I can see that users are voting to close the question Where does Martian meaning inhabitant of Mars come from? as off-topic.

What’s the problem with the above question? or is it just a question of grumpy users as a commenter has suggested?

  • 1
    Which close reason did the close voters choose? Did they say “I’m closing this question because I’m grumpy” or did they choose a more constructive reason?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 12:10
  • @ColleenV - that’s what I’d like to know. Why do they think the question is off-topic? In what way is my question not respectful of the site standards.?
    – Gio
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 12:25
  • When people vote to close a question, they have to provide a reason they're voting to close. I can't see it because I don't have enough reputation, but you should be able to see it as the questions author, shouldn't you?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 13:27
  • 5
    There are 3 pending close votes, all of them for “Needs more research...”. Which is basically our default close reason. I’m not one of the downvotes but if I had to speculate, it’s based on reading the title but not the body, or not the body closely enough. From the tittle I would have assumed it was questioning the relationship between “Martian” and “Mars” which would be “too basic”. But from the body you’re looking for first or early usages of Martian for natives of Mars, beyond dictionary cites, which is a service we are used to providing here (c.f. Sven Yargs).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 13:52
  • @ColleenV, when people vote to close a question, they do not have to provide the reason they're voting to close. The only thing they have to do is select one item from the menu of pre-fabricated reasons. Often none of the items on that menu captures the actual reason, so people choose whichever one seems to be the closest, even if it is not very close. The posted reasons for closing thus tend not to be very informative to those whose questions are closed, and are sometimes positively misleading.
    – jsw29
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 21:58
  • @jsw29 - what do you mean by “positively misleading”?
    – Gio
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 13:21
  • @jsw29 I understand that, I was asking if the close voters hadn't provided some clues with their close votes. I was trying to gather more information, not discount the question.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 15:43
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA - the question was probably a bit unclear and I should have offered more evidence of research. I’ll look into it and make a better one.
    – Gio
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 19:51
  • 1
    Just saw what happened. Little wonder that users are turned off by the "experts". The Q was valid, regardless if someone says that the answer is "nobody knows".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 18:49
  • What happened? Why did you delete a well-received, and upvoted answer? I don't remember seeing any comments criticising your post. There are no downvotes. Is it the edit? You can totally rollback.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


Close votes happen, even on etymology questions that show research, which are arguably some of the most on-topic questions for this site. That’s nothing new, though in this case I really have no guess as to why, not with the specific close reason given.

(You could have written an online etymology dictionary and you would still have gotten 3 close votes on your etymology question.)

Either way, if the question gets closed, you have my reopen vote. (I’m sure I’m not the only one.)

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