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There is currently a 5-minute grace period on edits on questions and answers where editing it does not cause a new revision in the history.

I'd appreciate a similar grace period on comments, perhaps 30 seconds or so. Call me clumsy but I'll very often notice a tiny slip or unclear wording I want to correct immediately after posting a comment, but even if an edit is done within 10 seconds it still incurs the penalty of having the pencil icon stuck next to it.

This doesn't seem like the best use of the pencil icon, because when a comment is that new it's probably been scarcely seen in its original form and the edit is not likely to lead to abuse that would cause things to be read out of context (no more so than deleting a comment, anyway). The pencil icon would be more meaningful if it was reserved for non-immediate changes.

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How's the pencil icon a penalty? –  Yannis Nov 13 '12 at 1:57
    
@YannisRizos It feels like an advertisement that the commenter is sloppy. –  Boann Nov 13 '12 at 2:05
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Oh? I always told Stack Exchange, "Thanks for the free pencil!" –  animuson Nov 13 '12 at 2:05
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@animuson I like to think that they're #3 pencils because I always wondered what those were like. –  Double AA Nov 13 '12 at 2:23
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Now the stupid pencil even says the number of times a comment has been edited in the tooltip. >_< –  Boann Aug 19 '13 at 17:07

1 Answer 1

Comments tend to be read and responded to much more quickly than posts.

Also, they don't have a public revision history.

Combined, this makes the chance that someone will see and respond to a comment while it's being edited much more likely than for questions or answers.

The little pencil icon serves to reassure folks who find they've responded to a comment that no longer reads what they thought it did. And also give other readers some clue as to why the conversation they're reading looks so bizarre.

If nothing important was changed, it does no harm. There's no revision history to be polluted with trivial changes. If it really bugs you, post a new comment and then delete the old one... Assuming someone else didn't get one in while you were making corrections.

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