A user with almost 20k reputation has edited all the answers of "You are your self first supporter", a more proper way to say it to have "consistent" numbering amongst the answers.

This seems ... odd. I see no reason to have answers refer to each other (even implicitly), or to have any sort of consistency between each other. I haven't yet checked to see if they've done this for other questions.

Is this behaviour acceptable or disruptive?

  • 5
    The OP seems to have appreciated it.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 2:58
  • 4
    TBH it seems kinda confusing now. When I start scrolling the first and second answer (sorted by votes) say 3 and 4. If 1 and 2 are the OP's examples then I don't see how enumerating the sentences helps at all if one of them is going to be ungrammatical. It does seem to me like the answers don't need that info, which is the by-the-book reason things are edited out of answers, but considering a high-rep user took extra time and effort to make the [scattered] numbered list I'd wait and see how it plays out.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 13:03
  • @M.A.R.ಠ_ಠ -- Your comment would make a good answer.
    – Jasper
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 20:10

3 Answers 3


In my opinion, if the user wanted to present a numbered list of options, they should have written their own answer and presented such a list in a form where they could maintain it. I see these edits as similar to summarizing the answers, and they cause the same issues with maintenance that summarizing the answers in the question would cause (If there is more than one right answer can I summarize the answers?), but without the extra help of getting notified that something about the question had changed because the person making the edits isn't the author of the question.

As it stands now, answers will be added with new options that are unnumbered or out of order and for anyone who hasn't been monitoring this question from the beginning, it will add more confusion than it will help clear up. We should always keep in mind that we are writing for the person that will find our answers a year from now and not just the person we're currently engaging with.

I am in favor of rolling back these edits, but I will wait to see what the community says.

  • I agree that the edits are confusing, but I don’t see any useful action that anybody (except maybe the OP, Tasneem ZH) could have taken.  If Jasper had posted an aggregate/summary answer (without contributing new information on each answer), that would have drawn ‘‘Not an answer’’ flags (or at least it would on EL&U). Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:17
  • 1
    @Scott “not an answer” flags should only be used for answers that don’t attempt to answer the question, like a question posted as an answer. There is always the option of not taking any action, i.e. don’t edit other people’s answers to add aggregate information that will become “out of date” when someone adds or edits an answer. This picture is a good quick reference to types of answers: i.sstatic.net/vAUaw.png
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:23
  • Hmm. On some sites, a post that doesn’t contribute new information (not present in other answers) is considered to be “Not an answer”.  I’m not very familiar with the ELL culture; I guess that guidelines and standards are more lenient here? Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:27
  • 2
    Low quality would be a better choice for “no new information”. We should be careful though, because sometimes stating the same info in a different way can be helpful. Regardless, summaries of existing answers are a bad idea.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:29

This may be a bit late, but as the post is still on "Hot Meta", I thought of adding my point of view as the appreciative OP.

But first, I have to disagree with the title as it wasn't an attempt of unifying the "answers" since they weren't all answers; mines were simply two suggestions with a high possibility of being stated incorrectly.

I found @Jasper's move as a way of numbering the suggestions of the phrase, which I wanted to achieve, to make references to any of them easier especially for the future answerers at that time. Thus, it was an advantage for them to use if they needed and/or wanted to.

However, and after reading @ColleenV's answer, I have second thoughts about it, but of course, that doesn't mean @Jasper is anything less than a genius.


Here is a slightly different case. It is similar in that the question presented a list of possible statements, asked for commentary on the statements, and asked answerers to provide alternatives. Also, I edited both questions in the way that has been called into question.

Which one is correct, “the attribution” or “an attribution”?

In this example, it was helpful to number the statements in the question, and number the statements in my answer, and make an effort to avoid having the numbers conflict. Notice that the answer needed to refer to both statements in the question and in the answer.

  • 5
    The big difference there is that the OP already numbered the examples, and there are no other answers with numbered examples. Your answer and the question can be read together without having to refer to anything else.
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 3:56

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