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I encounter a number of questions where the question starts with a disclaimer asking to be excused for their poor English etc..This is actually redundant because the post will anyway be reviewed and the mistakes corrected.

My dilemma is that while reviewing such posts, should I delete that disclaimer as it is anyway being reviewed or should I leave it alone. From SO's perspective, it doesn't make any sense to retain such disclaimers as the question has been reviewed and polished.

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Let the user that actually fixed the post remove the disclaimer. If you are not planning to correct the English in the post, don't just add another edit to the posts history... –  Lix Jun 6 '13 at 9:41
Yes, that user would be me, when I am reviewing it. –  rusticbit Jun 6 '13 at 9:42
Then go right ahead and remove it... Once the post has correct English, the disclaimer really is just noise... –  Lix Jun 6 '13 at 9:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

If you are going to make an edit to the post, clean up the English, make it more readable.

At that point, remove the disclaimer as it no longer adds anything useful.

Arguably it never did, except make people a bit more tolerant for spelling and grammar issues, but if those are fixed, it is no longer relevant.

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Thats what I figured but I am new here and was wondering if people would take offence if I veered from correcting mistakes to making content changes. Just wanted to clarify –  rusticbit Jun 6 '13 at 9:44
@rusticbit - It is not content germane to the question. In a similar manner, we edit out salutations (Hi, Thanks etc...) –  Oded Jun 6 '13 at 9:56
Arguably, the original disclaimer invites editing from better English speakers. This interpretation conveys some utility to the disclaimer, even if it would be better stated as a direct invitation to clean up the English. Of course, this is moot after editing appropriately, as you've argued. –  Nick Stauner Mar 7 at 11:02

Removing disclaimers, salutations, "thank you in advance", signatures, and similar should all be done as part of an edit to tidy up the post. They're not substantive content changes, they're fluff-removal, and very much to be encouraged as part of a comprehensive clean-up edit.

The caveat about changing content applies specifically to deterring people from changing the fundamental meaning of the question: edits should clarify what the question was all along, making it easier for others to understand and to answer. Whereas if an edit were to change what a right answer would actually be, then that would be an undesirable content edit.

There is one type of disclaimer that should be kept in: any disclosure by the OP of a connection to something they are linking to: so if they are linking to their own blog, say, and have said so, then that disclosure should not be removed.

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