Question in question: What is meaning of "why else would she?"

The edit by Lambie drastically changed the meaning and context of the sentence that anhdung had originally posted, and was querying the meaning of. The rejection by Mark Hubbard seems to have ignored the history of the post prior to my suggested reversion to the original sentence, and the rejection by Mary-Lou A claims an introduced misspelling, which I cannot find.

Some comments to my answer preserved the original sentence, but the edit of the original question appeared to invalidate the answer I proposed.

  1. Were these rejections proper?

  2. Can they be appealed, and if so, how?

  • Frankly, instead of diddling the text of it, I think the question should be closed for lack of detail. Where did this sentence come from? Why is the author confused and what do they think it means? If you think an edit made the question harder to understand, you can always flag it for the mod team to look at. In this case, I don't think it's anything to get to worked up over. You made the edit in good-faith, the folks that disagreed with it did so in good-faith, and the end result isn't particularly better or worse. Sometimes on a collaborative site, we disagree and no-one is "wrong".
    – ColleenV
    Aug 3, 2017 at 12:50
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    I went ahead and reversed the changes to the context and added an explicit statement of the question. When the context is this scant, I don't think we should fix the grammar of it.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 3, 2017 at 13:16
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    On the separate topic of fixing grammar in questions, my inclinations would be to not correct grammar in questions, but to note any such problems in comments and answers. As this is a site for learners of English, having an explanation of why something is wrong would seem to me to be better than merely "silently" correcting it (and possibly producing the impression that the querent is more knowledgeable than s/he actually is). This might be worth a separate discussion in ELL Meta, but I'm not sure how strongly I feel my inclinations should influence the site. Aug 3, 2017 at 13:23
  • If you look take a look at the "Is it really pointless..." link in my answer, that would be a good place to chip in your two cents on that. There's definitely a gray area between making the question understandable/able to be searched for and obscuring the fluency of the querent.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 3, 2017 at 14:07
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    @JeffZ - We often let grammar mistakes remain in questions because such mistakes give everyone an indication of the OP's mastery of English. That said, I'll make some corrections anyway, if I feel like they are more distractions than valuable clues. (One common example is changing the first person pronoun from "i" to "I" – it's hard to tell if that's due to being a novice, or careless typing.)
    – J.R. Mod
    Aug 3, 2017 at 19:15
  • @J.R. - That sort of change - I for i, you for u and other textspeak abbreviations - I consider different from correcting grammar; for the most part, I agree with you (and said so at the "pointless" question that ColleenV pointed at) for the reason you gave. Aug 3, 2017 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


When there is an issue like this, the correct thing to do is exactly what you've done - bring the issue up on Meta where the community can discuss it and figure out the best path forward.

I hope that you won't take rejection of a suggested edit as some sort of black mark on your record. We disagree sometimes on how much editing should be done to questions, (Is it really pointless to edit questions to use correct English on ELL?, How much editing is too much editing?) so there are times when a perfectly fine edit will get rejected and an edit some folks don't agree with will get approved.

It also doesn't help that the revision history of a post isn't displayed when approving suggested edits, so many reviewers judge an edit just by the difference with the previous revision. If it makes you feel better there was one reviewer that approved your suggested edit who probably does review the revision history.

After taking a second look at this question, Lambie's edit should be reversed, because not only did it impact the existing answer, it didn't clarify the question.

Original sentence the querent was asking about

I have told my husband it makes me very uncomfortable and that it almost seems she attends hoping to run into him. Why else would she?

Modified sentence

I have told my husband it makes me very uncomfortable and that it almost seems she expects or hopes to run into him. Why else would she?

It was an understandable mistake to make, because at first glance "she attends" seems like a mistake, but it could be OK if you imagine the missing context (she attends the event hoping to run into him). Regardless, the edit here doesn't make the question more clear and it doesn't fix a grammar problem. The question should be clarified by the author adding appropriate context and not by changing the wording of the context sentence.

  • Oh, I wasn't taking it as a "black mark"; it's just that the Lambie edit was (a) quite drastic, as indicated in my question here, and (b) appeared to invalidate my original answer, which caused some confusion (see the comments on the not-meta question). Then, on top of that, my suggested reversion seemed to have been rejected for reasons I though confusing at best, which was why I queried it here. Aug 3, 2017 at 13:06
  • I do think that it might be worthwhile to get the system to show the full edit history if at all possible (although I did note in my comment on the reversion that it was a reversion). Aug 3, 2017 at 13:08
  • @JeffZeitlin Ah I overlooked that the edit impacted your answer. Let me look again. Moderators can see the full timeline for a post. I'm not sure if there is any community member privilege level that can see rejected edits though.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 3, 2017 at 13:08
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    I saw Lambie's edited post, it looked good, it was grammatical but the edit suggested appeared to make the question worse, so that's why I rejected it. I interpreted "attends" for intends but that still didn't make any sense. I normally read the explanatory note, but this time because of the edit, I skipped past it. I'll be more careful in future!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 3, 2017 at 19:22
  • OK, it does appear that one can see the edit history by clicking on the link that says "edited {date}", to the left of the poster's "signature" (icon and stats). The history doesn't appear while doing the edit, however, and there doesn't appear to be an option to show it. If possible, there should be a way to review the edit history while in edit mode. Aug 10, 2017 at 12:14
  • @JeffZeitlin I typically look at the history in another browser tab when I'm editing or reviewing.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:08

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