Ruining my reputation on the Stack Exchange

The English Language & Usage blog of the Stack Exchange irks me no end. Some of the answers are good. One really dumb thing happened: what is another word for black humor? People came up with a few alternatives like gallows humor but many went off on Freudian tangents……. it got very strange. So I just wanted to write in Dead Baby Jokes but was prevented b/c my “reputation” was only 1 and I need a 10 or something to be able to respond b/c the answers were so poor (agree on that).
Why is my reputation low? I’ve responded several times offering answers from the most reputable linguistic works. I’m a one. Really?
I will not abandon the blog b/c lots of questions and answers are very interesting and well formed, but I sure won’t respond anymore. I don’t want to ruin my reputation.


  1. Paul Widergren says:

    Ist der Ruf erst ruiniert, lebt es sich ganz ungeniert.

  2. Wes Groleau says:

    You can’t go negative on Stack Exchange. Reputation goes up for various actions, but also goes up if you post something someone thinks is useful. Or goes down if someone thinks it’s not useful OR some jerk just wants to pick on you. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  3. Paul Widergren says:

    By the way, this is a humorously intended saying in German which means more or less “Once your reputation’s shot, you can live however you want.”
    The idea that people have to earn reputation in online groups is a ridiculous notion in the first place.

  4. Wes Groleau says:

    With Stack Exchange, the _alleged_ purpose—so people know whose answers are reliable—is not ridiculous. If one has the knowledge to tell a good answer from a bad one, one would not need to ask the question.

    Unfortunately, it seems most people consider reputation some kind of reward, playing games to get it and complaining if they lose any. (And using it to punish people who suggest improvements in the system.)

  5. Pat Barrett says:

    Many of the questions are good questions and reliability can be gauged without specifics, e.g. citing well-known sources, presenting an answer based on standard knowledge in the field, using qualified personal experiences, and so on. All I wanted to do was give an obvious answer everyone else had overlooked. Because the responses were not good, they closed down the thread – not a great way to get good responses – and to break into it you had to have a good reputation. I guess I am complaining b/c I cannot recall any of my answers not being well-resourced and researched, so I don’t understand my low rating (I’m sure it has to do with likes and dislikes i.e. voting, but who votes and what do they know?) and will just not bother to contribute myself.

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