I've rejected several proposed edits recently which, IMHO, only consist of cosmetic changes such as

  • Deleting "Thank you for your help" / "Sorry for my poor English." or similar from the bottom

  • Converting a phrase + URL into a proper link

  • Correcting three spelling mistakes in a question nearly 3 years old that already had 2 answers, so it was perfectly comprehensible and hence didn't need changing.

  • Changing two single quote marks for double quotes in multiple places.

None of the edits appeared to achieve anything else.

Am I being too picky? I thought the edits should make a significant improvement.

I think the approved answer to this question by Jason Bassford is relevant.

  • 2
    I agree about the last three but I think official policy is to remove salutations and pre-emptive thanks.
    – mdewey
    Feb 28, 2022 at 16:28
  • I might not bother making an edit for double quotes, but it does improve the question, so I can't see any basis for rejecting it.
    – gotube Mod
    Mar 8, 2022 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


I tend to approve edits that do any of these, even though they may seem minor. I haven't seen the edit queue get unmanageable on this site; currently we have 4 pending edits so there's no real pressure to not have these edits be made.

To elaborate on each bullet:

  • The guidance on removing "thanks" is best explained on MSE as it is a network policy: Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?. ELL has an additional benefit in that it may be a little easier to find posts that are asking about salutations when searching.
  • Using bare URLs makes posts hard to read for everyone. Creating a good link text is an art, but done properly it makes the site look a lot better, and helps people find the links they want to visit. Yale's Usability & Web Accessibility guide outlines a few basic guidelines that I try to follow when creating link text, (with the ultimate source of guidance being WCAG).
  • Fixing spelling has many benefits, even in old posts. Stack Exchange search is primitive in this respect as searching for the correct spelling will not bring up posts that have the wrong spelling. In addition, misspellings make it harder to use assistive technology, including dictionaries, which is all the more important on a site like this. (Even as a native speaker of English often I find myself highlighting words and using my computer/phone dictionary to look them up.) In any case, most of ELL's traffic comes from people without accounts, so the fact that nobody complained means very little.
  • Replacing '' (two single quotes) with " (double quote) is the most minor on the list. (I wouldn't make an edit to change just this.) I can't even explain why it's the right typographical choice in English, but it is. Still, using the correct punctuation brings a small number of minor benefits: the site looks more professional, assistive technology doesn't get tripped up, and it would likely be easier to programmatically parse posts using something like SEDE (I have ideas).

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