I saw a question about the categorization of "free software", assumed that the author means "free as beer" and answered it. The author commented that he meant to ask about the "free as speech" meaning and edited his question. He actually had linked "free software" to a definition, but I admit that I did not follow the link before answering.
I admit this could have been avoided if I had clicked the link. But from my experience, many people will write a new answer without even bothering to read the question body, much less clicking on links. Also, we will surely get future questions where the author does not provide any way to recognize his meaning at all. So the question stands.
So I failed to recognize the dichotomy, working from the first meaning in my mind. And this lead to wasted time for me to write the answer, and for him and others to read through it and take an action.
Can we do something to prevent these confusions happening? If we see a question which needs different answers under the two meanings, but does not specify which one was meant, how should the community react?
Putting on hold as "unclear" would be the prescribed way to deal with it, but it's very offputting to new users, who are more likely to disappear forever when their question is closed than to edit it. Maybe comment on the question and abstain from answering? In that case, what do we do when people unaware of this policy answer nevertheless?
Maybe we can also create tags to clear that up? If so, which tags would be appropriate for the difference? I can't come up with a good solution, because free-as-beer and free-as-speech will be applicable to the majority of question on the site and so many people will use it when the distinction is unimportant. And free-as-beer-definition and free-as-speech-definition are a bit too cumbersome.