and there is one, it can be difficult to find information about it. Once you know the name, you find generally all what you need. Thus the need to find the name. once you know it, you'll hardly need that much of help afterwards. That the main benefits of knowing names properly, and it is a huge one. For the cons we all know them (it may not exists one, subjective)
    – Walfrat
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:33

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