This question(Is "Like Niobe, all tears" an apposition?) was put on hold as proofreading. Why do people think it is proofreading? The question is not about an English composition.

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    @ivanhoescott Mitch already gave you the reasons for the close-vote. Since that time, you've made substantial edits to the question, based on his feedback, and that of several other commenters'. With that said, can I suggest you change this question to "Can my question about Niobe's tears be re-opened, given my edits?", that is, ask whether the question is on-topic in its current form, rather than asking why it was closed in its original form, which you already know.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 12:05
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    I think your definition of bullying is colored by the fact that you think your requests are unquestionably suitable for this site. There is bullying and there is criticism. This site's goals are to solve problems and provide actual answers that would legitimately appeal to those who might visit ELU. As such, use of critique words and their application against rather dated English language seems suspiciously like homework and not general interest. The feedback you have been given seems reasonable and your responses are not.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 2:20
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    @DanBron "Mitch already gave you the reasons for the close-vote" I can't find them. Can you? Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 2:02
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    @SrJoven So what do you think is the reason for the closure? Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 2:04
  • @ivanhoescott The reason? It looks suspiciously like homework. Also, who cares besides you? What problem does the answer solve? Even if there was a yes or no answer, what's the point of the question? also, title says "an apposition" and question in body says "in apposition". The latter is a better question than the former.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 20:34
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    @SrJoven "The reason? It looks suspiciously like homework." Why do you think it looks like homework? And what's wrong with homework? This is not homework though. Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 1:59
  • @ivanhoescott It looks suspiciously like homework because it's too formal and specific a question. And after all this, the question of "who cares besides you?" has never EVER been answered which means it only has relevance to you and therefore in itself is don't ask. What's wrong with homework? The same thing as gimmethecodez.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


The reason given in the closure message can be fairly arbitrary.

  • It's the majority reason. That doesn't necessarily mean that three out of five voted for it, though. There could be 2+1+1 votes for three different reasons. If the last vote is for reason A, then the voting is 3+1+1 and reason A is given in the box; if it's for reason B, then the voting is 2+2+1 and reason B wins because that was the last vote.

  • Because it's a majority decision, all votes count, even those cast before a post is edited. A post which is obviously proof-reading up to an edit could have gained three votes by that time, so that would the reason given even if there was another more "valid" reason after the edit.

  • Voters can make mistakes and choose the wrong close reason. It's not possible to change that, because once you retract a close vote you can't re-cast it. So it needs to be left as a "wrong" vote.

  • Voters can simply follow prior opinion: they know the question is bad and needs to be put on hold pending improvement, and simply follow the herd even though a different reason might [now] be more suitable.

  • It doesn't really matter what the reason is. The apposite fact is that the question is on-hold and needs to be improved. The closure message gives a hint as to where that improvement might usefully lie, but it's not foolproof because of the above reasons.

As has been stated on this page and elsewhere, once the post is improved, ask that it be reconsidered. That's the way to get it re-opened. Asking why it was closed in the first place is both pointless and counter-productive. No-one has to give any reason for any vote, and the community has come to a decision, either collectively or via delegation to a moderator, and that should only be gainsaid in the most egregious examples of error.

As to bullying, saying "No, you're wrong" is not bullying. Using the mechanics of the site to put poor questions on-hold pending improvement is not bullying. Providing civil answers pointing out how the site works and advising on the right course of action is not bullying, even if those answers aren't the answers you want.

And this is it. I'm not entering into discussion on this answer. Quod scripsi, scripsi.

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    Why was my comment to this answer deleted? It was about the moderators and bullying. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 1:57
  • Comments are ephemeral and can be deleted at any time, particularly if they are flagged, which yours was. It's no longer possible to get any details about the circumstances of the deletion, including the nature of the flag (but it was probably Not Constructive). This conversation too is Not Constructive as it is not related to my answer.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 7:07
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    "Asking why it was closed in the first place is both pointless and counter-productive." Could you explain why this is both pointless and counter-productive? Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 21:34
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    @ivanhoescott "No-one has to give any reason for any vote, and the community has come to a decision, either collectively or via delegation to a moderator, and that should only be gainsaid in the most egregious examples of error." Quod scripsi, scripsi.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 22:30

If an answer was given, and it doesn't say "We're closing this because of bullying" I'm likely to take it on face value and move on. I might even think those people might be jerks and they don't know what they're talking about.

Although, because the responses here have been reasonably civil, and within reason, not personal ("the post is poor quality, shows limited research, is proofreading" vs "the submitter is a pain in the ass"), I'm likely to infer that repeated submission of sub-quality requests, and that rather quickly by a single person on similar topics means that it may just be likely that the submitter is bullying the site into accepting such posts, feigning ignorance and calling foul in advance. I could be misreading this, though.

I haven't yet had a noticeable opinion on your posts nor have you explained the audience of interest in your post questions or answers besides yourself. (As in, who cares or what problem are you trying to solve? See: don't ask.) Don't jump the gun here. be nice is what we're trying to be here. It doesn't mean that because I used specific words in a comparison, that they actually apply to anyone, present company included.

  • Your questions have been answered before you asked them.
  • Your questions have been answered after you asked them.
  • You have been prompted to ask the original questions in a manner that better reflects the type of questions that the community wants to see on this site.
  • You have been given information how to ask this meta question better that it might possibly reflect the ability to open the topic of this question.
  • You have been spending more time arguing semantics of the why than improving your posts
  • You have been accusing others of bullying and continually insisting it is bullying. If you continue this path, the suggestion to look up and understand irony is going to be continually presented. A hint: Those who have said their piece and have stopped returning comments have stopped feeding the troll, I have as yet not learned my lesson. Looks like I need to learn about irony.

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