I'm still quite new to StackExchange, and I like this place because here I've got a knowledgable community that can answer my questions. I try to keep my questions neutral in tone and try to avoid anythin opinion-based.

Yet my most recent question about a possible connection between the Vorta and the Romulans instantly received two down-votes. At the moment I don't see any problem with this question, yet at the same time, I'd like to improve my questions so that fellow users benefit from them as well. What should I change in my opening post so that it's more useful?


Let's start with the good. The question itself is perfectly well written in high quality English, is correctly tagged and has a sensible title which matches the body question, all of which are why I personally upvoted it.

So why the downvotes?

I suspect, however, that the problem you're facing is that the question is the main thesis of your question seems critically flawed. You've found two made-up words that sound similar ("Vorta-Vor" and "Vorta") and are asking if they mean that two entirely unconnected things, the Romulans and the Dominion, are somehow related to each other despite there being multiple, repeated references (at least one or more per episode) in the DS9 TV show to the Gamma Quadrant and the Alpha Quadrant being almost totally isolated from each other until very recently.

On that line of thinking, is there any relation between the Vorta and the Horta?

You might also want to note that we've had other, similar questions in the past and they also faced large numbers of downvotes, also for pretty much the same reason.

What can you do about it?

If you're asking if it's fixable, the answer is 'not really'. It's already well written and the problem isn't that people don't understand what you're asking, it's that they don't like the actual question. That being the case, there's probably nothing that can be done from your side of the screen.

Historically a high quality answer that shows that your question isn't mere supposition would almost certainly result in a big uptick in votes.

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    I'm not thrilled with this, frankly. OP appears to be using standard literary analysis techniques (obviously and blatantly similar names, motifs, etc.) and is getting shot down because the connection is subtextual rather than textual, and might be unintentional on the part of the writers. – Kevin May 10 '18 at 23:00
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    @Kevin - This is the problem with trying to do textual analysis on a TV show that's run for decades. There's only so many syllables in the world and occasionally they wander into each other. – Valorum May 10 '18 at 23:09
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    I think you're missing the point: The "connection" which OP is asking about might be thematic rather than causal. That's on-topic here, in general. I'm open to being persuaded that OP's question is "bad subjective" but your answer isn't doing that (yet). – Kevin May 10 '18 at 23:12
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    @Kevin - OP wants to know why people are downvoting. I've tried to explain why. No persuasion is required and note that no close flags have been cast, only downvotes. – Valorum May 10 '18 at 23:16
  • While people can of course reach whatever conclusions they want about a work, the nature of stack exchange - even the Literature one, but certainly this one - does not lend itself well to a multitude of POB reader interpretations. – Adamant May 11 '18 at 8:49
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    Taking the “death of the author” too seriously turns literary criticism into, in essence, creative writing. The reader or critic becomes simply another author, writing a sort of meta-fanfiction. While this certainly has value, it’s not necessarily the same value as discerning what the author is actually trying to tell you, much as historical drama and biography are two very distinct genres. I think it’s also used as an excuse to allow critics to employ dubious theories, ironically without criticism. – Adamant May 11 '18 at 8:58
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    @Valorum Thank you very much for your answer, and everyone thank you very much for you involving yourselves in this. I'm by no means offended, particularly since I appreciate the high level of content here at SE and since I have no problems, if subpar content is called out as such, as long as it's accompanied with advice on how to improve. When I asked my original question, I had no actual thesis and therefore didn't implicitly ask for the confirmation of a theory. Instead I noticed something and started to wonder. To be absolute transparent, I expected - and still expect - one of the three – glahn May 11 '18 at 9:33
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    options as the most likely answer to my original question: A) There's no connection whatsoever. B) There's this obscure reference in one single episode. or C) There's something, if you include the expanded universe; take a look at this novel or that comic book. The fundamental assumption of my question is that Star Trek in all its iterations, from TOS to ENT, can be 'read' as one coherent text, which, I think, is an attitude shared by the creators of the shows themselves, if you consider the ubiquity of references made to its previous iterations in each show, – glahn May 11 '18 at 9:41
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    starting with TNG, and the attempt of coherence within TOS itself (by establishing an actual history of what happened between the 1960s and the time the show takes place). Therefore I approach Star Trek like any other novel, assuming that everything has a purpose and nothing is an expression of chance or arbitrariness (except for when chance itself is the subject discussed). – glahn May 11 '18 at 9:42
  • @glahn I have to admit I am one of the people who downvoted. The reason is that the premise of the question is completely flawed and shows no to little research. No hard feelings! :) – Hans Olo May 11 '18 at 10:55
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    @Loki No hard feelings at all, don't worry. Still, I'm a little bit baffled. I asked the question, BECAUSE I DID my research (using the usual sources [Memory Alpha/Beta]) but didn't find anything. If I had found anything satisfying dealing with my question, I wouldn't have asked in the first place. – glahn May 11 '18 at 13:16
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    @glahn - I don't think it's a bad question. It's a natural thing to wonder. That said, sometimes an element of a work really is due to chance, particularly on television, where many creators come together on a time crunch. – Adamant May 11 '18 at 14:51
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Null Mod May 14 '18 at 14:35

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