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I have been pretty much going on an editing spree for answers with poor grammar. I want to make sure that it is allowed, since it is telling me I have too many pending edits and now I'm worried... In particular, is this considered spam?

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    In general, spam is "... promoting a product or service ...". This is not what you do, right? You might want to use the word "flood" or "abusing" in the sentence "is this considered spam". TL;DR: it's not a spam anyway, even if this is bad. Sep 14, 2023 at 5:03
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    Please don't. Any edit will bump the post to the active question page and take the focus away from other questions which might need attention. An edit here or there to improve a post is ok, but done in bulk it disrupts the active question page. Sep 14, 2023 at 8:06
  • that was kind of what i was wondering, but i think there might be more opinions; answers would be welcome Sep 14, 2023 at 8:28
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    Related to your editing: please have a look at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/332006/… Replacing "enter image description" with "snapshot" does not make the image much more accessible. Keeping the default text has the advantage that if somebody actually searches for images which lack an alt text, they will be able to find it. Sep 14, 2023 at 8:37
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    Please also make sure your edit summaries are easy to read and not "rgammamamammaar" Sep 14, 2023 at 8:55
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    i was trying to make grammar exceed 10 letters Sep 14, 2023 at 10:29
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    You could write something understandable like "improved grammar" or "fixed grammar". Sep 14, 2023 at 11:05
  • Ironically you've spelt editing wrong
    – Au101
    Sep 21, 2023 at 1:47

2 Answers 2

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Please don't bulk edit old posts (*). One of the central concepts of the stackexchange site is that edited posts are bumped to the top of the active question page. This normally allows users to easily see if there are posts with new activity, for example if an OP has clarified their question or a post got a new and interesting answer.

Language edits aren't that exciting to see in the active question list. It is understandable that a post here or there might be improved with an edit and that's a nice thing to do. However if done in bulk, they will take over the active question list and re-direct the focus away from posts, which actually need the attention.

If a post is already on the top of the active question page, editing is normally OK. Just keep in mind that as long as you are below 2000 points, 3 people will have to review your edits. So make sure you write understandable edit summaries to make their job easy and take a second to check if your edit is actually useful for the post before causing work for 3 reviewers.

(*) unless there are very special circumstances, like Stack Exchange Inc invalidating thousands of posts and then refusing to help fix them.

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    !!! Aaaagh! I remember that nightmare! We did try to limit simultaneous updates so as not to bury the front page, but that made the cleanup take weeks during which someone trying to use corrupted code could be adversely affected. What is really needed in such a case is the (moderated) ability to say "don't bump to the front page". (Not all of those were caught. I found a lingering one a couple months ago.) Sep 14, 2023 at 13:27
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    @barbarabeeton The ghosts of the broken backslashes still hunting the site :) Sep 14, 2023 at 13:30
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    What about active posts? Or is there a way to edit without bumping the question up? Sep 14, 2023 at 23:53
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    @NumberBasher New posts often need some love anyway (new users are not always familiar with the formatting options and other customs on SX sites, tagging can be be a bit hit-and-miss), so if you tighten up the language along the way that is appreciated. Since new posts will be in the active list anyway, editing them only bumps them up a little bit, which does not cause too much noise. As barbara said: There is no way to edit without bumping that is available to normal end-users of the site. ...
    – moewe
    Sep 15, 2023 at 7:00
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    ... So I strongly agree with this answer, try to limit editing older posts to the most egregious cases and avoid bulk-editing altogether.
    – moewe
    Sep 15, 2023 at 7:01
  • Since this seems to be the consensus, I'm accepting the answer for now. Sep 15, 2023 at 7:03
  • @NumberBasher If a post is already on the top of the active question page, editing is normally OK. Just keep in mind that as long as you are below 2000 points, 3 people will have to review your edits. So make sure you write understandable edit summaries to make their job easy and take a second to check if your edit is necessary before causing work for 3 reviewers (we had a user who would make unnecessary changes like adding some white space, which did not really do anything useful for the post. Such edits are to be avoided) Sep 15, 2023 at 8:01
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    @NumberBasher If you would start your comment with the name of the user you are replying to, they would be notified of your reply and -- as a bonus -- you would not have to add nonsense characters to your comments. Sep 15, 2023 at 8:04
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    Please be aware that views about grammar differ. While some things are clearly incorrect, others are more contentious. Some of your edits seem closer to cases of imposing your preferred style rather than correcting grammar. 'Edits welcome!' isn't incorrect, in my opinion. It's in a more informal register. Compare "Everyone welcome!" It's simple pedantry to insist this is ungrammatical. It's a phrase and it conveys something slightly different from "Everyone is welcome!" The former is a clear endorsement; the latter is not. The edit changes the meaning.
    – cfr
    Sep 16, 2023 at 19:50
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Actually the following does not focus on whether it is allowed, but on whether it needs to be done.

In order to do a proper edit, one needs to get the gist of the posting. If one can get the gist of the posting, why edit it?

In my opinion the posting is the "baby" of the author and if something needs to be done, it is up to the author in first place. Therefore I prefer suggesting edits to the author of a post via chat or comment to doing the edit oneself.

I know that suggesting edits via comments is not 100%ly in line with the company's policy regarding comments. Therefore, nowadays part of my commenting-policy is that I delete comments of mine myself when I realize that they turned obsolete. ;-)

I said "it is up to the author in first place". Of course, if an author of a posting cannot be reached any more, another way of handling the matter is needed.

From time to time with postings of mine I experience someone editing in order to make the text more readable. As English is not my first language I usually am thankful for that. In cases where the gist of the explanation gets distorted/turned into s.th. wrong, I undo the edit and add a note about the subtlety of why the attempt of explaining in the way of the one who edited would yield s.th. wrong. I do so as that info might lead to a better understanding.

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  • The problem is that the post has 2~3 grammar mistakes per sentence and requires a significant effort to read. There's also too many edits to fit in a comment... Or at least it would be annoying to do so in the first place. Sep 17, 2023 at 0:55
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    Although I have some sympathy with this view, it isn't how SE sites work. Moreover, many posts in greatest need of attention are by authors who are no longer around or appear to be struggling to communicate. I have one particular post where I added a notice asking people not to edit because well-intentioned 'corrections' kept substituting wrong information, but that's a slightly special case. I certainly prefer when people ask me to edit rather than doing it, but it's not really The SE Way.
    – cfr
    Sep 18, 2023 at 4:29
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    @NumberBasher In a case like that, I think editing is fine, but focus on new posts which are top of the page anyway and definitely don't mass edit answers. I only looked at one of your edits, so it may have been unrepresentative, but that one didn't have any significant problems at all. So either that was an outlier or you have a very different sense of what makes for substantive problems. Since you didn't make anything like 2-3 changes per sentence, I'm assuming you wouldn't say it did either.
    – cfr
    Sep 18, 2023 at 4:36
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    I think a post can be made easier to read even if it is already intelligible. In some cases, removing/explaining abbreviations/jargon or improving the English can made the post intelligible for people who couldn't understand it otherwise (e.g. new to LaTeX or less familiar with English). So that person A can understand it doesn't mean it might not be good to edit it so person B, who speaks Chinese and is learning English, and C, who has no idea what the terms mean, can understand it, too.
    – cfr
    Sep 18, 2023 at 4:39
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    As I said, I have sympathy with your view and prefer people to comment, but officially, that's not how it's meant to work (as I understand it). I suspect TeX SE is more tolerant of comments than SE policy encourages. I'm more than happy about that, but it is divergent from SE-imposed norms.
    – cfr
    Sep 18, 2023 at 18:50

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