I'm a little lost. I participate in a lot of SE networks (mostly just voting, sometimes asking questions). I read the Help Center - On Topic guidelines for questions, and yet my only question in this community was downvoted, when in my eyes it is on-topic.

Perhaps I didn't explain what I needed to know as well as I could (I tried to clean that up with an edit to the question). Perhaps my question is 'too localized', meaning only applicable to a small subset of languages (I doubt it)? How am I supposed to know that without asking?

I'm very confused, and would like to know how I can re-phrase my question to better suit what this community is all about.

  • I don't understand French, so the question does not mean much to me. However, it definitely looks on-topic here. I don't see any criticism of the question either, or suggestions for improvement. I recommend ignoring the downvote.
    – prash Mod
    Sep 13, 2015 at 11:42
  • @prash I understand, perhaps I should have said in the question that what I was asking about would apply to a lot of Indo-European and Germanic languages. In any case, I'm taking your advice! Sep 13, 2015 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


Don't worry too much about one downvote, it can mean anything. Usually they are justified, but unsurprisingly many can be cast for other reasons.

My suggestion is that when you get a downvote, check your post for any flaws, if you think it still works, you could post a comment under the downvoted post and ask for clarifications, but when you know you can't further improve it, I suggest you just move on.

Welcome to Linguistics SE!

  • Thanks Alenanno. I did edit my question after I received a comment that suggested to me that I wasn't clear enough. I guess the downvote was just that, as nobody asked for clarification nor criticized the question. In any case, it's not a big deal. I just had the impression that I was doing something wrong! Sep 13, 2015 at 14:56

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