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If a great answer is marred by a single typo, is it worthwhile to perfect the answer by fixing that one error? In Defense of Editing seems to say yes, but two editors rejected my suggested edit:

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I think that typo should be corrected – juan Jan 31 '12 at 19:37
IMO you changed the wrong identifier. You should have changed the second name to firstName, so the field name, and variable name are the same. – CodesInChaos Jan 31 '12 at 19:45
hmm since he mentions "name" earlier, perhaps it should really be name. – CodesInChaos Jan 31 '12 at 19:47
@CodeInChaos: That was actually what I was going to do at first -- except that Eric uses "name" everywhere else in his post, in the prose before and after the code fragment. – Michael Liu Jan 31 '12 at 19:47
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I think this is more a case of the reviewer not looking through the edit to see why this specific typo being fixed is important to the post. In the following line, he does use where resident.FirstName == name, so changing firstName to just name would be more important in making the code flow together. However, the average reviewer just sees that you modified one word, and when the word modified is in a code block, the average reviewer will also think it's an invalid edit.

So now you have reviewers thinking you only fixed a typo (as per your message). They see the one tiny fix and immediately assume it's either too minor or invalid. I think a better thing for you would have been to explain why this typo needed to be fixed in the message, rather than just saying "fixed a typo" which isn't very descriptive.

You'll always have reviewers who don't care enough to read the context of the post being edited. You can always just submit the edit again. I'll keep an eye out for it if you do.

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I do that all the time.

Good answers that have a small typo should be fixed - whether it is in code or not.

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@Juan - Good man, fixing that typo I left on purpose ;) – Oded Jan 31 '12 at 19:42
One difference is that you're a high rep user, and you don't need your edits reviewed. The rule against minor edits only applies to low rep users. – CodesInChaos Jan 31 '12 at 19:44
@code correct, philosophy being, low rep users need to earn the time they're asking for in peer review of their edits .. – Jeff Atwood Jan 31 '12 at 20:01

If it were just a normal typo in prose, rejecting the edit would be understandable. Low reputation users are discouraged from minor edits, due to the review work involved.

A variable called name is an essential part of the answer, however, so your edit was a worthwhile improvement.

I went ahead and edited it myself again.

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Eric typically writes such perfect answers that I was confused (for a few seconds) when I saw firstName. I thought I'd missed something. – Michael Liu Jan 31 '12 at 20:00

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