I've come across a fellow that is apparently trawling SO looking for the common "calender" misspelling and correcting instances to "calendar."

He often does only that... leaving things like "Thanks" and "Regards, JoeBob" in the questions.

Should edits such as his be rejected as too minor in review?

See also a proposed spelling edit on a question that was closed as NARQ hours ago.


If there are other things that could be "corrected," and the user is not doing that, the suggested edit is too minor, and it should be rejected.

The fact the misspelling is common is not a justification for making two users review the suggested edit; the time taken to review a suggested edit should be worth the edit. Approving such suggested edits would just give the message "do minor edits, and we will approve them," which IMO is not the message that should be given.

The message visible to any user who suggest an edit says:

We welcome all constructive edits, but please make them substantial. Avoid trivial, tiny one-letter edits unless absolutely necessary.

  • That was basically my opinion too. Just wanted to make sure I was thinking about it properly. – Barak Sep 22 '12 at 6:57
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    I disagree. Editing is an incremental process, and tacitly expecting anyone who edits a question or answer to fix everything that's wrong is nonsense. If there are two spelling errors, and someone catches one, is the content not better for this? We should be more appreciative of "micro-effort" like this. – John Sep 28 '12 at 18:05
  • @John Incremental process doesn't mean each user needs to edit a single word. The message given to who suggests an edit is clear about making an edit substantial. – kiamlaluno Sep 28 '12 at 18:14
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    @John: the majority of minor editors are lazy and out for rep. Either that or bored college English class TA's. I can find no other reasonable explanation for these edits... – user7116 Sep 28 '12 at 18:18
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    @kiamlaluno Some people will have the time (on some given day) to do a thorough edit of a post, find 14 errors, tighten up all of the paragraphs. Others will check SO three minutes before they leave, and find one spelling error in a post, and that's all they'll have time for because they have to catch their vanpool. For others, these errors just "pop out" and they fix it, almost without losing their train of thought. All of this to say that "please make them substantial" doesn't jive with "we welcome all constructive edits." You welcome all constructive edits, or you don't. – John Sep 28 '12 at 18:24
  • @sixlettervariables I'll fix a spelling/grammar error if I see it. I'm not out for the rep because I can edit without going through the approval process. If we have people who know English fixing up the content of the site, great! I like reading well-formed posts more than poorly-formed posts, don't you? Yet your comment about these people being "lazy" or "bored" shows no appreciation whatsoever for the expertise, and effort, that they bring to these sites. – John Sep 28 '12 at 18:30
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    @John: they don't have to edit the post. To be honest, I'd rather they ask and answer questions; that's far more important. – user7116 Sep 28 '12 at 18:31
  • @John Nobody said everybody must find 14 errors, and fix them, to make a substantial edit; what it is a no is a single-word edit. Is editing a single word so urgent that cannot wait somebody who can edit every post? Then, there are different single-word edits. If the edit corrects a link that was returning a 404 error, and the correct link is not so easy to find, then I could accept a single-word edit. What I don't find acceptable is correcting calender with calendar. – kiamlaluno Sep 28 '12 at 18:37
  • @kiamlaluno That's going to turn off well-meaning users. What you're saying, in essence, is this: "I see that you caught a misspelling, but I'm going to actively prevent you from seeing this change come to fruition, because I don't want to be bothered with this kind of work." – John Sep 28 '12 at 18:46
  • Yikes, there are 1,610 posts on SO that contain "calender." I better get cracking. :) – John Sep 28 '12 at 19:14

The main issue here (imho) is not the editor, but the 2K+ users that keep approving his extremely minor edits:

I'm seeing some names repeating in there, and I think someone should give them a talking to about mindlessly approving extremely minor edits... Someone with a diamond attached to their name, perhaps?

1 my favourite, not only is it minor but it introduces a spelling mistake.

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    I'm in total agreement with you. Unfortunately, I approved a couple before I caught on to what was happening and came here to inquire. :p – Barak Sep 22 '12 at 6:55
  • @Barak Approving a couple, especially on new questions is no big deal, and an otherwise minor edit might be helpful if done minutes after the question was posted. But bumping old questions to the front page just to fix a single word is unacceptable... – yannis Sep 22 '12 at 6:57
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    could it be that careless approvers are just hunting for Community Review badges in suggested edits queue? – gnat Sep 22 '12 at 7:28
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    @gnat Didn't I already say that? ;P (linking to a comment in the same page is PITA, check my comment under the question) – yannis Sep 22 '12 at 7:45
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    The guy seems to have "internally" -> "internelly" in his list; I vaguely recall rejecting one with that same change. Funny. – Mechanical snail Sep 24 '12 at 8:18

I think that the entire 'propose edits' system needs a think. To do a good job of reviewing edits, with 'too minor' in mind, requires a very careful read of the entire post. It's only human nature to see a fix to a conspicuous spello in the title and not see a mistake 'below the fold'. It's even easier to miss other edit-worthy issues.

Once I've gone to all the trouble to vet a spello correction, I find myself torn. It feels petty to click on 'too minor' if, in fact, I've found nothing else to fix. Yet, fixing one spelling error was a silly thing to do in the first place.

In short, reviewing is 10 times harder than making the edits in the first place, so the reviewers are doomed to play catch-up.

In my opinion, the rep threshold for any editing should go (back) up.

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    "rep threshold for any editing should go (back) up" +1 for that! – vascowhite Sep 22 '12 at 15:24
  • Yes . absolutely true. – Shreyos Adikari Sep 23 '12 at 7:47
  • I can't yet vote up but I would if I could. True to her master's purpose, the good mare Rosinante opposes giants disguised as spellos and thinkos. Well met! – Pum Walters Sep 23 '12 at 14:14

I want that guy to be banned from suggesting edits for a week for cooling down. It is a bit irritating, but acceptable if the edit really fixes the error. However, his edit introduces unnecessary new line characters that no one even bother to notice, for which I need to go to the post, do a rollback and edit myself (as the suggested edit is approved by 2 reviewers who don't take care to notice about the extra new lines). It seems that he is using some script to do the edit.

And that is barely 2 pages of his list of suggested edits. Those are more than enough to get him banned from editing with the low level of suggested edit queue exposure in the past, but they are mostly approved nowadays.

  • The newline addition makes me suspect it's a bot. And if so, that's grounds for banning, right? – Mechanical snail Sep 24 '12 at 8:19
  • I also have the same suspicion, but he might use some sort of script to edit the post then copy back. The annoying thing is that some people must follow behind him and clean up his **** that he left behind. – nhahtdh Sep 24 '12 at 18:40

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