Perhaps if the author of the accepted-answer were informed that his answer (after heavy editing) was accepted. "You can share a portion of your score with the editor." Have a bounty-like scrubbing bar and a send button.
Points to share: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 Send
Original Idea (Scrapped)
Often times we'll see answers given, which are horrendous. Not merely their solution, but their presentation. The explanation may be vacuous, the code may be improperly indented and thus difficult to read. The problems go on and on.
Then, some good-willed contributor will come along and purify the post. Cleaning up formatting, grammar, spelling, etc. Sometimes these are rather substantial changes that require a great deal of effort.
It could possibly be argued that these changes are a sort of boost for the original author to get his answer noticed. Should these efforts go unrewarded? (Aside for the Strunk & White badge for those who edit tons of posts)
Would it be unthinkable to inform the Asker that
"The answer you have selected was a collaboration between n-persons. Award all points to original author, or divide points among all contributors."
Perhaps you could even offer them a short list of contributors with a summary of what they did:
- Tom Smith - Original Author (View Original Post)
- Mike Ceaver - "Cleaned up code-formatting, fixed grammatical errors" (View with Changes)
Each name has a checkbox indicated who will be of the few to receive a portion of the award.