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I'm not looking for general recommendations, but specific criticism due to the recent deletion of a comment.

In a Question about the Etymology of *Cervix Why was my comment about the neck and uterus deleted?

Meanwhile a similar comment remained, elaborating on tangents from a distantly related language.

Sure, the note about English not having a proper translation for these words might be off, if it is I who misunderstands e.g. throat or neck, as an ESL at that. But how off exactly? What's your problem?

One general problem is surely that I will frequently speculate about cognates, like compare throat and Ger Trichter, which, if you look it up in wiktionary is not an established relation at all. Mentioning it is therefore too highbrow for some or too low effort, at the same time. It is topical nevertheless, but uncanny.

So many a people are downright offended if the majority opinion is challenged. Of course it's often preferable to make that a fully fledged answer, but at the same time challenged answers are often no less superficial, perhaps in an appeal to authority, or out of common ignorance. This is agreeable, if the best one can do is collect the factual evidence. But if an interpretation is offered, it seems instructive to offer a counterpoint for sake of the argument.

I did not even do that here. And if I do, then rarely with the intent to discuss, but with a hope for more material contributions. Specifically, if a word for neck is likely to be used figuratively, it's likely that the word for neck itself was derived from figurative usage and that other such words are parallel developments, which can be informed by looking at analogous developments.

For a reason, this must appear arrogant or something. One may not even be aware of it, but criticizm implicitly requests more work be done, which is agitating. I think I know. I mean, I had commented under the answer, too, that were deleted. So I think I'm not alone at fault, because I personally wanted to flag comments under my own answers just because I didn't like them and more so because I felt personally responsible to keep my answers clean.

The problem is a bit subjective, but I found the given answer too weak and wanted to stimulate a better one. Should I have made that clear, or should it be implicitly understood?

Sometimes it seems that the reaction is to wilify the difficulty of etymology with a slight of hand. So it does not seem recommendable to bring up everytime.

Besides, my writing can be unbearable. My grammar is subpar, and I can hardly ever resist the chance to make an obscure reference. Like, if cervix was from *'ker- and then some, giving head, heart, horn and more, and if that reminds me of an utterly idiomatic meme that is the heart-cutout as peep hole in dixie toilets, then I cannot not mention it, if it's the second time in a week, even if I rejected it the first time and thus don't remember what prompted that thought--that's also one reason to note it, so I wont forget it again--because it might be corresponding as much as Hals ("throat") corresponds to hole, if that is the case. Alas, I shouldn't trash the place, so much that I wont find anything back.

So, in this instance I don't really care about the missing comment. But I thought it was informative, even if the German and Polish examples were mere calques. I could have written a proper question about word-choice, if that was a concern, but I didn't really imply a question. At best I implied that it's nearly impossible to explain it(?) without difficulty in English.

So, to rephrase the question: How can I be any more specific in 512 characters?

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It's utterly pointless to complain about comments being deleted. It's perhaps even more pointless to be upset by some being deleted while others remain. That just leads to wasted emotion.

Comments are ephemeral. They are not meant to be permanent. Don't ever assume that any of them will continue to exist at any given moment.

If you want to say something that you think is relevant and important—and worthy of permanence—then you should be leaving an answer, not a comment.

Personally, I often leave comments. Some are asking for clarification of a post. Others, I consider to be minor points that are not asking for clarification, but nor are they significant enough to be actual answers. I don't expect any of them to continue to exist for long.

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  • I expect a comment to exist as long as it's needed. Mine stood barely a day and wasn't addressed before being deleted. Which is saying it weren't needed to begin with. But it seems on-point to point out that neck and cervix are not strictly synonymous, the question thus potentially based on confusion. Effectively, your answer sounds like a canned response. Can't really fault you for not reading consciously through the whole question
    – vectory
    Jan 18 '20 at 1:04
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    @vectory Then you have false expectations. If what you say in a comment is needed, then you should provide an answer. Jan 18 '20 at 3:07
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I won't repeat what Jason has written (but I did upvote it).

Your comment did not really touch upon the question:

In German these would translate as Hals, (Gebärmutterhals, also Flaschenhals "bottleneck"), whereas Nacken exclusively describes the back of the neck, as in Red-Neck. Hals in that sense is understood as a kind of tube, i.e. throat; cp im Halse steckend "stuck in the throat". I never understood why you have no good word for Hals. I have no idea about cervix however, except that I like to compare vortex at any chance; cp Ger Wirbel "vortex, whirl, vertebra" (the sections or nodes of the spine, i.e. the neck if you will).

You start "In German..."; you continue "I never understood why you have no good word for Hals"; "I have no idea about cervix" [the word being asked about]; "I like to compare vortex at any chance" [completely irrelevant].

There is nothing here which is actually relevant. All you are saying in this comment is "English is deficient," which could be a basis for an answer, in the right circumstances; but as a comment is almost certainly worthless. Comments are by nature ephemeral, and are liable to deletion. This is particularly likely if they are irrelevant to the post they're attached to.

As you say,

One general problem is surely that I will frequently speculate about cognates, like compare throat and Ger Trichter, which, if you look it up in wiktionary is not an established relation at all. Mentioning it is therefore too highbrow for some or too low effort, at the same time.

This is indeed a problem. Why speculate about cognates which are already known? Throat is cognate with the Old Frisian throt and the obsolete German Drosse; it has something in common with the English strut (as in "strut about, make a show". Speculating on cognicity is neither too highbrow nor low-effort; it's just pointless. Actually presenting research demonstrating a previously unrecognised cognicity would not be too highbrow or low-effort either — and it would be hugely useful, albeit probably better presented first in an academic paper.

The problem is a bit subjective, but I found the given answer too weak and wanted to stimulate a better one. Should I have made that clear, or should it be implicitly understood?

Never assume anything should be implicitly understood. I'm given to understand from your posts that English is not your first language (although for a second language it is rather good). Implication and subtlety is an art not easily mastered in a native language, let alone a second. Be bold [but polite!] — don't be afraid to say "I don't understand". It's probably better to ask leading questions like "What about..." rather than make a statement which has no obvious relationship to the post.

Sometimes it seems that the reaction is to wilify the difficulty of etymology with a slight of hand.

Most people here certainly don't want to vilify anyone. This answer is long, and while mildly critical, I hope it's constructive criticism [and you did ask!]. If you're complaining that the sleight of hand was the simple deletion, then no: there's no difficulty of etymology here because the etymology is known, and the statement you made was not relevant.

So, to rephrase the question: How can I be any more specific in 512 characters?

Use comments for what they're intended for. Make them relevant and explicit. If they serve their intended purpose they will result in an edit being made to the post, or they will result in being expanded into an answer. But for the latter, the comment would have to be applied to the question and it needs to be obvious that it is at least a partial answer to the question being asked.

With regard to your subsequent comment,

But it seems on-point to point out that neck and cervix are not strictly synonymous

OED has for cervix (probably from 1889, but still in the Third Edition):

The neck, esp. the back part of the neck. Hence applied to a similar part in various organs, as the neck of the womb (cervix uteri), of the bladder (cervix vesicæ), of the thigh-bone (cervix femoris), and of a tooth (cervix dentis, ‘the line of junction between the crown and the fang’).

They are exactly synonymous, although the emphasis has moved down the body in 150 years. Perhaps now that cervix is primarily assumed to be the cervix uteri, the neck should be cervix capiti.

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  • "By contrast, throat is a Germanic noun, and its etymology is far from obvious, even though modern dictionaries choose not to discuss the conflicting hypotheses of its origin; they state their opinion as dogma or as a plausible conjecture." (Anatoli Liberman, Oxford Etymologist blog 15.01.2020). Didn't I say sleight of hand? I can't take your answer seriously, sorry. Have thanks for the nice compliment.
    – vectory
    Jan 19 '20 at 2:00

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