Since I joined this community, I've noticed many edits which seem to be trivial and not helpful enough to this community. The edit guidelines on ELL's help center clearly states that "tiny, trivial edits are discouraged".

For example, the second edit of the linked question, Article usage before “historical”, changes only formatting and deleted "Thanks in advance".

I can find more edits that were made just to change formatting on ELL.

Leicester is seven points ahead

  1. I edited two typos, "than" from "that" and "topper" from "toppers" and didn't edit anything else as I didn't see any other issues.

  2. Another user changed Spurs to Tottenham and just formatting.

  3. I rolled it back because the edit seemed to be trivial and I thought it was the OP's right to call Tottenham "Spurs" and chances are low for "Spurs" to cause confusion to readers.

According to the following Post by Jeff Atwood,

The Great Edit Wars

Always respect the original author.


if the author of the post is resistant to your editing changes, even a perfectly legitimate edit based on the above rules, be the bigger man (or woman) and let them have it their way. Our goal here is not to cause friction between users, or to make everything perfect overnight. All we aim to do is gradually clean up and improve questions and answers together. When in doubt, just move on! There will be plenty of other posts and other edits you can make. In time, that reluctant author will learn how Stack Overflow works.

I am against those trivial edits for the following reasons:

  1. A trivial edit is a distraction to moderators and other active users who need to check whether the edit is helpful or not, especially when it is made by users with more than 2,000 reputation points.

  2. A trivial edit is unduly placed on top of the front page pushing away questions and answers that might need more attention. I don't think it's fair.

  3. A trivial edit such as changing Spurs doesn't respect the original author.

What are your thoughts?

A side note:

  1. I don't think it is a bad idea to delete "thanks" in a question, but only when there are non-trivial edits that should be made at the same time. I am against an edit just to delete "thanks".

  2. In order for ELL to be a better community, (1) there should be more users who answer (or ask) questions than edit them, (2) a user should spend more time answering (or asking) than editing. Where are we? If such a trivial edit is made on English Language and Usage (ELU), I don't think it would be tolerated. Actually I rarely encounter such an edit on ELU.

  • 4
    I really object to cosmetic grammar fixes in question (not answers), especially since quite a few folks confuse grammar with style. Of course there are times when a question has to be reworded to make it clear what is being asked, but did we really need 10 revisions here: ell.stackexchange.com/posts/88622/revisions ? The entire original question is "I'm confused by during, throughout, and through. especially in time contexts. Please explain, thanks." The question should be closed not edited over and over.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 19:38
  • 2
    @ColleenV That's over 9000 revisions! But I still think the edits improved the overall appearance and therefore it will interest more people to answer it.
    – NVZ
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 20:00
  • 3
    I think you rarely encounter such edits on EL&U because the questions that need them aren't edited - they're closed or migrated over here. EL&U is not a good role model for ELL. We have a different community with different needs.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 20:47
  • 4
    I'm not going to discuss the issue here, but if I understand the meta post correctly, the answer says we should approve such an edit unless it's a total eye-sore. Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 22:26
  • @ColleenV I agree with you on the point that a question should not be edited for grammar fixes as they show the English proficiency of an OP. The reason why I rolled back (see the revision 4 in the link) was I found the edit unhelpful and superfluous. I am talking about that kind of edit here. Not other edits that generally improve posts. I do think edits should be encouraged, but NOT an edit for edit's sake.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 4:06
  • 1
    Note that not everyone is using PC for stackexchange. A lot of us happen to use this site on mobile and things like "thanks" and "thanks in advance" or "Please help" takes up the space. Again, a proper format helps a lot when we are on mobile. enough said. Fact: Mobile screens are not as big as PC's.
    – user25493
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:39
  • 2
    @NVZ Of course, edits are the most helpful moderation tool for all sides of the argument, i.e. querents, answerers, and the moderation group. The problem is when trivial edits are done en masse, and this leads to a confusing front page. Even then the course of action isn't a rollback; this isn't a drama show. If the trivial edits are hindering something useful that's being done on the site, then it's flagging and explaining to a mod why a user should stop. Again, the edits themselves aren't the problem, the number is.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 18:34
  • 1
    Belated related: meta.blender.stackexchange.com/questions/1012/…
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 20:58
  • Rathony, you humongous hypocrite. I jolly well hope you can read this comment, you once re-edited an answer of mine to delete "thank you". I asked you to respect my desire to keep it and you ignored me. Luckily, a mod intervened and locked the question to stop you from deleting "thank you" a 3rd time. (Earlier this evening, the ever charming Rathony posted a comment on an SE meta post of mine, asking, and I quote: What the hell are you doing there? He was referring to ELU. Oh, and he also wondered what my academic background and qualifications were for posting answers.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 22:06

5 Answers 5


Since you asked, I'll tell you my thoughts about this rant.

1) It's unnecessarily negative and judgmental.

Since I joined this community, I've noticed many edits which seem to be trivial and not helpful enough to this community.

Who are you to judge when an edit is "helpful enough"? If an edit improves a question, then it benefits the community. Please refrain from calling someone else's work "not helpful."

2) You've picked a bad example of a "trivial" edit.

This edit put example text in a quote box. You may regard that as "trivial," but I'd guess that most ELL regulars would regard this edit as an improvement:

enter image description here Moreover, many newer users don't know much about SE protocols, preferences, and formatting tricks. Simple improvements like removing a "thanks in advance" or using a quote box can make the question look better while at the same time help an O.P. learn how to improve future questions. Since this user is a relatively new user (6 days), I would regard these nudges as helpful.

3) It contains erroneous information.

Contrary to what you say, so-called trivial edits are not "a distraction to moderators." Moderators do not run the site, the community does. Moderators are here to intervene when there are problems. Rollback wars are a problem, but improving the formatting of a new user's question is not a problem. Most edits are ultimately approved without any moderator intervention.

4) It tries to cast your axe to grind as an issue of "fairness".

Here's a timeline I am aware of, all within the last 12 hours or so:

  • You were involved in at least two "rollback wars" with the user who made this (trivial?) edit.
  • You were politely asked to end a heated debate in chat over this very topic.
  • You were later temporarily banned from chat for reigniting the argument and making rude comments in the chat room.
  • You posted this meta question in an attempt to garner support for your side of this argument.

Insofar as I can tell, other members who are approving or disapproving edits don't seem to be bothered by these "trivial" improvements. That, along with the timing of this meta question (on the heels of your rollback wars) suggest this is less about "fairness" to the community and more about you trying to win a debate.

5. Don't call us a "community" and expect complete conformity.

Your post begins with "Since I joined this community." Please, let it be that, a community. Stop imposing your standards on everyone else. If someone wants to make formatting improvements, let that be their contribution to the community.

6. Once again, you compare ELL with ELU.

Yes, ELU and ELL are sister sites, but I've grown a little tired of you comparing the two. This is not the first time you've said something along the lines of, "This would not be tolerated on ELU," or, "That's not the way this gets handled on ELU." ELL does not need to be a clone of that community; each SE community evolves on its own into its own. If you prefer the way they handle things at ELU, then spend your time there. If you are going to spend time in both places, then accept that they are not obligated to be run exactly the same.

  • 1
    There's another example in the question now, in case that makes a difference to your second point. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 4:49
  • I completely agree with you. This is because it has been more than once that I got confused because of lack of format. I was once reading a question and didn't understand it well. some user improved the formatting. It became more clear to me then. I am an English Language Learner who frequently visits this site to learn things and many times I am stuck because either a question or an answer is not well formatted. Another time I was reading an answer by a user and was again confused because he/she didn't use any quotation mark to mark words and no italics and such thing.
    – user25493
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 5:30
  • 2
    I was really confused because I couldn't figure out which word was which and which word to switch with which. I waited for another answer, but before that, the answer was edited and made things clear, though it could have been more clearer, but the little edit helped me a lot and I gave upvote. I always follow editing to make my questions more clearer and easy to read. I think everyone who is editing here is doing a really great job for users like me, and others, to make things easy and buttery smooth. Kudos!
    – user25493
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 5:31
  • @Nathan - that rollback war caused the system to flag the post for moderator attention. I saw two fair points – changing Tottingham to Spurs might confuse readers unfamiliar with that team, but the original author used the word Spurs in the example. The rollback war was counterproductive; better to refine the edit even further to come up with something everyone would regard as an overall improvement. Ironically, the new Atwood quote says it best: Our goal here is not to cause friction between users. I'll leave my answer as is; in the future, Rathony should follow his own advice there.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 10:17
  • @J.R. I think you have misunderstood what SE model is. It is Q&A site. Not an editing site for editors. What is not clear before the edit and in what way the edit in your example improves the post? To my eyes, they look all the same except for deleting "thanks". Now, who is trying to enforce conformity here? How is your rant different from my rant? Are you the only moderator here? Why do we hear only one moderator's voice here unlike ELU? No moderator on ELU writes the way you write and behave. If that's what you mean, I can't agree with you more on the point that ELL has different culture.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 12:59
  • 6
    @Rathony From what I've seen, I don't think you respect others' work. Being a moderator is not an easy job, and I don't see any bad point stated by the poster. Perhaps it is more straight-forward and that's what you didn't like. ELU and ELL are different sites and you should and must not compare the two. Not every moderator is active. Remember they are human, not bots. I am not saying moderators there are bots. As I have stated in my comment before. I visit this site frequently and I never saw any misbehaviour from any moderator.
    – user25493
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:22
  • 5
    @Rathony It is Q&A site. Not an editing site for editors. really? Then why there are pages for "editors" and badges for editors and even the "edit" button on this site? I think you are completely missing the point. I will mention again. I am an average English Language Learner and I visit this site frequently. Editing is a great tool even if the user put the examples in quotation block, he/she did took his/her time to make a post look better and easier to read. if you spend good amount of time here you will see that new users do ask when an editor puts quotation block.
    – user25493
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:28
  • 3
    @Rathony They many times ask things like "hey how did you put them in quotation mark" and that is a good way to teach new users. I don't see and understand why you always boast about ELU and why you are always complaining about little things. Sadly not every user here comes and check these posts else you would have known that many users are helped by these little edits, which you think are pointless. This is a good and honest answer like the other two. +1 to all three.
    – user25493
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:30
  • @Mrstupid How does putting the example in a block quotation improve its readability? Especially when there are less than 10 words? The guideline clearly states tiny, trivial edits are discouraged. I am not talking about other 99.9% helpful edits which are rewarded with reputation points and badges. I am talking about less than 0.1% edits which are unnecessary and pointless like the 4th revision on this link.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:43
  • 5
    @Rathony In the tour from the help center it says 'Our goal is to have the best answers to every question, so if you see questions or answers that can be improved, you can edit them. Use edits to fix mistakes, improve formatting, or clarify the meaning of a post.' Community editing is a fundamental feature of StackExchange, so I don't think it's J.R. that doesn't understand the SE model. What is your goal? If it is to get folks to stop making and approving trivial edits, your hostility is counterproductive.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:51
  • @ColleenV As I repeatedly said, I am not against edits that fix mistakes, improve formatting, or clarify the meaning of a post. I am against edits that are made for edits' sake as in various examples. How many answers do you think ELL has to fix in order to have the best answers to every question in terms of grammar and quality. How come nobody is commenting on this one liner (the accepted answer) that doesn't qualify as the best answer in accordance with our Help Center? I am curious.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:58
  • @ColleenV This is the second question on ELL. Nothing is put in a block quotation. Is it difficult to read? To my eyes, it is perfectly clear as there are not many words in the question. I noticed so many questions and answers have been edited just to put words in a block quotation or change quoted words to italics or bolds or the other way around. What is the purpose of such an edit? Isn't that trivial? Shouldn't that kind of edit be discouraged?
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 14:09
  • 5
    One reason to ask a question on meta is to gauge community support and attitudes. You believe that you understand the SE model and I don't, yet your question has been downvoted 7 times while my answer has been upvoted 7 times. Maybe you should open your mind a little more and accept that this community is more than you think it is – that you are not the sole arbitrator of what edits are useful and which edits are pointless. What's the point of asking a meta question when you're not prepared to accept other points of view?
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 15:15
  • 5
    Moreover, the link you included in your comment to @Coleen is priceless. Yes, that's a readable question – largely because MετάEd (an ELU user with over 20K rep) made a formatting improvement shortly after the question was asked. No, it doesn't use a quote box, it uses bullets instead, but that supports my assertion that there's more than one way to improve the format of a question, and we don't need to be a community of clones here.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 15:26
  • 1
    @Rathony - If that's your point, fair enough. Nevertheless, I think those cosmetic edits are helpful, and others seem to think so, too.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 19:00

[Happily, the following is now obsolete, but is left in to avoid confusion.]

According to the following Meta Post,

Are edits that only change formatting in text appropriate?

the answer clearly states that you should reject those (edits) unless they are a total eye-sore.

You have completely and totally misread the linked Meta SE guidance. That is not what it says to do at all. What Shog actually says is, when reviewing suggested edits, if the post the edit is made to is almost perfect except for a few minor formatting issues the edit corrects … it's great! That's a good edit! It should be approved! Only if the post is amazingly bad and the edit just doesn't help with the fundamental issues should it be rejected.

To that I would add the guidance often given elsewhere: if an edit is purely a matter of subjective taste (tabs vs spaces, bullet lists vs numbers, asterisk footnotes vs numbered, or the like) it's not worth making. (It's also not worth rolling back. A rollback of a trivial edit is a trivial edit itself, and just makes things worse. Rollbacks are not equivalent to edit rejections.)

The example revisions were not suggested edits, and editors with direct privileges are given more leeway to make minor changes, as the 6-character limit is removed and their edits need no specific review. What's more, both would have been perfectly acceptable even as a suggested edit under the guidance you linked to: the posts had no problems that weren't corrected by the edits. (While the confusion of quietly calling the same thing by two completely different names may not be serious, it's worth making some attempt to reduce the problem, and there really is no reason to simply let that potential confusion stand.)

It might be nice to reduce the amount of bumping from minor edits, but it's not a terribly big deal, especially if most questions get bumped a similar number of times: it all comes out in the wash. There have been various feature requests for ways to avoid bumps in certain cases, but none of them have gotten very far. Your assertion that users have to be more careful to cross-check 2k+ editors' bumps seems strange, and needs to be backed up with a strong argument.

I definitely disagree with your side note that every user needs to be posting more than editing… or indeed posting at all. Any useful contribution a user can make should be encouraged. If the site's built-in reward system for encouraging posts in particular is not enough to maintain a general level of good answers and questions, that's a large systemic problem that is not usefully addressed by discouraging edits. For myself, as a nigh-obsessive editor and occasional answerer, editing does not compete with answering: if I spent no time editing, I would actually answer fewer questions, since I wouldn't be reading as many. The result so far is about the same number of answers as you, Rathony… plus an extra thousand or so edits. That kind of benefit to the site should not be lightly discarded or discouraged in others by adherence to some artificial proportion of edits to answers or questions.

  • 1
    I think the bumping is a benefit of an edit not a downside. If the edit wasn't big enough to make it worth nudging folks to take another look at the question, well then maybe the edit shouldn't have been made. If an edit pushes a question to the top of the active list, it also encourages folks to look over the question and that edit, which I think is a good thing, even if it does lead to some questions getting tweaked to death as the bullet list folks battle it out with the numbered list folks.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 20:41
  • @ColleenV: Yeah, normally a bit of extra attention doesn't do any real harm and can help things a bit by spreading out visibility in general. Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 20:43
  • Would you approve the revision 4 in the link if it were in the edit review queue now? I am talking about this kind of superfluous edit which doesn't seem to add any value. What is your thought? Am I the only one who sees this kind of superfluous edit on ELL? Then, it is my problem. But I don't think so.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 3:54
  • @Rathony: No, I wouldn't; it's just shuffling formatting style from one way to another without changing anything meaningful. If you'd led with that as your example this would have been far more convincing. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 4:50
  • @NathanTuggy Personally I don't see the difference between the two edits. The purpose of this Meta post is just to remind users that they need to think one more time when editing a post and discourage them from making superfluous edits. I think the post serves the purpose.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 4:53
  • @Rathony: I've added another paragraph to explain the distinction between the third example and the other two. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 4:57
  • @Colleen it usually depends on the case. Some people consider bumping 'Tumbleweed' questions abusive. The other day there was this post on Meta.SO where a mod locked a popular question because of the 27 bumps it got. Sheer drama. Also bumping a closed question with zero answers and no useful content standing at a negative score is unhelpful; that would need close votes. (Also maybe editing disables Roomba)
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 20:56
  • @PhMgBr I don't disagree that any privilege on SE has the potential to be used for evil. That is why we have moderators :) I still don't think a good faith edit bumping an older question onto the active list is a bad thing.
    – ColleenV
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 0:11

What. The. Heck.

I see the other answers have already covered a lot of stuff here, so I won't contribute to the skirmish. I just had a few things to point out, and it just won't fit in a comment.

Drama is bad.

It doesn't matter whether you're Batman and the other guy is The Joker, it doesn't matter whether you're normal people, or university professors, or helpless learners. What matters is that you're users, and this is a community, driven by your actions. No matter the offense of the other user, be it as bad as sock-puppetry or as abusive as vandalizing posts, you must be civil and communicative if there's the slightest chance of communication.

So if you just go on a rollback spree and mar someone else's effort and when asked for reason plug your ear and shout "trivial edits are discouraged", you are in the wrong even if what you say is according to the rules. This isn't a marathon, and we're not in the middle of a competition. We're building a useful resource for English learners around the world. Together. Let me emphasize a part of what you quoted:

if the author of the post is resistant to your editing changes, even a perfectly legitimate edit based on the above rules, be the bigger man (or woman) and let them have it their way. Our goal here is not to cause friction between users, or to make everything perfect overnight. All we aim to do is gradually clean up and improve questions and answers together. When in doubt, just move on! There will be plenty of other posts and other edits you can make. In time, that reluctant author will learn how Stack Overflow works.

Gauging Edits

Another problem here I see is that you're acting in a very binary way.

This is so wrong

This isn't the way to go. I'm spending my time editing a question; the time that could've been spent doing something else. Thus editing is helping the site unless proven otherwise.

The only case where edits aren't useful is if they're extremely superfluous and clogging the way of meaningful contributions to the site. That is, they stop answers from different users from getting the necessary attention or useful edits to be approved in time. Neither happened in this case.

There are a lot of things you should consider when you gauge an edit useful or trivial, or harmful.

  • Site: People argue that "the ELU mindset is different from ELL's". I'd actually be surprised to hear that this is what you do to trivial edits on ELU. That said, the site I'm acting on is indeed important in many of my decisions. I'm much more inclined to approve an edit that add a good tag to an ELL post compared to Chem because here we need more tag edits.
  • The Impact factor: If the edit changes the post a lot, close to or more than a 60% change from what the post originally was, I become more skeptical when reviewing, and revert some of the changes.
  • The post: Edits invalidate flags, and bumping a closed question standing at -5 does no one any good. So I tend to reject edits on these, with some exceptions.
  • Superfluous-ness: Here's how I gauge edits' usefulness: There are three possibilities. Either the edit is acceptable (1), or unacceptable for below 2k (2), or totally unacceptable (3). The reason is obvious.
    • If an edit removes a tagline, it's either (1) or (2). If there's some other meat to it, it's (1).
    • If an edit introduces a useless tag, and/or one that hasn't been discussed on meta, it's either (2) or (3).
    • If an edit introduces new formatting, it might be the either option, though rarely 3. There's a big difference between editing a train-wreck into something readable, and changing a numbered list to an unnumbered one.
    • I honestly still don't see much consensus on editing grammar, so my advice may be argumentative-ish in these cases, but grammar edits have almost always fallen into the (1) tag for me.

Now it's obvious how we deal, or rather don't deal, with (1). (2)'s case is different. If I go on editing 100 posts on the site with a single typo removed, either I should stop or a mod should stop me. But if it's a steady flow of a few edits, no action needs to be taken. Hell, there isn't even anything to game above 2k.

The only edits that should be rolled back are those in (3). Rollback is for cases like this. Spam injections, vandalism, and extreme cases like that are when you should use that button. The reason it exists is to make reverting the harm done as fast as possible.

TL;DR; The only thing you should check is whether an edit harms the post. If it doesn't, then leave it be. The end. This isn't about you being right, or they being right. The main problem here is the fact that such a trivial issue escalated to this.

I was so reluctant to post an answer, and I might not respond to comments. Please don't leave another trail of long comments here. I want this to end. RIGHT NOW


Why do you think that moderators and active users "need to check whether the edit is helpful or not"? If it's not in the review queue, it doesn't need checking. Folks with enough reputation are trusted to make edits.

If the edit doesn't

  • harm the readability
  • introduce an error
  • change the meaning
  • or misrepresent the original author's intent

and it's not in the review queue, I don't bother with it.

It's not my place to judge how other people choose to spend their time. If someone would like to make certain that all example sentences are in blockquote format, and all greetings, signatures, and other fluff has been removed, more power to them. It doesn't change the world, but it makes it a little better, and it makes them happy.

If I roll-back an edit because I think it's too trivial, I've become part of the problem because the roll-back I just did is a trivial edit. So, if you truly believe that trivial edits damage the site, you've just doubled that damage every time you roll-back an edit simply because it's trivial.

That said, I usually go back to the original revision (or an earlier revision by the author if they have done some of their own edits) and edit that instead of rolling back or trying to correct corrections of corrections if I see something that needs fixing. In my opinion, that is more useful than rolling back because I can roll-up the "trivial" fixes that other folks have made as well as my own edits into one revision so it is very clear how the post has changed from the author's writing.

  • Thanks for your answer. My point is this. I always try to approve edits than reject them as I know they spent their efforts and time to improve a post. But not those changing a quote into a block quote, or putting unnecessary numbers or deleting the tag that was previously placed by a high-rep user. I don't have my editing style and I don't care much about other users' edits. I rarely do edits on ELL because there are so many editors here (My record shows only 31 posts edited). When someone is trying to enforce their editing style over others', then I think it is a problem. I am not enforcing.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 17:06
  • 3
    @Rathony You aren't approving or rejecting edits. You're rolling back edits by users with enough reputation that their edits don't go into the review queue, and by doing that you're causing more harm than the edit that got up your nose. If you want to reject suggested edits because they're too trivial, go right ahead. I do. Not rejecting trivial edits just encourages more of them, so by "always trying to approve" you're making the problem worse. One of the ways folks learn is by example. Do you see that you're making things worse, not better, with your approach?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 17:14
  • I rolled back only two edits here. Take a look at the revision history closely. There is a reason. I keep the same standards when I review a suggested edit and I never approve them when they don't improve a post much. Just because a user has more than 2,000 reputation points doesn't prevent another user from rejecting it by rolling it back. I do have the right to roll any edit back as I also have enough reputation. I will roll back an edit if I find it superfluous in the same way I reject a suggested superfluous edit.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 17:21
  • 3
    @Rathony You can do whatever you have earned the privilege to do. I'm just pointing out that you're doing exactly what you're criticizing other folks for doing - making trivial edits.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 17:24
  • Well, that could be interpreted that way, but as long as there are no trivial edits and edits for edits' sake, there will be no rolling back or any dispute in the future as there are no disputes on ELU.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 17:26
  • 3
    @Rathony Two wrongs don't make a right. Also, this is not EL&U.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 17:41
  • 3
    RE: as long as there are no trivial edits and edits for edits' sake – but who gets to decide what is "trivial" or "an edit for edits' sake"? Based on how this meta discussion has evolved, you don't seem to be a good judge of that.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 19:02

The standard for voting against a proposed minor edit from the review queue is

This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

Removing thank you and other superfluous language makes the post easier to find and easier to read. Using conventional formatting such as blockquotes for quoted text and examples and italics for use/mention distinction makes the post easier to read and often more accessible.

The FAQ on editing reads

When should I edit posts?
Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so. The original author of a question or answer may always edit their own post, regardless of reputation level.
Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

  • To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
  • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
  • To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
  • To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
  • To add related resources or hyperlinks

These are common reasons, but not the exclusive reasons for editing. Since the StackExchange convention is to remove hi, thanks, taglines, and salutations from posts, I see no harm done.

I share your wish that there were a way to edit questions without bumping them, but that behavior seems to be a feature, not a bug.

  • Would you approve the revision 4 in the link if it were in the edit review queue now? I am talking about this kind of superfluous edit which doesn't seem to add any value. What is your thought? Am I the only one who sees this kind of superfluous edit on ELL? Then, it is my problem.
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 4:01
  • @Rathony - Maybe it's your problem. While I don't see a tremendous need for that edit, I do think adding a numbered list can often make answering questions easier, because a person answering the question can say something like, "There's not as much difference between #1 and #2 as there is between #2 and #3..." (Granted, that's more useful with long sentences instead of single words, but I'm not opposed to the spirit of the edit.) At worst, it does no harm, and it certainly doesn't warrant a reaction like, "An experienced user should not do that kind of edit." Live and let live.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 16:12
  • @J.R. Apparently you have a different view from NathanTuggy. When I find an edit unnecessary and superfluous. I do have the right to roll it back. When someone rolls back your edit, it means (s)he doesn't agree with your edit and see the next edit (revision 7) What do you think about deleting the tag "time-words"? Apparently the words in the question seem to be related with time-words and choster seemed to have wanted to improve the tags by adding it. What does the next edit show? Is it really necessary to delete the tag and put the numbers again? An answer with #2 or #3 will be more confusing
    – user24743
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 16:27
  • 2
    @Rathony: For clarity: Just because I would not approve the edit does not mean I would roll it back. Rollbacks are not for edits that didn't really come up to snuff; they're for edits that actively damaged the post. "This is kinda too minor a change to have been worth making" is a totally useless reason to rollback an edit. Always. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 19:17
  • Rathony - I very much agree with Nathan and upvoted his answer – particularly the part that says: You have completely and totally misread the linked Meta SE guidance. As for the two of us disagreeing about the usefulness of Revision 4, no big deal there. It's a borderline case, and people see things differently along the borderline. I don't think @NathanT is agreeing that the edit is the calamity you're making it out to be.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 19:19

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