When I was a novice user on ELL, I asked lots of silly questions because I was—and maybe am still—an incompetent speaker of English. I'm happy that our contributors treated those posts compassionately.

The problem now is that some of my old posts make me cringe because they are full of awkward and inept phrasing. I always hesitate to edit them because I know they will show up on the active tab.

So, is it okay for me to edit these posts? Do folks find them annoying? And do we treat them like we treat new questions (like up- or down-voting them, closing them, or marking them as duplicates)?

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    I think it would be a good thing to revisit old posts and see if they can be improved. Just be careful about invalidating existing answers. You may want to leave a comment to let someone know if you change something they mention in their answer.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 12, 2017 at 15:54

2 Answers 2


Provided you observe ColleenV's caution that you avoid invalidating existing answers—to which I might add a caution that you avoid invalidating the question itself!— I cannot imagine that anyone would object to your tidying up your language.

But I suggest that you look at those old questions from a different perspective. You cringe because they exhibit your past ignorance; but by the same token, they also exhibit how much you have learned in just the fifteen months you have been a participant here.

Congratulations! —that's a record to be proud of, not one to efface.


As long as your edits don't turn the questions into something entirely different, and aren't just trivial edits made for the sake of bumping, they should be fine. Bumping is an intended (and in fact essential) feature, and the extra attention gained from improving a question (or its answers) is welcomed by SE and most senior users.

Generally, bumped questions are handled in much the same way as new questions: they will often get new up- (and down-)votes, may get new answers, can get further edits, comments, and the like, or may even get the attention of someone who votes to close. (Or reopen. Closed questions can be bumped too!) These are all usually good things. Especially the potential for new answers is not to be sneezed at.

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