Many times you'd see a question come up in the list having some typo or small grammatical mistake in the title. I always have the urge to go ahead and fix that small mistake. For example


how to stored serialization Instance(Object) at memcached server?? (JAVA)


I wanted to go ahead and fix that stored and make it store but then many times when you go in you see many more mistakes in the question body itself but then sometimes you don't feel like going through the whole question and fixing all the possible mistakes you could spot.


In such cases should I still fix that question title I originally wanted to (a partial edit) or abandon that edit altogether because I am not willing to put up effort to go through the whole question body every time I see such a situation?

  • 1
    At >2k you're not using up reviewers time, so I'd say go for it if it'll improve the post (I might change "how" to "How" as well though just to make all the edits needed in the title at least) Nov 14, 2013 at 9:07
  • 3
    I have this dilemma many times myself. Usually I just treat title and body separately: I might fix title typo and leave the body to others, but won't do half work in the body itself. (more than once I started fixing horrible post body just to realize it's bigger than me) Nov 14, 2013 at 9:09
  • @ShaWizDowArd yea exactly Nov 14, 2013 at 9:17
  • 600 edits = gold Editor badge ;)
    – user221081
    Nov 14, 2013 at 9:26
  • Yea that's true but I don't want to jump to it by just making one character edits if that's considered bad, that's why being careful. Nov 14, 2013 at 9:28
  • You don't have to necessarily fix everything, but at least fix a few things. Perhaps most significantly for this question - the missing java tag. Nov 14, 2013 at 10:42

2 Answers 2


Yes and no.

  • If you do not have enough priviledge to do the edit on your own then never do minor edits! The edit has to be reviewed by others and that is time wasted for a typo.
  • If you have edit priviledges:
    • Is the post brand new or had recent activity then you can fix it and leave the rest.
    • Is it older then don't. It would be pushed in the active questions queue just because of a typo.
  • Very precise, Thanks! Nov 14, 2013 at 9:33

As someone who frequently edits over on The Workplace, here is my general opinion on edits:

Suggested Edits Should Fix Everything

Suggested edits create a burden for other users. If you want to help out with a suggested edit, you should make sure that your edit will reduce the amount of effort expended to fix a post. That means dotting your 'i's and crossing your 't's.

Non-Reviewed Edits Should be Significant

Significant is going to be one of those I know it when I see it issues, but here are my personal guidelines.

Fixing Titles

Titles are what pop up when people search for something on google. This makes them significant because of its visibility. If the title is wrong, fix it. But at least fix it entirely. For instance, in your case:

how to stored serialization Instance(Object) at memcached server?? (JAVA)

Should be at least edited to:

How to store a serialization instance (Object) on a memcached server?

(Apologies if 'on a' is not an appropriate replacement for 'at' in this case, I don't know Java)

This means tags should be removed, punctuation/capitalization should be fixed, and the whole lot of grammatical errors should be fixed.

Fixing Formatting

If you see a post that says:

function(x) { ' Do Stuff Here };

Fixing formatting to make it readable has value on its own:

function(x) {
  ' Do Stuff Here

Fixing Syntax in Answers

Editing code is an entire topic in and of itself, but if an answer (not a question) has a syntax error preventing it from working, adding the missing bracket or semi-colon to fix it will help out anyone who stumbles across it in the future. Just be sure your correction is right (and possibly leave a comment).

Point is, if the answer is broken due to a careless error, fixing the error makes the world a better place even if you have a couple grammar errors scattered throughout.

  • But I do have enough reputation to avoid getting my edit reviewed, that's why being extra careful. Don't want other to think wow he just edited one small typo when there are 10 more there. Nov 14, 2013 at 9:21
  • I get that part Hanky, but since someone else who finds the question may have less rep, they shouldn't get the wrong message. You can ignore the first paragraph, but I think the rest applies (in your specific case, while editing just the title is fine, you should at least edit the entire title in my opinion).
    – jmac
    Nov 14, 2013 at 9:23
  • Yeah that's true I agree Nov 14, 2013 at 9:24
  • While I agree with this answer, I must say it's a matter of opinion. I mean, "making formatting readable" does have merit, but is one not-indented block reason enough to make an edit? Personally, I'm partial to horizontal scrollbars. If I see one, my fingers itch to edit the post and unindent the code. But again, is that enough? Is that significant? Nov 14, 2013 at 10:08
  • 1
    @MrLister, totally agreed it is a matter of opinion, hence the "I know it when I see it" comment. I think that editing for personal style is a no-no, as pointed out in the faq-proposed on how to edit code. But adding a code block when there was just plain text? Definitely a significant edit.
    – jmac
    Nov 14, 2013 at 14:26

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