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I am not against downvoting; I know downvoting encourages us to modify ourselves for the better.

However I think that it would be more helpful if it showed us what the mistake is that we made. If we know which points are wrong then we can modify our posts for the better and avoid making those same mistakes in the future. But if I don't know what the mistake is then how can I try to learn from it?

At least a reason should be there to help us improve. Otherwise we will continuously make mistakes.

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Did a Canadian just remove the "submissive language"? –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 17:33
    
Did a Jon B just try to be funny? –  XMLbog Sep 17 '10 at 17:33
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Poor @Toronto. His sense of humor was damaged in a freak laser accident. –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 17:35
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Better to have had humour and lost it than to never have had it at all, eh Jon? –  XMLbog Sep 17 '10 at 17:36
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Touché, my dear. Touché. –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 17:39

4 Answers 4

up vote 21 down vote accepted

I took a quick look through your questions and here are some things I saw, which may have contributed to some downvotes (as others have said, without comments one cannot know for sure what the exact reason was in each circumstance):

  • poor grammar and spelling. This is not Twitter or Facebook; we expect complete, well-formed sentences here. You have room to spell out words completely; please do so! For example, proper words are "your", "you", and "thanks", not "ur", "u" and "thx".
  • a "do my work for me" attitude. Instead of saying "here is my code; it doesn't work", it helps to describe exactly what the problem is, the specific error message you receive, and what you have tried so far to fix the problem. Ask a specific question: "how can I fix the condition so that the code is entered when <action> happens", rather than "The else condition in this code does not work well."
  • incomplete and unclear titles. There are thousands of questions being asked on Stack Overflow every hour; to get the attention of those who are most likely to help, the title must be clear and specific.
  • overly submissive language. "thx for ur feedback sir" is irritating to people who are simply trying to help. They're not your boss, they're a peer.

I would suggest reading Jon Skeet's guide to Writing the Perfect Question, and considering which points you might apply to your own posts. You may also find How to Ask Questions the Smart Way of value.

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@Ether you are very true. but sir simple question is if somebody ask question and you realize that is important one and profitable for you but there is language problem and grammer not well than what will you going to do with that? –  mahesh Sep 17 '10 at 16:50
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"You have room to spell out words completely; please do so! e.g. ..." LOL. –  Bill the Lizard Sep 17 '10 at 17:08
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@Bill - fixed. :) –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 17:18
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Very nice, this was the kind of feedback I meant in my answer –  Pëkka Sep 17 '10 at 17:23
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@mahesh, you may want to see Is English required on Stack Overflow? (note: it's long). The short version: if you make a good faith effort to ask your question, we'll make a good faith effort to answer it, usually including editing to clarify your meaning; but ultimately, SO is not in the business of supporting all languages, and if you can't be easily understood, you're not likely to get good answers. –  Pops Sep 17 '10 at 17:23
    
Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64055/… See my answer. –  jjnguy Sep 17 '10 at 17:27
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@mahesh sir why is question considered profitable? I have not seen any money change hands on stack overflow. Plus, all questions asked are important to the person asking... We are free to up or down vote based on whatever criteria we like, and you're free to take it personally or take it in stride. –  Fosco Sep 17 '10 at 17:32
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Great points except for the last paragraph. Please don't link to ESR's horrible screed. Jon Skeet's version is much easier to digest. –  Aarobot Sep 17 '10 at 17:34
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@Fosco "profitable" doesn't necessarily relate to money. –  Pëkka Sep 17 '10 at 17:40
    
to learn better english it will take a long time and which i don't have that means this meta stackoverflow is not for me. in my world every person is respectful and i am not going to leave this good habbit to address someone as sir so it's better to leave this meta stackoverflow. –  mahesh Sep 17 '10 at 17:44
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@mahesh - we're trying to teach you something about the English language and the norms of Stack Overflow. You don't need to address anyone here as "sir". Especially the women. –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 18:11
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@mahesh: I would just like to point out that many people would prefer not to be called "sir". Particularly Ether, whom you would never call "sir" if you met her in real life. –  mmyers Sep 17 '10 at 18:13
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@jinguy - she's a cat. The correct way to address a cat is "stupid cat". –  user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 19:20
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@Jon I thought it was "damn cat" –  squillman Sep 17 '10 at 19:57
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@Pekka Now i understand we are equal here. No need for additional salutation. i am trying my self to be like you and other people. as we all are here for only flow of knowledge. –  mahesh Sep 18 '10 at 13:19

Bottom line is unless the person down voting adds a comment then you will never know.

See this question here and another one here for further information.

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Sir, simple i think if i know already than there is no reason to ask again such a thing. –  mahesh Sep 17 '10 at 16:38
    
if i know i am asking or doing wrong thing than how can i ask that? –  mahesh Sep 17 '10 at 16:39

Explanations are not mandatory on downvotes. Some users will leave an explanations, some won't. Also, not every downvote is cast for a good reason :)

If you are unsure about whether something's wrong with your input, one way to find out about it would be to post the links here on Meta. Somebody will surely be able to come up with some helpful advice.

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Sir, there is no system for downvote. first asked him reason and than let to do downvote. It should prevent misuse of downvoting what u think sir. –  mahesh Sep 17 '10 at 16:42
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@mahesh this has been discussed a hundred times, always with the result that it's best the way it is. See @Ether's answer for some constructive feedback –  Pëkka Sep 17 '10 at 17:24

The primary goal of voting is to sort the answers by quality. An answerer learning from his mistakes is secondary. If some kind of justification was required for downvoting, fewer people would downvote and we would be less successful in meeting our primary goal.

The system is imperfect. If you really want to know why you were downvoted, you can post a comment to your answer asking for an explanation. Nobody is required to answer you, of course, so you may not get a response at all.

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...and you may get down-voted for the comment itself, if you're sufficiently annoying about it... –  Shogging through the snow Sep 17 '10 at 17:21

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