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I just did this review in the First Posts queue, and clicked on "edit" because I was pedantic and wanted to change "should of" to "should have."

When I clicked "edit", I found that I had passed a review audit, and that the question itself had been deemed "high-quality." What confuses me though was that I was under the impression that editing a high-quality post would cause me to fail the audit (since the question would seem to be perfectly fine on its own already).

So then, was I mistaken? If so, what exactly makes it the "correct" thing to do?

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(And just for the record, I went in and made the pedantic edit afterward.) –  Dennis Meng Oct 11 '13 at 2:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

When should I edit posts?

Any time you feel you can make the post better, and are inclined to do so. Editing is encouraged!

Some common reasons to edit are:

  • to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
  • to clarify the meaning of a post without changing it
  • to correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages
  • to add related resources or hyperlinks

Just because a post is of high quality, doesn't mean it's perfect. A answer (or even question) can be really helpful or insightful but contain a dead link maybe, or even perhaps have a few typos. It may even need updating. Granted, new posts don't typically contain dead links or need updating it still could contain an error. SO always welcomes constructive edits, even on exceptional answers (or questions), that's most likely why you passed the audit. After all, typos are a reason to edit something as per the FAQ above.

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Edit can, as you say, go either way. When an audit for a high-quality post is presented, there will always be something to fix in it - there's no such thing as a perfect post. So, one of two things have happened when a reviewer clicks the edit button on an audit:

  • The reviewer thinks that the post needs substantial improvement, and is low quality as-is, or
  • The reviewer just wants to fix that one lowercase 'i', the one typo, add a tag, etc.

The system, being flawed and not able to predict the future, gives you the benefit of the doubt that you are doing the latter.

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