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I'm looking for a word which means a particular kind of feeling, of "quiet agreement".

Not being a poet, this feeling is difficult to describe in general. But I can give an example where this has occurred to me, which I think is common enough that anyone on StackExchange might be able to relate to:

I see a comment on a picture or an answer to a question here in StackExchange. The question has a couple of answers, the best of which answers it satisfactorily.

Then there is an answer with a score of -2 and it is very incomplete, maybe even inappropriate. But it somehow aligns with my thoughts, I want to upvote it but I'd rather it didn't gain too many points because it is after all not a good answer per SE's guidelines.

The same would go with a racy comment somewhere: I want to -- and will -- upvote it but it'd really be best if its score stays negative. In other words, I wouldn't wish a bad answer to succeed, or be utterly destroyed, but to fail gently.

Is there a word for this kind of sentiment?

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    I think what you're looking for is sympathize. To sympathize doesn't mean you think that someone should have done something, but you underarms show they feel and why they did what they did, even if you wouldn't have. – Dan Bron Jul 8 '15 at 8:14
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    I HATE autocorrect. Hate it. "Underarms show they feel", really? Not "understand how", but "underarms show"? Frickin thing is ruining my cred! – Dan Bron Jul 8 '15 at 8:29
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    @DanBron: Rofl: "...underarms show they feel". I had to read that three times to believe what I was seeing. Why Autocorrect, why? – Tushar Raj Jul 8 '15 at 8:41
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    Thank heaven for autocorrect. I gave @Dan heaps of personal cred for giving words to that pacific, precious, ungainly sentiment that he enraptured so spherically with his praise, you underarms show they feel. – Jim Reynolds Jul 8 '15 at 8:47
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    We cannoli hope so. – Sven Yargs Jul 8 '15 at 10:35
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If there was a button you could click to express this sentiment, I would label it "Nod."

Nod: To lower and raise (the head) quickly in agreement or acknowledgment. American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  • Mind quoting a dictionary definition of this sense of nod? Make sure to mention which dictionary you're quoting. – Dan Bron Jul 8 '15 at 17:01
  • Sure thing. Nod -- To lower and raise (the head) quickly in agreement or acknowledgment. Citation: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. – oakfish56 Jul 8 '15 at 17:43
  • As you wish, good sir. – oakfish56 Jul 8 '15 at 17:58
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The word fitting your title (quiet agreement) would be acquiescence:

To acquiesce is

to accept, agree, or allow something to happen by staying silent or by not arguing

Source: Merriam-Webster Online

However, you seem to be looking for a concept which is less "quiet" and more "limited", "qualified", or "reserved". I don't think there's a good single word way to express this.

  • +1, I read the question and scrolled down, and found - acquiesce. No need to go any further. – Misti Jul 10 '15 at 20:13
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The feeling of quiet agreement can well be expressed by the word, 'concomitant' where one may not be overt in expressing one's support.

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tacit may be what you are after:

adjective
understood or implied without being stated.
"your silence may be taken to mean tacit agreement"

(Google)

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If you upvote an answer or comment simply because it has a lot of downvoted, you are

  • rooting for the underdog

However, you said you didn't want the amswer/ comment to win; just to fail more "gently". This could be called

  • "softening the blow" or

  • "evening up the scales"

I suggest that if you like an answer (or a comment) and plan to upvote it, notify the answerer of that fact via a comment.

It is common to see "+1 for [xxx]" to point out what one especially likes about someone else's answer. This can be taken as a mild compliment, although it does carry the connotation that [xxx] does not, in itself, constitute a complete good answer.

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