I recently asked this question and got an answer shortly after.

In its first version, the answer didn’t satisfy me at all and was in fact a good exemplar of an answer that hardly is an answer at all: It stated something without giving background, explanation or references and didn’t address the interesting (main) part of my question. Well, I downvoted it and felt pretty sure about it. After a while, the answerer edited his answer to provide references. But then it turned out that he didn’t seem to answer my question at all: He tried to answer another question related to mine, which I linked for this reason. So I feel, he didn’t even get my question. Maybe he didn’t even read it thoroughly.

And I think it’s okay. After all, it was a helpful response, the reference to Duden also covers parts of my question. But it just is no answer to my question. In my opinion, it’s a good comment.

But why do people upvote it as an answer? Am I too picky here? Citing the priveleges descriptions for up-votes and down-votes:

  • Whenever you encounter a question or answer that you feel is especially useful, vote it up!
  • Use your downvotes whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect.

1 Answer 1


Let me not repeat the discussion on how to vote again as this was discussed earlier:

The essence of this discussion is that up-voting, non-voting or downvoting is up to the user. Whoever thinks a question or an answer is useful to them should use their up-votes.

Please consider that when downvoting there is an inherent risk to give the impression that any small contributions are not welcome here. This should not be the case. Rather not vote then to avoid this. We already lost contributors from too much downvoting.

In the matter you brought up here I can see that your question was not so clear in the first place. In fact it was a near duplicate of an earlier question. However you could nicely resolve this from your subsequent edits, and by quoting the related question.

However by the time the answer was given (and people upvoted it) we did not yet have these edits. Therefore an answer on the inflection of "jemand" was a valid part-answer. People agreed to that with their upvotes.

It is always an issue when we change the question too much over time, as this may render already given answers off topic. In the case we have here I do not think the answer is entirely off topic, as the inflections of "jemand" still is part of your question (and should be). I am very confident that the second part of your question will also find an answer.

Considering the immense lack of voters I do not see an issue with people voting. I wish they were more. If we had more voters around then this site would work much better in pushing good answers on top leaving answers with less value behind.

  • I think my question was pretty clear since I only used “jemand anderes” in quotes in the title and in the body. I linked to the related question from the beginning and put only „jemand anderes“ in the examples. It was unclear, that I don’t care about dative/accusative in particular and the examples were not well chosen. But the question in itself was clear, right from the beginning.
    – k.stm
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 12:39
  • I see your point with downvoting scaring off people and I accept that votes are up to the user. I only felt somehow ignored by the upvotes. As if people were to say: “There you go. That’ll answer your question.” – I thought it to be careless or imprudent. And I also thought it was clear, that this particular answer did not answer my question.
    – k.stm
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 12:44

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