I logged in this morning, to find that I had somehow accumulated 8 down votes on a single question. The activity page says that the question has been deleted.
I am new to this site, and eager to learn, but I can't figure out how to see what it was that I did to cause the problems. I have included a snip of the activity below.
Can someone explain to me what happened, or how to find out what happened? I certainly would not want to repeat whatever the offense was, but I have no clue as to what I did...

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1 Answer 1


This wasn't your question. It was someone else's, and you answered it; you got one upvote (+10) and one downvote (-2) for a net of +8... which was removed when the question was deleted, for -8, which is what you saw.

The question was deleted by the roomba automatically 9 days after closing; it was a straightforward proofreading question, which are generally only going to be of any value to one person, and won't usually teach them anything either.

In general, questions that should be closed for simple reasons like this should not be answered, as some effort is made by myself and others to delete the questions eventually, and that will usually take all rep gains. (If you provide a good enough answer to a terrible question — score of 3 or up — and the question lasts for at least 60 days after you post it, you'll keep the rep.)

  • Okay, thank you for the explanation! What a relief. I thought I had done something really bad... Apparently, I am just clueless, instead. ;-)
    – Msfolly
    Feb 7, 2016 at 16:30
  • 2
    You didn't do anything bad; but I'd recommend not answering questions that are likely to be closed in the future @Msf, to keep the quality of the acceptable ELL question high.
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 7, 2016 at 16:31
  • @Msfolly: There's a lot of subtleties to Stack Exchange, yeah. Just try to do the best you can at answering the most useful questions and you shouldn't see this very often. Feb 7, 2016 at 16:32
  • I will certainly try. I am just now getting a feeling for how the system works, and what is acceptable, and what is not.
    – Msfolly
    Feb 7, 2016 at 16:33
  • @Msfolly A good litmus test is: would a general native speaker, a man on the street, know the answer to the question immediately? If so, the question is likely to be closed, unless the OP specifically asked for the linguistic or grammatical mechanisms underlying the situation, and has demonstrated that's he's done some research of his own.
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 7, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    @DanBron: Hmm. I'm not sure that's the best test; relying on the existing close reasons (proofreading, dictionary, etc) is likely to be more specific and more useful. Feb 7, 2016 at 18:13
  • @NathanTuggy You're right, somehow I got mixed up and thought this was EL&U meta.
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 7, 2016 at 18:15
  • 1
    @DanB - That's a good litmus test for ELU. For ELL, a more appropriate litmus test might be: Would a general native speaker, a man on the street, know the answer to the question, while non-native speakers would have trouble figuring out this answer on their own? That said, proofreading questions are considered off-topic, even though they would pass that litmus test. We don't want ELL to become a free proofreading service, inundated with request for touching up resumes, cover letters, homework assignments, advertisements, and the like.
    – J.R. Mod
    Feb 8, 2016 at 15:55

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