Recently we closed the following question as "not constructive":

By this we make a point telling people that questions on spelling or meaning of words we heard are not welcome. Still, given the number of answers we had on this question other people are prepared to help out with guesses. In addition — seen from an upvoted comment — some don't really mind to see such kind of questions here.

Nevertheless there was happy downvoting going on after the question was closed.

Do these votes improve the site in any way? May it be that again voting is done here to educate people, in this case to not answer questions others may not like? What other reasons might there be for downvoting answers to closed questions?

As this discussion had not received much attention, and as we still see downvotes on already close questions

I would like to push this topic up again. What benefit do we have from downvoting in addition to closing in these cases?

3 Answers 3


Perhaps there isn't any additional value if a closed question is downvoted again after closing. However, I downvoted the question before the question was closed and I see no reason to undownvote.

And I downvoted almost all answers, again before closing. I justify these votes with This answer is not useful; that's the tooltip ;) So, why aren't those answers useful?

Well, neither of us do have an idea what Waltzmarsch actually could be. We still don't know where this word seemingly appears. My suggestion the word we're looking for is Was für ein Arsch in dialect: Welch 'n Arsch. Should I have answered this as well? Absolutely no.

However, regarding your actual question. I think it's absolutely fine to downvote an answer after closing, since the votes are considered as ranking: Is an answer good or not. I'd also upvote a good answer to closed question, though that will happen rarely. A possible answer capable of being able to upvote is an answer to a duplicate question which states interesting, helpful and/or meaningful information which haven't been mentioned before.

Anyway. I'd downvote the answers for the reason given above if I haven't already done.


Often, a question which is closed can be improved and then be reopened.

If it isn't improved, it can be deleted by the one who asked it, because he understood the reason to close it, accepts it, and because there is no way to improve it.

The question doesn't show any effort to improve it, so I voted it down now, too.

The answers should be deleted as well, because they're pure guessing. Clarification of the question should happen in the comments, and not as a lottery in the answers. It's a funny game, and I could add my own speculations, but it's off topic for our site.

  • 1
    It does nowhere say in our FAQ that questions on a spoken expression where looking up in a dictionary is impossible are considered off topic. If we feel it is we should clarify this here in Meta. To date there is no such discussion yet.
    – Takkat
    Sep 29, 2012 at 21:48
  • @Takkat: The question is not answerable because it is low on context. If it would be improved, it could be reopened, and after changing it, downvotes can be taken back and even changed into upvotes. Sep 29, 2012 at 22:03
  • 1
    Two things I need to mention. Imho you should downvote a question or answer immediately and not waiting for any actions. If those actions will not happen and you haven't downvoted yet, it's possible that you miss the downvote for lack of recollection. The other point I want to say is that you can't necessarily delete an own question after its closure. I'm not expert, someone else could give you more details, but Anixx shouldn't be able to delete this question in its current state. However, I voted for deletion on all questions from user Anixx.
    – Em1
    Oct 1, 2012 at 10:43

I believe that successful answers to an admittedly bad question should be UPVOTED. I did so with the ones I liked better.

"Weltschmerz" is a "German" word that has found its way into other languages. An answer regarding that "variation" is likely to help foreigners.

"Gewaltmarsch" is a "German" word that a non-German "German," (e.g. a German-American) learning a "fractured" second- or third- "generation" version of the language might mean when he says "Waltzmarsch." It is useful to a smaller, but more "dedicated" group of peple than the first one.

The meaning the OP apparently wanted had to do with "journeymen," and the answer was to break up "Walz" and "Marsch." But the OP is supposed to provide this context.

I agree that the question should remain closed. Not because "Waltzmarsch" is a non-existent word, but because the OP didn't have any idea what it was "supposed" to mean (in his own mind). Hence, the question had "too many degrees of freedom." An acceptable question would have alleged that "Walzmarch" was being used in the context of the military (Gewaltmarsch), or perhaps the following: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Leiden_des_jungen_Werthers (Weltschmerz). In either case, the question can be DEFINITIVELY answered because sufficient "degrees of freedom" have been removed.

There ae three good answers. I don't want to see more than that, and would prefer to keep the question closed. But if they are heavily upvoted (say an average of 5), the question should be "locked," rather than deleted IMHO. That is, there will be a notation that the question is being preserved because of its historical significance, but that it is NOT acceptable as a model for future questions.

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