I'm looking for accepted practice so as not to offend other members (I was downvoted and told not to do that). Thanks.
Of course, I do this all the time. However, it should be done in a comment - your statement that you were down voted when you tried to request clarification leads me to think that you posted it as an answer. If so, that would be the reason why you were down voted, not the fact that you asked for the clarification.