Someone decided to start downvoting my answers due to them being too "bulletin-board-like" (not good grammar and capitalization).

Is there a way to report those users? And if so, what can i do about it?

Here is one example

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    What's stopping you using good grammar and capitalisation? – ChrisF Apr 28 '11 at 18:03
  • @ChrisF, nothing. but i dont feel that it is always needed to answer a question, especially if it is perfectly readable to any english speaker – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:04
  • I assume the question in question is stackoverflow.com/questions/5822725/… – Wes Apr 28 '11 at 18:05
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    Ah - but it's not. Us old fogies have to work out that by "2" you mean "too" or is it "to" or even "two"? – ChrisF Apr 28 '11 at 18:06
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    @ChrisF, i dont ever rly use shorthand except for maybe the word u aside from that its capitalization mostly – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:07
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    @Neal - Oh "rly"? – ChrisF Apr 28 '11 at 18:08
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    If you can show clearly - with refrences - a significant downvoting trend by this user, which shows clearly he's singleing you out I suspect something can be done. This question however doesn't demonstrate that. – Wes Apr 28 '11 at 18:19
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    @Neal: Usually "btw" means "By the way". I'm seeing why you are having trouble communicating with other users. – user159834 Apr 28 '11 at 18:23
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    @Neal, I noticed a lot of "Why the -1?" comments on your posts. If you're gonna ask, be prepared for people to answer... – Shog9 Apr 28 '11 at 18:37
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    @Neal: again, if you're going to ask, be prepared for folks to answer. By which I mean, be prepared to learn from their answers. – Shog9 Apr 28 '11 at 18:40
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    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8162/… – Shog9 Apr 28 '11 at 18:44
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    @Neal: ur native english spkr? then u hv no rsn to tlk lk ths – user159834 Apr 28 '11 at 18:47
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    @Neal: you should strive to demonstrate this then... ;-) (I linked it as a related question simply because it does relate - like it or not, there are readers who struggle to understand txtspk) – Shog9 Apr 28 '11 at 18:47
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    Can't tell if this user is trolling or not. – Niklas Mar 9 '12 at 13:53
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    @Niklas you realize this is a really old post, right? – Naftali aka Neal Mar 9 '12 at 13:54

what can i do about it?

Find your Shift key, learn how to use periods, commas, and semicolons, and practice using proper grammar.

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    yes, but is that a legit reson for a downvote? – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:01
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    @Neal, I don't think it is a valid reason to downvote an answer. (Unless it is so unreadable that it is unhelpful.) – jjnguy Apr 28 '11 at 18:03
  • @jjnguy, so what can i do about it? – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:04
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    @Neal, you can start using proper English. This isn't a bulletin board or chatroom, it is a technical question and answer site that would be treated with a degree of professionalism. Would you write "u need 2 hire me" on your CV? Don't put that in your answers here, either. – Anthony Pegram Apr 28 '11 at 18:08
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    @Neal, nothing. People can decide for themselves what a valid reason is. Just make sure your answers look more professional. As for past downvotes, fix your old answers, and leave a comment for the downvoters if they commented on your answer. – jjnguy Apr 28 '11 at 18:09
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    What's the rationale behind marking this answer as CW? Afraid for downvotes? – BalusC Apr 28 '11 at 18:30
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    @Chich, yeah. It was kinda' an asshole answer. So I didn't want downvotes or upvotes that came from me being an ass. – jjnguy Apr 28 '11 at 18:33
  • Badges on the other hand... :) – squillman Apr 28 '11 at 19:28
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    @squill, Yeah. I didn't expect that at all. – jjnguy Apr 28 '11 at 19:38
  • @jjnguy We don't need no stinkin' badges ^_^ – Naftali aka Neal Mar 9 '12 at 13:51

People can downvote for whatever reason they want. Some people see this as a valid reason.

While not enough to warrant a downvote on its own perhaps, I certainly think that:

u need 2 use function() 2 do that

Is less clear than using proper English.

All votes are anonymous, so no - there is no way to report them, and I am actually offended that you feel the need to do so.

what can i do about it?

Work on the clarity of your posts, including, but not limited to, punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

  • yes, but when a user makes it clear that they did the downvote due to grammar, but not due to the answer being wrong or right – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:03
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    @Neal - the tooltip states "This answer is not useful" that could include "poor grammar making it hard to understand". – ChrisF Apr 28 '11 at 18:07
  • How bad was it? Can you share? I agree this is probably a bad reason to downvote, but I can't give you a proper opinion without seeing the actual post. I also don't see this as a real problem, probably more of an isolated case. – user159834 Apr 28 '11 at 18:07
  • @Madmartigan : stackoverflow.com/questions/5822725/… – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:08
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    Neal, I personally agree that the user is being a bit of a grammar-nazi, but there's more going on here than you let on. – user159834 Apr 28 '11 at 18:12
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    Just want to add this: Yesterday, the lack of a comma in an answer I received caused it to be complete nonsense. I had to read it several times until I finally realized what the poster was trying to say. – user159834 Apr 28 '11 at 18:17

Assuming the answer in question came from Function to Function get variable array I don't disagree with the downvote.

If the person didn't understand how the variables had been reused they are unlikely to understand global variables. The code example in question could have been better explained.

I don't think that this is a bullying case. However I wouldn't have personally downvoted it.

Honestly if you make a bit more effort with your replies, making them clearer to understand I think your problem will go away.

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    Good work - the OP here conveniently omitted the technical criticisms that along with those regarding his style. – Shog9 Apr 28 '11 at 18:17

Spelling, like so many other technologies, is standardized, to make life easier for developers. See this RFC standard.


The best approach would be instead of downvoting to simply edit the post to make it use proper grammar/spelling/etc.

However, if I were to spot a user consistently using shorthand that is confusing/unhelpful, then I would start commenting to the effect of "you consistently use shorthand or confusing abbreviations in your questions, would you please take the time to write in proper English?"

If I still saw the same user consistently doing the same thing, I would either alert a moderator via a flag and a note or ask the community here for advice.

  • that is pretty much what im doing... – Naftali aka Neal Apr 28 '11 at 18:22
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    @Neal you consistently use shorthand in your posts/comments; would you please take the time to write in proper English? – Daniel DiPaolo Apr 28 '11 at 18:23

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