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Strangest Language feature seems to be the ONE question I see most often as many user's lowest voted question. In fact, going through many of the downvotes there are some good answers that seem downvoted for no reason. (true some are.)

I'm curious as to the nature of why this is. (even though I suspect it's due to competition from other users who have answers.)

What irritates me about this, is the question is phrased in your opinion, so really it can be relevant to a language one is unfamiliar with, does not like, or simply was a "WTF" at one time, possibly influencing someone to learn more in-depth about the language.

I could probably list 100 in various languages, but after getting my one answer downvoted when it is the ONLY mod_rewrite answer, and probably the one WTF that exists in very few other languages, I find it unique.

Honestly I wouldn't bring this up, but its discouraging to see such obvious elitism.

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What irritates me about this, is the question is phrased in your opinion, so really it can't be answered. – mmyers Sep 17 '10 at 16:28
@mmyers: maybe you mean that it can't be answered objectively or with a definite, "only" answer? Saying that a question with 300 answers can't be answered is.. weird. Some questions just have more than one possible answer, and yes, they are not allowed/discouraged on SO, but I don't understand why it "can't be answered" – Andreas Bonini Sep 17 '10 at 16:42
@mmyers said better than I... – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 16:45
@Kop ...cant be accepted – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 16:46
@Talvi, in case you haven't seen it before, you might want to look over How does Meta Stack Overflow work?. Meta is a little... different. – Pops Sep 17 '10 at 17:00
@popular Did I do something wrong? I accepted Programmers.SE because its much more relevant to the specific question I asked, which is really where it should be IMHO. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 17:07
@Talvi, you did not do anything wrong, but questions on Meta about list questions on other sites tend to not do so well, voting-wise. Fortunately for you it doesn't seem to be happening here, so never mind, I suppose. – Pops Sep 17 '10 at 17:14
@popular ah... I didn't know where else to ask, and I ask to learn, not to get votes. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 17:22
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is no conspiracy: the question is down-voted because it's off-topic. If you want to talk about such topics, Programmers.SE is the better choice.


If you're talking about why some answers are down-voted on even questions like that, the reasons are right in the comments. In most cases, it looks like it's because the answers provided are just simply incorrect. An opinion doesn't mean much if the code doesn't work.

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Yes, but I think he's actually talking about answers, not the question itself. See for example page 10. – mmyers Sep 17 '10 at 16:30
(And, even more specifically, his down-voted answer) – Tim Stone Sep 17 '10 at 16:34
@mmyers: in that case, the explanations are right there in the comments. – user149432 Sep 17 '10 at 16:35
Actually, I could care less about mine. I was wondering why a -24 for this one and no comments.… Sure, out of context, but someone could have said that. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 16:44
@Talvi: some answers are so obviously bad that they do not require an explanation because a reasonable visitor such as yourself can figure out pretty quickly why it's bad, especially after suffering through the other 8 or 9 pages of bad answers to get to the absolutely worst possible answer on a question with 300 of them. If you feel that person is owed an explanation, you could always add it yourself. – user149432 Sep 17 '10 at 16:51
@mark what, and then get blamed for a -24? thats bad karma man. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 16:54
+1 for programmers SE, I was waiting for that to go beta. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 16:57
@Talvi Why would someone blame you for a -24 when you can only downvote once? – Grace Note Sep 17 '10 at 16:58
@grace people might think I made the first downvote. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 16:59
@Talvi Votes aren't supposed to accrue because of the presence of other votes. It's based on the post. If anything, there is a larger perception that the first downvote attracts a countering pity upvote moreso than it attracts more downvotes. You shouldn't have to worry about it when adding a coment to clarify things. – Grace Note Sep 17 '10 at 17:01
Posting a comment right after someone else has downvoted is the best time to claim a free downvote. @tal – random Sep 17 '10 at 17:12
@grace well karma doesnt seem to work that way. look at me, I get a -1 for this absurd question and everyone else gets a total of 26 as I count of a question asked 45m ago. To me, thats a GOOD question, since thats almost 1/4 of my measly ~100 ranking that I've been working on for many many months. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 17:16
To clarify: I think I figured out why I was downvoted, because of An opinion doesn't mean much if the code doesn't work. ... I had given a code example that caused a WTF error.. I guess language feature confused me as well, because error-handling messages are features too. – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 17:27

It's a pointless non-question effluent magnet.

Despite the many good efforts of those wanting to flush it down the S-bend, others want for some inexplicable reason to add more fat to its diet and backwash some of the stools in the bowl to see it yet again float back on the front page.

Constantly nudging them brown waters isn't helping anyone. Downvotes, ahoy.

I could probably list 100 in various languages

  1. Take gun
  2. Place on temple
  3. Pull trigger.
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I wish you could just tell us how you feel instead of burying us in these sophisticated overly intellectual metaphors. – user27414 Sep 17 '10 at 16:35
"effluent magnet" Hehehehehehe.... – dmckee Sep 17 '10 at 16:54
@Jon, ah, yes, those overly intellectual bathroom plumbing references. – Pops Sep 17 '10 at 16:58
At first I thought "S-bend" was referring to Atwood's "pluralization bug"… – Question-Failed Sep 17 '10 at 17:02
Are three steps too many? – Troggy Sep 17 '10 at 23:07

I could probably list 100 in various languages

Since the question asks for "the strangest language feature [...] you have encountered" you should only list one.

Your mod-rewrite answer (and all those other answers) could have been downvoted because people though that, in their opinion, the features shown there were not the strangest they ever encountered. If there are hundreds of answers claiming to present the strangest language feature in existence, most of them will be wrong and could rightly be downvoted.

Also, that question is off topic and utterly useless. So I don't think it really matters if some of it's answers are downvoted or not.

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