What is "Lower"?

This question was recently edited, with the edit approved by two fellow users.

I voted to reject the edit as it was too minor.

Essentially, this was the edit:

His oyster table stood at the lower end of the room, which was in constant use twice a   
day all the year round ; [Souce][1] 

[1]: http://books.google.com/books?id=uDoHAAAAQAAJ&  

What is this lower? Does this mean it is sunk?
But it doesn't make sense.


> His oyster table stood at the **lower** end of the room, which was in constant use   
twice a day all the year round ([Source](http://books.google.com/books?id=uDoHAAAAQAAJ&  

What is this lower? Does this mean it is sunk?
But it doesn't make sense.

It may be clearer in the revisions, but essentially, the changes amounted to a re-tag, the addition of emphasis, and block quoting.

I would like to know whether this is generally an edit that we should be accepting. From my perspective, it seems like the editor was unable to make a substantial edit without changing the linking style, which suggests that the edit was too minor.

My preferred course of action would have been to reject the edit, and simply retag the question. It seems that some users seem to go on a spree of question edits, not all of which are constructive, and many of which are so minor that they would be rejected for not changing six characters in the body of the post, yet we are accepting them because the user creatively changes the formatting of the post.

Looking at the reviewer stats, I'm not sure whether this is desirable, but most people are heavily in favour of accepting suggested edits.

Should we be accepting minor edits to posts that are superficial in nature, and do not materially improve the post?

  • 4
    I would accept the suggested edit in this case. (I'm not sure if I did; probably not.) Formatting is one of the persistent problems on our site, though imo we're lucky enough that the edited question cites the source. Jul 14, 2014 at 16:34
  • The original question already cited the source, so it was really just minor formatting changes.
    – jimsug
    Jul 14, 2014 at 16:36
  • 3
    There's no motivation to reject changes on ELL for being minor. Our volume is too low for it to be an issue.
    – user230
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:16
  • 1
    What @snailplane said. I sometimes edit a question purely to add block quotes. I don't understand OP's problem here. Jul 15, 2014 at 4:20

2 Answers 2


Yes, we should accept "minor" edits that improve the formatting and readability of the question. As snailplane said, we don't have a problem with "too many suggested edits."

In addition, I don't see this as "too minor" simply because it only focuses on the formatting; the added formatting makes the post better by focusing your attention on the element being questioned.

For something to qualify as "too minor", it really would have to add nothing at all to the post; something like only replacing "--" with "—" or converting double-spaces after a period to single.


I agree (almost) no edit is too minor, as long as it serves a purpose.

In this case, the first thing I noticed was that souce had been corrected to source. The system does not allow one-letter additions, so this may have spurred the editor on to work on the lay-out a bit...

Emphasizing the word that causes confusion is, I think, a nice addition. I wish more questions would conform to this, especially if they have longer quotes — I sometimes do not immediately find the mentioned cause of concern if a word is mentioned after a long quote.

As for the inline quote, I'm not sure it adds anything really, but it's not a reason to reject the edit either. Maybe if it were the only edit, it might qualify as too minor since it doesn't change how the post looks to a reader.

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