So I asked this question on English stack exchange and they said "probably not". So will this question be on topic here?

A line OA of length r starts from its initial position OX and traces an angle AOB=alpha in the anticlockwise direction.It then traces back in the clockwise direction an angle BOC=3 theta (where alpha is greater than 3 theta).L is the foot of the perpendicular form C on OA

I ( yet) don't want help in solving the problem itself but what this gibberish mean. I did try to do it myself.

For example first sentence say "....from its initial position OX...". How can a line start from a line OX shouldn't it be point O instead??

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    $\begingroup$ It seems on-topic to me (definitely moreso than for English SE). I would just include a little more context. For instance, the quoted text itself doesn't contain the full problem, and although you don't want it solved (yet), it would probably be helpful for people interpreting the problem to see the whole problem. Also, it would be good to know where you found this problem, if it had any pictures associated with it, and maybe the topic you're trying learn with this problem, etc. Problems are often very hard to interpret without the proper context! $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2019 at 4:16
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    $\begingroup$ By the by, I completely agree with you about the "from its initial position $OX$" comment. Note that $X$ is not used anywhere in the problem (or, at least, what you've quoted) after that point. My only (fairly uneducated) guess would be that $O$ is the origin, and $X$ is a point in the positive $x$-direction (e.g. $(1, 0)$). $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2019 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


I agree with what was said in comments.

I'd say, yes, that's on-topic. Maybe a bit borderline, but in the end it should be fine.

However, please, absolutely include the information where that question comes from (at least abstractly, is it from a book, is it from a typed handout, a webpage, a handwritten notebook copied from a blackboard, etc) and also the end of the question, and ideally also why you care to know this.

Of course, also stress that you want to understand/reconstruct what is meant (as opposed to how to solve the problem) and that you consider it as unclear yourself.

Tangentially, it might be that the X is just a typo for A. The rest is heavy on jargon, but seems coherent to me. That is to say, it seems plausible to me somebody can answer your question and explain it more clearly.


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