I am not a very active member of stackoverflow. My reputation is veeeery low. I've just found an answer to somebody's question, that solves my problem too! But I would like to add a very tiny bit of code (4 chars actually) that the person who answered obviously hadn't thought of. Well, I can't post a comment with my extra piece of code because of my low reputation. I can edit his answer though! But not quite... I have to add more than 6 characters (or something).

So my only option is either to leave his post as is, or add my 4 characters inside his code and also add some crappy sentence below, explaining why I did this. In my humble opinion, this doesn't make sense.

Thank you for you time.

  • 21
    You cannot edit. You can only suggest an edit, which is then reviewed. Mar 13, 2014 at 17:59
  • 1
    And your 3rd option is to gain some reputation. It doesn't take much to gain 50 reputation, really. Mar 13, 2014 at 18:01
  • 6
    Your 4th option is to leave an answer of your own. Mar 13, 2014 at 18:06
  • I'm not a very active member here too, but believe me it is so easy to gain rep here. And it is only 50 rep.
    – Mohammad
    Mar 13, 2014 at 18:39
  • Easiest solution: spend a little more time on SO so you get the requisite reputation.
    – Kerrek SB
    Mar 13, 2014 at 19:04
  • Now you have more rep on meta than on SO :P Mar 13, 2014 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


When someone's code is wrong, usually the thinking that goes with it is wrong too. So add an answer of your own with the correct thinking and the correct code.

If the thinking is right and the person just made a typo, you can:

  • go earn enough rep to comment then add a comment
  • wait for someone else to spot it and fix it for you - people with editing privileges who don't need to use up the time of reviewers
  • if the error is so subtle that few will spot it, and the asker using it would somehow be terrible, and the views on this question are so low that perhaps no-one else will be able to help this situation in time, then as a last resort you can suggest an edit.

First, look for anything else you can change that genuinely needs changing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, vague or unclear wording.) You are likely to find some if this is a genuine "typo" since a person in a hurry often makes more than one mistake. In fact if you don't find any that increases the chances this isn't a typo but is a deliberate choice by the OP, meaning you should be writing your own answer.

However, should you have genuinely come across that one-in-a-million post that must be fixed RIGHT NOW by you and has nothing else wrong with it, I suppose you can. In that case, do something to use up the 6 character limit such as adding a comment explaining your change

Like this:

 //forgot semi colon on next line
 x = 0;

Someone else will probably remove your "useless characters" later. However this is really not the best choice, the best choice is simply to answer the question correctly yourself, which should also gain you the rep you need. Typo edits are rarely so urgent that they must be performed by someone who can only suggest them - in time, someone with full privileges will come along and take care of it, or someone with enough rep to comment will notice and leave a comment for the author, who can do the edit in response.

See also https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/94358/147247

  • 2
    I guess you're getting downvotes for this because editing someone else's code is already controversial, and if you're going to do it, you should probably already have editing privileges.
    – user102937
    Mar 13, 2014 at 18:22
  • ...or as adding another answer with just an additional semi colon would be a bit extreme too? (I know, it's just an example.)
    – Arjan
    Mar 13, 2014 at 18:24
  • 4
    probably. I added some more disclaimers. Mar 13, 2014 at 18:26
  • Option 4: If there are any other issues in the post (spelling, grammar, punctuation, vague or unclear wording, etc.) fix them as well as the typo in the code. Mar 13, 2014 at 19:27
  • @ThisSuitIsBlackNot you're right, incorporated Mar 13, 2014 at 19:31

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