Background (may be skipped):
Over on Crypto.SE we're currently reforming our custom close reasons and as a result of this, we want to create a close reason that captures both "request to analyze a chunk of data which will help nobody else" and "request to fully peer-review a self-invented scheme which will never be used, never be useful to anybody else, is too broad and beyond our capabilities", i.e. something like "too localized" while avoiding this specific wording because it was retired by SE itself and comes with too much connotation for "geographical", "timely" and "language-bound".

This results in the following needs:
I'm looking for a word or a phrase to (elegantly) express "too localized", i.e. that something is very specific to one person and will likely never be used / needed by somebody else.
I thought about "too localized" but I'm sure it will be misunderstood in a geographic, language-bound or timely manner, like "this is 20 years old (or only exists in north korea), nobody cares about it, it's too localized" is the kind of thing I want to avoid.

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    How about "too specialized" or "too specific"? – Hot Licks Mar 31 '16 at 12:49
  • @HotLicks "too specific" sounds good, especially to catch the "analyze the data dump" although it doesn't catch the "peer review my scheme" quite well, but I guess I can fix this with a nice phrase... – SEJPM Mar 31 '16 at 13:07
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    I don't think the reason Too Localised was dropped from our closevote reasons has anything to do with it having "geographical" connotations. So to a considerable extent I think the motivation for this question is based on a false premise. Most of us don't consciously register the original "spatial" meaning in this or related metaphoric usages such as field of knowledge, area of expertise, etc. – FumbleFingers Mar 31 '16 at 13:08
  • To capture the idea that it is peculiar to one individual's interests and is of no use to anybody else, how about too idiosyncratic? – Jacinto Mar 31 '16 at 13:11
  • 'Too parochial' is an alternative; it has the meaning you require, but is not all that common in this broadened usage (but the other usage is certainly not available here, which is one advantage). 'Too limited in scope' (its definition) is perhaps a better alternative. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 31 '16 at 15:24

How about too narrowly focused?

Or Not generally applicable.

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"Too localized" is definitely very strange and counterintuitive jargon. I wouldn't expect anyone to understand it unless they're part of the in-group already.

I'd suggest "unlikely to be useful to future users" as a plain English alternative. Stack Exchange is trying to build a library of knowledge for people to refer to, and a question which will never be useful to anyone but the OP probably doesn't need to become part of that library.

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Esoteric Merriam-Webster

: only taught to or understood by members of a special group : hard to understand : limited to a small number of people

This is often used to describer a very niche interest, such as certain programming languages, or someone who has a deep and abiding interest in Swiss postage stamps from 1833-1838.

List of Esoteric Programming Languages

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  • I think his use case is even narrower than that -- there's no "special group", it's only of interest to the specific poster. Stack Exchange is usually receptive to esoteric topics, so long as there's likely to be some non-trivial group of interested readers. – Barmar Apr 1 '16 at 18:24

You can use 'specific' as @HotLicks said, but I would prefer :

Or you may want to express the Q&A

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single instance
exclusive instance.

exclusive: restricted or limited to the person, group, or area concerned.

peculiar instance

peculiar: belonging exclusively to.

nit-noid in the sense that the scope of the question appears too narrow. It doesn't score well in the elegance department, though.

A small and inconsequential detail, fact, statistic or variance, usually associated with system or universe of data analysis. Nit-noids can be troublesome to dismiss as statistically insignificant and are hence often irritating to those that must deal with them.


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To the extent that “Too Localized” is kind of the opposite of “Too Broad,” you could look to the current SE name/description** of the latter and consider using antonyms of terms used therein for naming and describing the former. For example (the last one [especially its bracketed words], is offered tongue slightly in cheek):

Too Narrow — Good answers would be beneficial to too few users/[would not benefit enough users]. Please add details to widen the issue and expand its usefulness [to more users/potential beneficiaries].

(this is my favorite of the three, but it’s probably too similar to “too narrowly focused” to be considered different enough from @Barmar ’s good answer [+1, btw])

[Issue] Too Isolated — Good answers would be beneficial to too few users. Please add details to expand the usefulness of the issue to more potential beneficiaries.

(this one contains the same problematic geographical connotations that you’re trying to avoid, but perhaps by adding “Issue” to it (or even to “Too Localized,” for that matter), those connotations could be overcome)

Not broad enough — [There are either too few good possible answers, or] good answers would be beneficial to too few users. Please add details [to widen the answer set or] to expand the usefulness of the issue to more potential beneficiaries.

(again, this one is offered tongue slightly in cheek, but the possibility of being “Too Broad” does imply that a certain degree of “Broadness” is desired (or at least acceptable) [as long as it is somewhere between “not broad enough” and “too broad”].)

** (Too Broad — There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.)

(the above is the current SE name and description for one of its reasons for closing [Too Broad], and I’ve concentrated on its name and its use of the terms “narrow” and “isolate an issue” to try to find a suitable replacement for “too localized.”)

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