What is a polite way to ask users to rephrase their question, if they keep reverting your edits?

I'm not going to post a link to the instance I'm referring to, as I would like to avoid a giant crapshoot.

What are the methods you use to politely correct users that make you think "What in the sane hell were you thinking?"?

  • 8
    Closing their question to stem the barrage of answerers who then froth at the wrong angle hinted at the first draft seems polite and helpful
    – random
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 16:19
  • 9
    Welcome to Stack Overflow. This question is extremely hard to understand. Please make it clearer how you want to parse HTML with regular expressions. Thanks!
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 16:19
  • 1
    @random closing questions rarely, if ever, actually help teach people how to improve on SO.
    – Azulflame
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 16:21
  • 5
    @azulflame: only because they're too lazy or ignorant to read the notice and subsequently follow-up with the FAQ...or look at the millions of un-closed questions for examples of not-horrible questions.
    – user7116
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 16:24
  • @azulflame - [citation needed]
    – user164207
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 17:05
  • 4
    Whatever you do, don't use "fixed grammer" as an edit description. For Cthulhu's sake, it's grammar. Also don't add stuff like "EDIT: did this" to the post itself, that's what the edit description is there for. Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 17:07
  • @Pekka he comes Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


First off, if I make a significant edit to a question I'll leave a comment explaining the purpose for my edit and what I changed. This can often help alleviate the feeling of "someone ninja-hacked my question!" that I occasionally see.

Second, if the OP decides to revert the edit, that's their choice, so I just move on.

If I feel what I had in my edit really needs to be said, then I'll leave it in a comment, but what I absolutely do not do is re-implement my edit. The OP obviously disagreed with the edit because they reverted it, and it's their question, not mine.

You tried your best to help out, and your help wasn't appreciated, so move on and help someone else :)

  • 6
    You left out the bit about downvoting for reverting your edit. ;) Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 17:02
  • 2
    @BilltheLizard Pffft what do you think this is, meta?? I reserve my downvotes on the main site for questions that are truly terrible :)
    – Rachel
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 17:12

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