I have asked a few questions on this website. I always try to answer questions which I can. I never wrote any of my questions hastily. I have read this https://physics.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask help page many a times. Nearly 5 or 6 of my questions have been deleted by the "community moderator" because they were silently downvoted.
My 3 questions are still alive which are downvoted silently.

Why were my questions downvoted silently?

My 6 answers are also downvoted. These are:
1. Relationship between stopping potential and work function
2. Using $\sin()$ or $\cos()$ for computing SHM?
3. Centripetal force in frame of reference of body moving In a circle
4. Explain what happens to object in lift
5. https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/95636/elastic-potential-energy/95642#95642
6. Angular Displacement ,I will never forget this one, I spend 2 days in finding the reference book.
Why were my answers downvoted silently.

Note: If my posts are downvoted silently due to the grammatical and formatting mistakes then I want to tell the community one important thing:- I have the privilege to downvote, keep downvoting, I have started to find posts which have minor grammatical and spelling mistakes.

  • $\begingroup$ Minor grammatical mistakes don't hamper comprehension. But you are free to vote as you please. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth I'm not so sure. Above a certain level, minor grammatical mistakes are distracting and do detract from the level of attention people can and do devote to the content of a post. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ When trying to suss out the intent behind downvotes (and you (1) are not entitled to an explanation and (2) therefore can often only guess at the reasons) it is often useful to look at the timeline (example from one of your links above). In the case posted there are only those two votes and both came in before the final revision. In that case, I suspect that people didn't care for your quoting at length from other references without adding much insight of your own, but that is only a guess. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @emilio of course, though I personally don't consider that "minor" :p $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 14:22
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    $\begingroup$ A few of those have the problem of being walls of text. I usually don't read or vote on those, but I can see some people voting those because it's too much. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee I can not find the timeline on any post. I think this privilege is only given to 10k users $\endgroup$
    – user31782
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ There are no links for the timeline visible to anyone. You simple have to know that it is there. That is why I linked an example above. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ You should also note, that in many cases, less is more. $\endgroup$
    – jinawee
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ You are not entitled to an explanation, but its absence won’t help the person improve. $\endgroup$
    – WGroleau
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ @WGroleau, What I said in my question is to tell the community - Please do not downvote silently, mind that others can do the same. This will not make our community better. Give a chance to the OP to improve, he/she might be ignorant. $\endgroup$
    – user31782
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 5:29

1 Answer 1


I will only address your last comment here.

Grammar and formatting matter. It is important that you recognize this site not only as a place to learn physics, but also (primarily?) as a place to learn to communicate physics. It is not enough to have it clear in your own head, and you also need to communicate it correctly. An answer that has serious grammar issues can be so hard to read that it is simply easier to give up, and particularly so for the parts of your audience that do not speak fluent English.

Formatting can also be harmful to an answer to the
point of rendering it unreadable. Answers which have unadjusted para-
graph lengths which have
you chasing the line all over the place are very tiring to read and will often cause downvotes simply in self-defense. It is important that
each paragraph contain one point and one point only and that it be visually
separated from the
other paragraphs.

The Stack Exchange text editor was built by web designers who have thought about such things for a long time. Let the editor do its job! Do not hijack its formatting like I did above. Enter each paragraph in a single go, without any unnecessary line breaks (which is essentially only equations), and leave an empty line in the text editor between different paragraphs. Finally, always use displayed equations (double dollar signs) whenever an equation deserves it own line. Isn't this a lot easier to read than the above?

I should also note that threatening to downvote other posts is not as constructive as, say, asking for help as to how to better format your material. So you have found other posts with grammar and spelling mistakes? Good! Go and edit them so that they are better and easier for everyone to read.

(As a counter-argument, you may ask why people don't edit your posts for spelling and formatting. There may be many reasons for that. One is that you do seem to have gone to extra lengths to make your formatting hard to read, and it is sometimes felt as unpolite to go and undo your work, even if it is completely in the wrong direction. Another reason is that sometimes the edits would be too minor and would not merit bumping the thread up. Finally, when the edits are major enough to merit that, they usually render the answer essentially impossible to understand and they would make for an unreasonable amount of work.)

As a final note, let me say that it is important to not take down-votes personally. Because any question or answer always takes in some amount of work, a downvote always tends to sting; this happens to everyone. However, when people downvote, it is as an indication that the post is not useful, as the tooltip says. If you get a downvote, take it as an invitation to reconsider the physics content of your post, and to make sure that the presentation is optimal for transmitting said content to people who do not know it.

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    $\begingroup$ Awesome answer made even more epic by your going through his posts and pointing out what is wrong with them. +1,000,000 (if I could). $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ And unfortunately he disagreed with most of the (really great) feedback. No poster is ever going to agree with downvotes on their post. If they do, they probably should delete their post. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ Good answer. The more time I spend here the more I realize its about communication. Uncommunicated science never happened. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ Emilio: I am not unwilling to improve the formatting and grammar of my posts. The thing that I do not like is, people just downvote and walk away and I just keep speculating the reason. I will never downvote anyone silently, I was just joking. Thanks for your answer and constructive feedback. I do not accept your answer because still on a few posts I do not agree with the reasons you gave. $\endgroup$
    – user31782
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Anupam you shouldn't expect to agree with downvotes. When people provide a comment about why they downvoted you, they're giving you an explanation of their thinking. They aren't asking you to agree with their reasoning. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 17:55

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