I had a strange situation today. On another SE website, I found the following comment:

I'm not asking what is your guess about implementation. I'm asking you what exactly one should be able to do with this dialog. So far I know it should pop up and look similarly. I can guess it should affect Graphics3D somehow, via context menu maybe, but I don't want to guess because we aren't here to guess what OPs need.

Source: Something like ViewPoint Selector (Mathematica.SE)

I'm Brazilian and I do not know if what was written had a brave tone.

The translation of the word "guess" seemed pejorative to me.

For me phrases such as:

  • I suppose...
  • I think...
  • I imagine...

seem kinder.

I am wrong? Or did the tone have this characteristic?

I was not offended. But I just want to learn if there is a word more appropriate to not generate doubts.

  • My bravado meter is reading zero; I don't find anything pejorative about the "to guess" in that comment. But I've upvoted your question because I think it's a fair question and you've done a good job presenting it.
    – J.R.
    Jul 13, 2017 at 16:56
  • I thank you. I already have difficulty writing simple things on the sites in the English language and now asking this question really demanded me some care to be clear.
    – LCarvalho
    Jul 13, 2017 at 17:08
  • This my question has almost become an off-topic?
    – LCarvalho
    Jul 13, 2017 at 17:19
  • 1
    @LMS The initial letters of my name are very similar to yours. My name is: Leandro Maciel de Carvalho. It's just a silly comment
    – LCarvalho
    Jul 13, 2017 at 17:23
  • LCarvalho - Off-topic? I don't think so. It's a valid question – one that native speakers and learners might find interesting.
    – J.R.
    Jul 13, 2017 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


"To guess", especially in technical circumstances, is a mild pejorative aimed at people who are offering advice or answers based on assumption due to lack of details.

This is quite common in IT/software forums where exact answers are a reasonable possibility. I am guilty of this myself because presumptive answers cause a lot of unhelpful noise.

Instead of brave, I would say "we aren't here to guess" takes an assertive tone.

Admittedly guessing is not always a bad thing though:

Mr. Spock: Mr. Scott cannot give me exact figures, Admiral, so... I will make a guess.

Adm. Kirk: A guess? You, Spock? That's extraordinary.

  • To use a Star Trek series dialogue was amazing.
    – LCarvalho
    Jul 13, 2017 at 17:30
  • I think you understood my feeling. In this type of context can occur much of these things.
    – LCarvalho
    Jul 13, 2017 at 17:34

You must log in to answer this question.

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