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What exactly is different between "outspoken"/"softspoken" and "unspoken"/"misspoken"?

Why was the community so eager to shut down my question? I don't get it. It's so frustrating.
What "research" were they expecting to see? My Googling didn't turn up anything useful...

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    People often say, "Googling didn't turn up anything useful..." Unless you show your research, how are we supposed to know that? I can say I have green skin and purple hair, but that's not a reason to believe me. Show your research and the question will likely be reopened. It would also be nice if you limited the number of questions you actually ask. Good luck. Dec 22 '16 at 5:28
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    @medica: Could you clarify what you think I should show when Googling doesn't give any useful results? The problem I have when there is nothing to show is that, well, there is nothing to show. Do you expect to see a screenshot of irrelevant search results...? Does that actually help?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:33
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    Dictionary definitions with links. No screenshots; that's just lazy. That's the most basic requirement. Don't do it, and risk the question getting closed. Dec 22 '16 at 5:38
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    @medica: But I don't understand. I was never asking about their definitions. I was asking why they did not seem to be following normal grammar rules with respect to objects vs. subjects. How would a dictionary definition have been relevant at all?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:42
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    See basic requirement. Ignore at your own peril, regardless of your opinion. I would have closed it as well, because it shows no research, and it's unclear exactly which one of your many questions you expected to have answered. I've answered now. I'm done. Dec 22 '16 at 5:48
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    @medica: Are you actually responding to my comment or are you just repeating what you wrote? I asked you "How would a dictionary definition have been relevant?" but you replied with "See basic requirement. Ignore at your own peril" which doesn't make any sense as a reply... I still don't see how a dictionary definition (which you asked for) would have been relevant...
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:49
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    I like the question, so I've upvoted it. But a dictionary will also define the prefixes, and as one user answered, dictionaries will tell you the origin of words. You're right-and-wrong, you're not asking about definitions, but about prefixes, and compound words. I am torn whether to reopen your question. It is a thoughtful question. I need to withdraw in my chambers and contemplate over the matter. ☺
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 22 '16 at 8:38
  • Eight questions is pushing it, of course you can ask more than one question as long as they are related with one another. But I would say 3 is the magic number to aim for. TIP: You could probably combine two or more into a single question, and then I would delete (1), (5), (7), which Rathony summarizes in their answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 22 '16 at 8:47
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    Edit, streamline your question(s), and I will cast my vote to reopen it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 22 '16 at 8:56
  • @Mari-LouA I've edited the OP's 'main' question extensively. I think Advocatus nailed the answer, but I hope that my edit has at least helped to clarify the question.
    – Lawrence
    Dec 22 '16 at 9:49
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    @Lawrence: I really (really) appreciate that you took the time to make such a nice edit, but unfortunately, it really changes the question (unless there is some aspect of English I'm missing here, which is admittedly possible). If I really to pick a specific part of the words as the focus of my question, I would say it's their "-en" suffixes, not their individual prefixes, that is confusing. I've explained this on the post, but to reiterate: normally when you say "X is verb-en", the "-en" suffix means "verb has occurred to X". It does not mean "X has performed verb". (cont'd...)
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 10:34
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    @Lawrence: In other words, the "-en" means X is the object, not the subject. This would seem to be universally true with any verb you can think of -- "X is spoken/gotten/eaten/seen/beaten/etc." always means the action is performed on X, not by X. Literally the only two exceptions I can think of are "soft-spoken" and "outspoken", which suddenly imply the noun is a subject rather than an object. So I'm asking why? What's going on? Are these just random exceptions, or is there a pattern I'm not seeing?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 10:38
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    @Mehrdad You're welcome.
    – Lawrence
    Dec 22 '16 at 11:09
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    As for “Googling didn’t turn up anything useful,” I usually cringe when I read that. At least tell us what you typed into Google! That would give the community a better idea about what you are seeking, and how you went about trying to find an answer – such clues are often quite helpful.
    – J.R.
    Dec 25 '16 at 10:35
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    It’s still useful information to know what you tried to find; otherwise, the community may try similar queries and reach the same dead-ends. It doesn’t take that much extra effort to say, “I Googled such-and-suchand so-and-so, but did not find anything useful,” instead of simply “Googling didn’t turn up anything”. In any event, I was only trying to provide a tip so that your next question doesn’t get closed. As for my cringing, it seems most people who write questions here don’t fully grasp how much a little extra effort like that is appreciated.
    – J.R.
    Dec 25 '16 at 13:57
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Why was this question closed?

The close reason reads:

"Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic." – Hot Licks, Phil Sweet, NVZ, Rathony, Helmar

You asked

Why was the community so eager to shut down my question?

This community is for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. I don't think this community was so eager to shut down your particular quesiton. It judged your question lacks research effort and it could be answered using commonly-available references.

What "research" were they expecting to see?

We expect linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts would understand what those words mean. Outspoken comes from speak out and when you speak out, you are candid, straightforward. Softspoken comes from speak softly and when you speak softly, you are gentle and not loud. Unspoken comes from "un (not) speak" and when something is unspoken, it is not expressed in words. Misspoken comes from "mis + speak" and mis indicates bad or wrong. When you misspeak, you speak wrongly or inaccurately.

Among the explanations above, what is it that you can't find in the dictionary or on the internet? Your interpretation of three words other than "outspoken" is correct. Then, you should have focused on the meaning of "outspoken" with an example sentence that bothers you most. There are many example sentences on the internet and what makes you think it means:

When I hear X is "outspoken", I interpret it as meaning that X is spoken of (or X does speaks) but the speech tends to be drowned out by others' voices.

You asked a total of 8 questions. It's too broad.

(1) Can someone explain what is going on? (2) Shouldn't the consistent usage and the "-en" conjugation mean X is the subject? (3) Why exactly is different about these from a language standpoint that makes their meanings so seemingly unintuitive grammatically? (4) Is there some way I can train myself to "predict" the correct meaning ((5) are they in different tenses? (6) are they following different grammar rules?), or (7) are they just random exceptions to the language that I have to memorize in every single case? (8) Is there a name I can use to describe or read more about this phenomenon?

Your question is too broad and can't be answered definitively. One question per post is the guideline of Stack Exchange. Answers to your questions (from No. (3) to (8)) are as follows:

(3) Their meanings are not confusing. Grammar has nothing to do with their meanings.

(4) You can always "predict" the correct meaning if you get yourself familiarized with the meanings of those prefixes un (not), mis (wrong), out (opposite of in), soft (not hard, not loud).

(5) Tense has nothing to do with their meanings.

(6) Again, grammar has nothing to do with their meanings.

(7) I don't think they are random exceptions. Yes, you have to memorize them, but it would be far easier if you know the prefixes.

(8) I don't understand the question. You can read some articles on prefixes.

Your question would not have been closed if you had focused on what bothers you most with your own research efforts and an example sentence with which you are confused. Please consider editing your question so that we can consider voting to reopen it. Good luck.

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    Thanks for the response. Just to clarify a couple of things: (1) Do you understand the subject/object issue I had been referring to, or no? (2) Are you actually saying you (or the community) would really have preferred me to make 6 separate posts for each individual part of this question? To me it seems more appropriate for all of them to be part of the same question, so it's surprising to me that you consider them to be 6 separate questions.
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:31
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    @Mehrdad (1) If you are confused about subject/object issue, you have to make it clear. Your question will be again closed as "lack of research" unless you identify a specific concern with your own research. Some are more likely to be used as verbs and some are as adjectives. They are in the dictionary. (2) I just counted the number of question marks. Yes, they can be related and I don't think asking 6 different questions will be meaningful or efficient because many of them will be closed as "lack of research". As I mentioned, please focus on what bothers you most.
    – user140086
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:35
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    "Outspoken comes from speak out and when you speak out, you are candid, straightforward." Not necessarily. That might be the dictionary definition, but sometimes when you speak out, you are disrespectful, obnoxious, out of line, or any other of a number of things (not you personally, of course. Just trying to say that breaking down a word does not guarantee how it is actually used; the dictionary does that.) Dec 22 '16 at 5:35
  • @medica This answer is not about meaning of the words.
    – user140086
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:36
  • You made it about definitions. "You can always "predict" the correct meaning if you get yourself familiarized with the meanings of those prefixes un (not), mis (wrong), out (opposite of in), soft (not hard, not loud).". Not true; that claim is outlandish! Dec 22 '16 at 5:41
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    @Rathony: (1) "If you are confused about subject/object issue, you have to make it clear." Certainly, but didn't I? I thought I specifically wrote, In the first two cases, X is the subject of the sentence, but in the last two, it is the object. Can someone explain what is going on? Can I ask how this was unclear? (2) I don't even know how to respond to this comment so let's just address #1...
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:43
  • @medica Well, I can predict. You can't? It's your problem. I didn't say I would know what it means exactly.
    – user140086
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:43
  • @Rathony: "Ask this question on the main board. Actually you asked 8 questions. Sorry, I missed those two." Er... are you telling me to ask a meta-question on the actual question? Is that how English.SE works? I thought I'm supposed to ask on Meta...
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:47
  • Sorry, what is "board" here? I thought you meant the main site ("main" as opposed to "meta" site) but now it seems you meant something else?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 5:51
  • @Rathony: No worries, but then are you telling me to ask this meta-question on the actual question? Aren't meta-questions supposed to be on meta?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 7:19
  • Just FYI, the reason I haven't responded in the last 3 hours is that I've kept trying to understand but failed to make sense of what you've written, so I've just accepted that as a failure...
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 10:49
  • @Rathony: I don't understand what exactly you are telling me to post on the main site. Best as I can tell, you seem to be telling me to ask my meta-question of "didn't I already ask [blah]?" on the main site, which makes zero sense...
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 10:56
  • @Rathony: "When did I tell you to ask any question on Meta?" Huh? Of course you never did that. When did I ever claim that you did that?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 11:02
  • @Rathony: In this comment. You copy-pasted exactly what I wrote -- which was Certainly, but didn't I? I thought I specifically wrote, [...] -- and then you told me in bold, Please ask this question on the main site. Which means you want me to ask on the main-site the meta-question of whether I hadn't already asked that question on the main post?!
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 11:06
  • @Rathony: What? So you mean the [...] portion? That was on the main site. It was in my original question; that's literally where I copied it from to paste into my comment here. What are you even talking about? Have you been reading anything I've been writing?
    – user541686
    Dec 22 '16 at 11:09

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