This question was closed as off-topic (now deleted). A general reason ("not about interpersonal skills as defined in the help center") was given, but none of the indicators for off-topicness in the help center apply.

Knowing whether it is ok to use expressions in a joking or friendly context that are usually considered racist and offensive seems to be a very important social skill. (And I'd answer "no" in most cases.) So I'm struggling to understand why the question was closed as off-topic.

Notice that I have no qualms about this particular question being closed. OP explicitly used an obvious racial slur in the title. After it was edited out, for which an explanation was given, OP reverted to the original version without comment. To me this suggests the author didn't ask in good faith and wanted to troll, meaning the question as it was phrased should have been closed as "rude or abusive".

  • 1
    You might want to rephrase your title. As you said, the question was probably closed because it was a troll who wasn't asking in good faith. The more general question of "Are questions about using offensive words in context [x] on topic?" seems much more interesting.
    – tim
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 13:01
  • I hope you remove your two questions in the question body and make them separate meta posts for better community consensus. I'm writing my answer as an answer to your title question.
    – NVZ
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 13:20
  • @NVZ, .@tim Done. Thanks for asking.
    – user510
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


I can tell you just why I voted to close it, and then delete it.

I can't explain how, but I could initially sense that that OP was merely trolling.

Adding to my suspicion was OP's rollback of mine and others' edits, insistence on using a particular offensive term instead of asking about offensive terms in general.

As per our site policies, titles should avoid offensive terms, even though it is okay to mention or discuss offensive terms within a question or answer body.

My reason for choosing the generic close reason was that I didn't at the time think it was worth putting more effort to explaining a close reason to a trolling user.

Nothing is permanently deleted on SE, as far as I know.

If the OP would try to understand the site standards and follow the guidance we have given and edit to improve their post, we can undelete it and reopen it.

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    I'd like to add that a moderator confirmed in chat that this the second offensive post from that particular account. And that most close votes were only cast after the second rollback to offensive language by OP (I believe mine was second or third?, and that was definitely cast after second rollback). By then, I just went with what was already given as a reason "off topic", for the same reason as @NVZ.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 15:52

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