Today, a new user posted another "Is X good for Y?" type of question: Is classical music good for a pregnant woman and her baby Questions like that are a problem because they are too vague to be satisfactorily answered, and are unfortunately common.

Initially, I came in here to suggest to improve the warning displayed when someone asks a question with a problematic title. For example, asking "Are waffles good for you?" returns this warning:

The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed.

However, when I typed "Is it true that classical music is good for pregnant woman and her baby?" into the title field, no warning appeared. After a bit of testing, it turns out that, while "Are X good for you?" is considered a problematic question, "Are X good for Y?" isn't. That's a problem.

At least as far as Skeptics is concerned, the use of the phrase "good for" or "bad for" in a title is practically always a sign of an overly too vague question. Instead of using "good" or "bad", the asker should be using more precise terms. For example, rather than using "bad for," the question should ask about the expected effects: increases odds of contracting breast cancer, can cause impotence or loss of hair, etc.

Claims that don't even list a possible precise effect on health should be dismissed as being overly vague. If the person making the claim can't even tell you what he or she expects X to have on you, it's highly unlikely that the person's opinion isn't grounded in solid evidence.

In that light, please add the phrases "good for" and "bad for" to the filter thingadongdong.


1 Answer 1


Good idea, this is now implemented!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .