Every time I resort to Stack Exchange I literally experience a level of indecision and reluctance as so many of the threads scream disdain. And its such a shame too, because there could be infinite possibilities, with the many different language, expression, vocabulary sub-topics, so many individuals who contribute that have so much knowledge to share. Ironically, so much that it sure seems everyone knows everything about everything, albeit to the distasteful point that many Stack exchangers redefine ultracrepidarian.

The knowledge here is amazing and perplexing, but I'm just being honest--quite frankly the condescending attitudes here are reporting: "I'm just being honest."

I'm quite certain my thoughts here will not be accessible for any more than a brief moment, if even that! No one on this holier-than-thou site will ever be accepting of this constructive criticism. That said, I'm done pissing in the wind. If you people could lighten up just a tiny bit, you might be surprised how much more pleasant the site would be. Just my observation, thus MHO. Good day.


The attitude you describe is well-known and many in the community actively work against it.

The best course of action when you find obnoxious posts is to flag them (click "flag" and select the appropriate objection). The moderators keep a close eye on flags, and some flags automatically delete comments if a few people flag the comment the same way.

Having said that, Stack Exchange operates somewhat differently from other Q&A sites. It has a long-term objective of becoming a repository of questions relevant to individual communities, answered by experts from that community. This sets up an expectation that questions are relevant and answers are definitive.

Aside The site started as a Q&A for programmers, with EL&U and other communities added later. The programmers were keen to help fellow programmers, but weren’t interested to be a free ‘do my homework’ service. It is considered rude for an asker to demand that the community “just show me the codez” without having tried to solve the problem first. This generalised to what is now termed the ‘research’ requirement. For EL&U, this includes basic references such as dictionaries, as well as checking the EL&U repository itself to see if the question has been asked and answered previously.

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    I don’t think that the “repository”issue, has anything to do with the inappropriate attitude that the OP is referring to. – user 66974 Aug 7 '18 at 16:00
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    @JJJ Perhaps I'm the princess on the pea and not able to take a short direct comment. Here's a grey zone comment (grey-zone in the sense that it is imo not awful at all but an accumulation of such comments -- and they are frequent -- could pollute a helpful or even neutral climate) from yesterday. "What makes you think that doesn't better belong to English Language Learners, please?" Could the commenter not just as easily have said. "Try posting your question at English Language Learners; our sister site is a better fit for your question."? – S Conroy Aug 7 '18 at 16:38
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    @SConroy Yes. It's the phrasing that's the problem. When I respond in that way, I say, "This might be better served at ELL." Saying, 'What makes you think?" is confrontational. Especially if they don't already know about the other site. – Jason Bassford Aug 7 '18 at 18:59
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    @SConroy That quote reminds me of the style of one particular member. Your ‘grey zone’ description is apt. I get the sense that this particular member means well but finds it difficult to see the impact of their phrasing. This is a somewhat different case from being outright hostile, though if you feel a comment has crossed the line, feel free to flag it. The moderators keep a close eye on flags, and some flags automatically delete comments if a few people (3?) flag the comment the same way. – Lawrence Aug 7 '18 at 23:31

And someone downvoted your post too...

I'm relieved you wrote this comment. I was of a mind to collect the snarky, condescending, conceited, truly unhelpful comments I keep seeing and write a post comparing such with the New Code of Conduct. But it would be too depressing and it's not how I really want to spend time on this site.

What I find particularly disturbing is that such comments are often not from one-time troll users, but from people who have been here for years and accumulated respect points in the community.

ELU seems to have a structural problem in that a lot of the questions directed here should be directed to English Language Learners. So a lot of the posts are not at a level that ELU users would find of interest. This should not be a reason for anyone – 'respected' or not – to publicly take their frustration out on such language learners. It is often through no fault of their own that language learners end up on ELU. Ultimately a snide, hostile climate damages ELU itself (imho as an upstart who's been around for a couple of weeks) since it will also put off exactly the kind of users I imagine they would like to attract.

I assume it goes without saying that this site can be really informative and that the vast majority of commenters do give helpful, informative advice. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth the time it takes to complain.

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    +1 I totally agree. "This is too simple for us to consider." "Why didn't you read a dictionary first?" These are all valid responses, but the way in which they are phrased is simply not nice or helpful. Sarcasm is pernicious. I am hoping that when the new rules of conduct do come out, that I will be able to flag such as unhelpful and have them acknowledged as such. – Jason Bassford Aug 7 '18 at 14:21
  • I think part of the problem is also the possibility of posting “comments” the way they are structured now. english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5394/… - if action was limited to only questions and answers, a lot of unfriendly users would have less space to post annoying, unuseful stuff. – user 66974 Aug 7 '18 at 15:53
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    @user070221. I wonder though if you wouldn't be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The comments are often used constructively too -- to clarify questions or help new users understand why their question may not be appropriate. – S Conroy Aug 7 '18 at 16:48
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    @SConroy - I think that the misuse of comments has become pervasive. Probably some drastic measure might have some beneficial effect. – user 66974 Aug 7 '18 at 17:40
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    @user070221 I actually would go the other way—I think we'd contribute more to a friendly environment if comments like "thank you!" and "I'm so glad you found it useful!" were allowed or even encouraged, rather than going the NO COMMENTARY WHATSOEVER! route. The current attitude towards comments as "clutter" contributes to their terseness, which can easily tip over into rudeness (or at least be perceived that way, even when it isn't intended). – 1006a Aug 7 '18 at 18:36
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    @1006a - every user has thier own perception on the usefulness/appropriateness of comments. Probably one way of posting them (good or bad as they may be) is via chat, like when mods move long trails of comments to chat. If comments were automatically moved to chat, they would no longer littter the space on the main page and would be readily available to whoever might want to read them. – user 66974 Aug 8 '18 at 6:19
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    What I especially agree with is the implication that english.stackexchange.com should point to ELL. That would solve a huge number of the problems here at a stroke. – Andrew Leach Aug 8 '18 at 13:53
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    @AndrewLeach The huge, structural, problem is that there are two sites dedicated to English. ELU should not point to ELL, it should merge with it. – Massimo Ortolano Aug 10 '18 at 4:34
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    @Massimo to what end? Learners need a place to get simpler answers and serious English enthusiasts need a place to dive into all the complexities. Merging the two sites would hurt both communities. – ColleenV Aug 10 '18 at 13:49
  • @Massimo Ortolano. I suspect that many of the comments that are perceived as disdainful come from long-term users who are frustrated with questions that they believe should have been posted on ELL. I happen to agree with you that the decision to split ELL off from ELU, while well-intentioned, has proved to be misguided. – Shoe Aug 11 '18 at 11:08
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    The really misguided thing was not pointing english.se at ELL. – Andrew Leach Aug 11 '18 at 20:22
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    @Shoe The idea of merging was discussed on both sites' metas: english.meta.stackexchange.com/q/9778 and ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3349. I don't understand the position that it would be better to have learners trying to get answers on EL&U. You don't try to teach algebra students in the same classroom with students learning string theory - that just results in everyone getting frustrated. ELL is working well as an independent site regardless of whether splitting off solved any problems for ELU. If ELU's url is a problem, change it, but leave ELL out of it ;) – ColleenV Aug 13 '18 at 19:29
  • @ColleenV. Let me say first that I highly respect your work as a moderator on ELL. Thank you for the link to a previous discussion about the two English sites. I almost entirely agree with the comments made by the OP, but note that the downvotes exceeded the upvotes by 14! But your analogy doesn't quite work for me. I see a combined English site as consisting of a community of teachers and a larger community of learners/askers. None of the teachers is responsible for teaching both algebra and string theory to the same group . That would indeed be frustrating. [continued below] – Shoe Aug 14 '18 at 7:26
  • Instead teachers simply choose to answer the questions that interest them - as already happens now. There is a lot more to say about this, but in the meantime I'd be interested to know if there was intended to be some sort of formal process for evaluating the success of the schism. – Shoe Aug 14 '18 at 7:27
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    @Shoe - Even more telling than the (-14) vote totals on those two meta questions is the ratio of upvotes & downvotes at each site. On ELL, the proposal to merge the two sites was +1 vs -15, showing that the learner's exchange is overwhelmingly happy to be its own community, while ELU's votes were +10 vs -24 – still strongly against, but with a modicum of support nonetheless. I continue to believe the biggest problem is the way ELU still attracts a large number of learner's questions that get answered here. Essentially, ELU has become a superset of ELL, but that's not how it was intended to be. – J.R. Aug 14 '18 at 16:04

Your question/observation comes up now and then on EL&U Meta, and I think that real and perceived rudeness will never not be an issue at English Language & Usage. Undoubtedly the edge of challenge (sometimes grading into hostility) with which some commenters greet particular questions and answers on EL&U needlessly hurts the feelings of innocent posters and inhibits prospective askers and answerers from contributing their own useful posts to the site. Such clubbishness (and sometimes outright rudeness) does the commenters no credit and prevents the site from being as friendly and welcoming as it could be. Nonetheless, I don't despair of the site's capacity to improve or of newcomers' ability to find a comfortable niche here.

Perhaps the best way to get beyond the rudeness problem is to recognize that EL&U is the opposite of a monolithic community. Many regular participants at this site are helpful, good natured, and considerate; they want to make the site better and to help visitors find the information they seek. But just as it's harder to remember a polite store clerk than a rude one, it's easier to remember a dismissive or hostile comment than a neutral or helpful one.

One point worth keeping in mind is that EL&U participants bring extremely varied interests to the site—both with respect to the specific language topics that they care about and with respect to the roles they like to play on the site. Some people gravitate to chat; some focus primarily on posting formal answers to questions; some spend a great deal of time vetting the various review queues; some mainly upvote/downvote posts and kibitz in the comments; and some wax philosophical on Meta. A few become moderators.

Not surprisingly, different task categories draw people with different inclinations. In particular, many of the people who work the review queues and who moderate seek to maintain site standards (as they understand them) and to protect the site from being overrun with lousy questions. A number of these people seem predisposed to view themselves as sentries on the walls of a city under siege, and their constant exposure to low-quality questions may encourage them at times (or frequently) to respond curtly and aggressively to all strangers who approach.

Site managers and moderators generally try to maintain a consistent, acceptably respectful tone when they comment on questions and answers that they find lacking in substance and effort, but it's impossible to get all of the commenters on the site to speak with one voice—and a few zealots are quick to take umbrage at posts that they find deficient and to respond intemperately to them.

My advice for dealing with the unpleasant fallout from this phenomenon is to remember that commenters who presume to speak for the site are in many instances speaking for nothing more than their own predilections, tastes, and preferences. This should be evident from a look at the disparate rates of upvote totals versus downvote totals that various well-established site participants have accumulated over the years, or from a survey of the perennial disagreements over whether particular questions should be closed, reopened, reclosed, etc.

There is no overwhelming consensus on standards at this site. Far more often, there are discrete judgments made by a shifting series of district courts or (often enough) by a single self-appointed magistrate—with very little continuity from case to case. This goes for standards of upvote-worthy and downvote-worthy questions and answers and for standards of comportment. Some comments are clearly beyond the pale to any objective reader, but many that one reader may find unduly brusque will strike others as being concise, direct, and unobjectionable.

If you like researching and writing questions or answers about English language and usage, and if your posts, on balance, draw upvotes or positive comments from other site participants, you probably belong here. Don't let occasional snide comments from individuals posing as arbiters and spokespeople for the site dissuade you from enjoying your time at EL&U.

  • +1 Well said, as usual sir! – Lumberjack Aug 28 '18 at 18:18

I see this too.

In some cases, you can flag comments. Unfortunately, flagging isn't always effective. There are some subtleties where comments aren't helpful, but they are also not obviously "offensive"; yet, in an overall pattern, they still do represent the type of negativity described. Where it's, individually, a "close call," flagging them more often than not results in a "not helpful" result—and this can lead to a feeling of futility.

In the broader scheme, negativity always seems to be perceived more strongly than positively. You can be at a place that has eight friendly people, and two negative ones, and still think of the place as negative—because more weight is assigned to negativity. But, in reality, those who are being negative are in the minority.

So, I simply choose to ignore any negativity (unless it's obvious and I am able to report it), and focus on the positivity which does exist, even if it might not seem as prevalent in the face of our natural emotional reactions.

Update #1: This is interesting. As I was going through comments of old posts, I discovered one thing and realized another:

  1. All of the types of comments that I might have relayed here (or at least paraphrased) are now gone. I'm hoping this is a good sign and that they are being cleaned up.

  2. Of all of the examples I could think of, they now seem to be covered by the new "unfriendly or unkind" flag—which I consider to address sarcasm and snide offhanded remarks. (Previously, as I indicated, they didn't fit the "offensive" flag as they weren't that bad.) But now I believe I could simply use the new flag. It does, after all, include flagging comments such as "You could Google this in 5 seconds." Which is the type of subtle dig I'd been referring to here.

I will continue to monitor this, and mention anything I see that isn't covered by the new Code of Conduct. But I'm now optimistic.

Update #2:

I finally encountered an example of a comment that's a possibly subtle put-down. Even if it's not meant in a negative way, it, on its own, is not really helpful.

What makes you think that only one version could be correct?

While quite possibly meant to be helpful, I can also see this kind of rhetorical question being said with a sarcastic tone of voice. To improve it, and make it apparent it's not being used in a sarcastic way, the comment should provide additional feedback. Something like:

They actually both are but are used differently. If you can expand on your confusion, this difference can be explained.


Only the first one is correct because of X. Is this what you were asking about?

In both cases, the response to the comment could lead to an actual answer—which is something that the single-line version doesn't really do; it's more like just punting the question back rather than trying to get clarification.

And this is an example of a comment that cannot be flagged in any way because while it's an example of a poor comment, it's certainly not an example of anything obviously negative.

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    this answer strongly resonates with my own experience. What I find particularly frustrating is the rudely-phrased comment directed at a newbie, dripping with hostility but rounded out with a disingenuous "Good luck :-)", as if a smile makes up for the slap. When I flagged such comments (on another SE site), there was no action. – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Aug 7 '18 at 23:17
  • Can you please give examples? Otherwise this is a vague feeling that we can't do anything about. – Mitch Aug 7 '18 at 23:27
  • @Mitch Do you mean copy and paste some example comments—without giving names or links to posts where a name could be identified? (I know it's against meta rules to identify users.) I will say that I see it all the time—and from more than one person. – Jason Bassford Aug 7 '18 at 23:52
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    @JasonBassford Yes, cut and paste, more than one author. Sure, leave out the name. But I don't know what you're saying about 'rules'. If these are problems then somebody should be telling these people directly what not to do. Making an example seems mean out if it is as widespread as you say you should be able to have lots of examples so that no one is singled out. As it is, this just feels like a blanket condemnation of everyone. – Mitch Aug 8 '18 at 2:24
  • @Mitch "But I don't know what you're saying about 'rules'." I meant exactly what I said: "I know it's against meta rules to identify users." See Should any Meta post that calls out a user by name be deleted, not just downvoted? and its answer by staff. I will look for examples and update my answer as I locate them. – Jason Bassford Aug 8 '18 at 3:04
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    Thanks for the link. The accepted answer there makes an excellent point: meta posts should focus on the behaviour rather than the person because 'behaviour' is something we can constructively discuss and vote on, and apply to future situations. Focusing on the 'person' accomplishes none of these. – Lawrence Aug 8 '18 at 4:27
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    @jjj Look three comments above this one where I provided a link. But I was talking about the specific prohibition against naming names (i.e., "outing" people) when it comes to mentioning bad behaviour. (Not quoting as a general reference.) Also, I've updated my answer. Surprisingly (or so I hope), the new CoC may have helped things already. – Jason Bassford Aug 8 '18 at 5:13
  • @Mitch - since you are looking for “real cases” look here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/458934/… - what’s the purpose of the innocent comment posted under the question?.... – user 66974 Aug 8 '18 at 6:33
  • .....Why are they commenting, what do they really mean to say? Does it help in any way the research shown in the question? Or is it it just idle, impulsive talk? And the are hundreds of unuseful, time wasting and time consuming comments like that around. I know they do no harm, but they don’t add nothing, apart from annoying users, to the development of the site. – user 66974 Aug 8 '18 at 6:33
  • @JJJ - yes, but your suggested course of action still misses the heart of the problem, that is , commenters. – user 66974 Aug 8 '18 at 9:07
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    @JJJ - not really, this is Meta, the right place to discuss issues about ELU. The wrong place to do this would just be ELU. Plus I’m presenting real cases, not just idle talk. – user 66974 Aug 8 '18 at 9:31
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    @JasonBassford I totally understand why it's good to avoid mentioning names. But that meta.SE post uses a lot of qualifying language like 'avoid (naming names)' 'focus (on the behavior)' "still fairly subjective, and very much still up for debate.". Which is to say it's not a rule, naming names is not forbidden, it all depends on judgment and context. (It was clear that in the context of serious issues like calling for banning a user, the flag system should be used). That is It's not a rule, it's more of a guideline or suggestion.... – Mitch Aug 8 '18 at 12:28
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    @user070221 That was the strongest example you could come up with? I'm sure there are worse, but that particular one was addressing directly the content of the question and whether it is answerable. There are individuals who seem to have a large number of negative sounding comments that don't seem to be well-meaning and badly worded, just plain negative. And yet these negative comments tend to be in vaguely in the moderation direction (the question is too elementary, could be found in a dictionary, etc). – Mitch Aug 8 '18 at 12:48
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    Anyway, I don't want to shame anybody, but the negative behavior (the OP point which I don't actually deny) is usually coming from a handful of specific people. But it's still judgmental. I hope the flags have some recourse: i.e. the author is notified of the flag and or deletion so that they can learn from the complaint. Note, one can also reply to a poor comment and say something like 'That was not helpful'. – Mitch Aug 8 '18 at 12:51
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    I know this CoC will bite everyone in the ass, sooner or later. I'm positive someone has flagged my comments as violating this code business. In the end, a put down is in the eye of the beholder, some users will be more sensitive than others. Besides, I've seen much much worse, can we get things into perspective, please. – Mari-Lou A Aug 27 '18 at 19:42

I think there is a big difference between SE for tech questions and SE for English language questions. While high and low quality questions can appear in both types of forums, technical questions and answers seem to be rather more black and white - this works/this doesn't // this is correct/this is not // this tech works better as a solution than something else, and so on.

But for the English language (any language really) there is very little that is black and white - it's mostly grey and opinions tend to be the rule rather than facts. Prescriptive grammars (the whole lot of them) are derived from linguistic descriptive grammars which are diverse in terms of theory, concepts and terminology. Grammarians, enthusiasts and instructors, and indeed learners and even linguists too, often disagree or think they do because they are using different approaches to understand and explain the same language phenomena. In my experience, many of the experts (John Lawler for example) on ELU and ELL have a deep appreciation of this issue and get around it pretty successfully and others do not. Hence the rudeness and perceived rudeness, or much of it anyway. Despite the inadequacy of using linguistic grammars for instruction, people tend get very invested in and defensive of the way they understand how language works, which, when you think about it, is totally understandable given how hard won such understanding often is.

In my opinion as an ESL teacher, this issue will probably never go away as long as language instruction, particularly non native instruction, relies on linguistic concepts and formulations, and prescriptive grammars for instruction. We seem to forget that language is inherently a subconscious function of the mind and brain, while at the very same time we rely on conscious memorization of inordinately complex (and necessarily inconsistent and contradictory) grammar concepts and rules and exceptions to rules, and vocabulary and translation for instruction and learning. You can learn a language that way but it's pretty useless in terms of acquiring fluency, which is ultimately the subconscious use of language, such as we all have with our native tongue.

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    Why, thanks for the kind words. I try, but I'm always wondering how I come across in comments, which I make a lot of, and some of which are short and like the questions I'd answer back to a student who asked me a question in class that had silly presuppositions all over it. Generally when answering questions in class, I try to get the student to figure the answer out themself with leading questions, so that they'll remember it the next time. – John Lawler Aug 29 '18 at 2:46
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    I've learned a lot from reading your comments and then investigating different sources, and your archives as well. I try to avoid technical terms as much as possible in my teaching but my understanding of such concepts has really helped me to break it all down for students so they can see how words and phrases, and their relations produce meaning and follow discernible patterns. – Ubu English Sep 2 '18 at 2:59
  • Good. That's the reason the archives and I are here. I'm glad we're of some use to you. – John Lawler Sep 2 '18 at 15:02

Update: Less than 24 hours after posting this response, here is what has happened:

Make that -7

-2 "points" or whatever that number is, related to my original question. I cannot work out what occurred or who "voted" to bring that about, where or why—and, frankly, I don't care. It won't prevent me from participating in a positive way with positive people who are likewise enamored with the English language.

What disturbs me is the non-coincidental cowardice / retaliation, and passive-aggressive childishness. Perhaps you folks with the SE chops might want to look into this, though, because this is exactly the behavior in question.

Thank you for speaking up, OP. I was so turned off after being on ELU for only a couple of weeks, that I took a hiatus because of a flurry of horrid responses. The only reason I've returned is because of the email about the new Code of Conduct and the acknowledgement that this is a problem. I will give it another try.

As a newbie and non-programmer type, fwiw, I posted a legitimate and sincere question, only to witness a storm of diva-type frustration and downright rude comments by several on here. I had done my due diligence before posting, by reading and trying to be cognizant of the rules, and posted a simple observation/question on meta where I thought it belonged. I am happy to say that some of the worst things written have been removed, or at least I don't see them anymore. But here is a sample of what remains:

"Respectively, you is wrong. And this is a dup from many sites, including both ELU and MSE."

Thank you for telling me unequivocally that I am wrong. And redundant. The sarcasm is a nice touch.

"...apparently they're nerdy enough to feel strongly prescriptivist in this matter (words' definitions should remain static, and using them in new ways is wrong) instead of descriptivist (definitions change to reflect how people are actually using the word)."

Making assumptions is rarely a good idea. I am neither of the above, but this would have made a good point for respectful discussion—instead of third-party public comment, as if I did not exist.

"Respectfully, "them" is not plural here. It is quite clearly singular. What are you even on about?"

Well, it wasn't at all "quite clearly singular" to me, or I wouldn't have asked. And I was "on about" asking a legitimate question. BTW, inserting "respectfully" does not negate disrespect.

"Even if the OP thinks 'using them in new ways is wrong' they shouldn't have a problem with singular they as it is about as old as singular you!"

Again, making assumptions and putting words in someone else's mouth is rarely wise. I did not know there was a singular "they" or I wouldn't have asked. If everyone knew everything, then we could simply close up shop, don't you think?

"Strange that a self-declared Enlish "ubernerd" would not recognize singular "they."

Completely unnecessary comment. And those who profess to be such "experts" might pay more attention to proofreading before posting.

"Duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/q/261359 english.stackexchange.com/q/48 QUESTION FORTY EIGHT!"

No need to yell.

I would like to conclude by thanking several users who were polite, stood up for the question, defended my intentions as someone who was simply asking a question, replied with thoughtful points of discussion, and otherwise acted honorably and with the kindness and respect we all must strive to both give and receive.

I am happy to be back, and will know to flag this kind of nonsense in the future. Thank you.


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    Welcome back. Unfortunately, some of this kind of stuff comes from site moderators, so I'm not very optimistic about the chances of it getting better with increased flagging. But I hope that you will have a better experience in the future anyway. Regardless of whether a question is misguided or a duplicate, rudeness should never be acceptable. – herisson Aug 19 '18 at 3:01
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    + 1 for “storm of diva-type frustration comments”; that perfectly describes how a few commenters behave here. – user 66974 Aug 19 '18 at 14:02
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    I am going to flag the question and ask for it to be locked, temporarily, until the fuss blows over. You can also ask for the same. If you want to know more, search "locked questions" on meta. – Mari-Lou A Aug 20 '18 at 5:29
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    Not "this" question on meta, the duplicate question you posted on the main page. The one attracting the unnecessary downvotes. I have asked for it to be locked. No new answers can be posted anyway. – Mari-Lou A Aug 20 '18 at 6:15
  • @Mari-LouA - ok sorry. – user 66974 Aug 20 '18 at 6:33
  • @user070221 it was you who posted the comment? Asking me why I should want to stop people participating on this post? I thought it was Verbiwhore. How did you know about my comment so quickly? Great. You are obsessed with comments and paranoid about being targeted. – Mari-Lou A Aug 20 '18 at 6:38
  • @Mari-LouA - “You are obsessed with comments and paranoid about being targeted” this is an aggressive, possible offensive, sentence. But yes, I’ve brcome oversentitive to comments after multiple attacks of all sorts, from explicit to very subtle. – user 66974 Aug 20 '18 at 6:42
  • Your question on the main page has now been deleted. Not sure if that was the best course of action... but at least you gained back your lost rep. – Mari-Lou A Aug 20 '18 at 12:48
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    -1 this is not an answer to the question – Arm the good guys in America Aug 20 '18 at 18:20
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    @Knotell What do you think the question is exactly? Regardless, for discussion questions on meta, votes indicate the perceived usefulness (and I'm guessing that knowing that isn't going to affect your vote at all). Here's more information though: english.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta – ColleenV Aug 20 '18 at 20:54
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    I'm totally confused...**I** was the one who was annoyed about the downvotes or whatever they were for, from my original post, linked in my answer above, that were done after I spoke up on here. Thanks, @Mari-LouA for locking that other post of mine I was referencing. I apologize if I've created confusion for anyone. I think we are all after the same thing, which is fostering a better community. Also, I really appreciate it when knowledgeable people teach me how to do things like lock my old question, and why I might want to. I read about that, and learned something new—and that rocks! – Verbiwhore Aug 21 '18 at 0:51
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    As the maker of one of the quoted comments above, I apologize. – Hellion Aug 28 '18 at 15:34
  • Thank you, @Hellion, for being so gracious. No apology needed, but certainly accepted in the spirit intended. You were actually trying to support the question, and that is appreciated! – Verbiwhore Aug 28 '18 at 23:37

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