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What if you are seeing an interesting (or not) question and want to answer it, and if you can't understand something in the post, because you don't know it, for an example consider a question regarding hybridization (like $\rm sp^3d^2$) and you don't know what is d (orbital). In that case would you down-vote it as "unclear" or try to study that either on internet or in your course or waiting for it to be taught to you until the time comes? Your opinions.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that it is fine to seek clarification in comments, as @Martin did here to one of your questions. That's one of the purposes of comments (your comment after was not very constructive tbh). $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    Apr 19 '15 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ @santiago you'r enot understanding the elementry-ness in the unclarity. $\endgroup$
    – RE60K
    Apr 20 '15 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ I'm downvoting this question because of my lack of understanding due to elementariness. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 21 '15 at 17:00
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Asking for clarification is one of the main purposes of comments on Stack Exchange.

A clear question is absolutely necessary to get a clear answer, and in the case that you are speaking about, it was merely an issue of notation, not about ignorance of the subject matter at hand.

Voting is anonymous, and as such, you have no way of determining whether someone making the comment has actually downvoted your question. As to the general case, people can certainly downvote if something is unclear, as the mouseover on the downvote arrow indicates.

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  • $\begingroup$ OK. Now the conclusion? can you make it explicit? $\endgroup$
    – RE60K
    Apr 19 '15 at 9:53
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    $\begingroup$ Did you read my post? I said "something very elementary"! I'm not here to tell everyone chem 101 everytime, well this was a special case where it was only a word to tell, but I refrained since it can be easily googled. $\endgroup$
    – RE60K
    Apr 20 '15 at 9:10
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    $\begingroup$ @ADG It may be quite clear to someone taking a course with the material, but as you will learn over the next 20 years, you tend to forget little details like that when you've piled 50k other facts and concepts on top of them. The user that made the comment is more than experienced in the subject matter. I would let this one go, honestly. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Apr 20 '15 at 23:10

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