After clicking edit, I was about to edit an answer when I noticed the guideline

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

Then I became unsure whether I should edit the answer or not, as it may be considered something trivial:

answer to edit

I then went to the help section looking for a more specific guideline but my confusion just got compounded:

help edit guidelines

"Edits have to be substantial, not trivial"; I won't ask how can something trivial be absolutely necessary at the same time because it has already been asked although it was left without a good answer. But I will ask a couple of things. Do the guidelines mean to say recommended reasons instead of common reasons? Are they just enumerating common reasons people use to edit? I take it as they meant recommended. If we keep going we find that a common (recommended) reason is to fix minor mistakes but we already read that edits are expected to be substantial and not trivial. How can an edit that fixes a minor mistake be substantial? Fixing a minor mistake sounds like a trivial edit to me. How can be a not trivial edit if it is fixing a minor mistake? So, what is substantial according to these guidelines? What is trivial? Is fixing a minor grammatical mistake something trivial or substantial? What is the difference between a trivial mistake and a minor mistake?

I will proceed to edit the minor grammatical mistake that may be at the same time major because any source of information with a bunch of trivial mistakes may end up not being seen as something serious or trustworthy, so the trivial edits become necessary substantial edits.

Related questions:

Update: I could not edit the problem question, now there is a pop up saying "edits must be at least 6 characters". I don't think that trivial grammar mistakes will be attractive to people looking for answers in google. SMH

  • Will the specific edit be more then 6 characters?
    – rene
    Aug 26, 2017 at 9:08
  • In this case, no, and I just found out about the 6 characters limit. : / Aug 26, 2017 at 9:09
  • Can you link me to the post you hint on here I won't ask how can something trivial be absolutely necessary at the same time because it [has already been asked][5] although it was left without a good answer.
    – rene
    Aug 26, 2017 at 9:10
  • Does this answer your question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/138262/…
    – rene
    Aug 26, 2017 at 9:46
  • I copied and pasted the address of the questions and when I tried to post the question I got the pop up preventing me to post. Aug 27, 2017 at 1:45
  • @rene It enlightens me more. But I still think the guidelines should be clarified by editing the guidelines themselves. Aug 27, 2017 at 2:41

1 Answer 1


Eh, if you've got the reputation to edit errors like that on your own, it is fine. I do it all the time (and sometimes on sites where I lack the reputation I get someone else to do it).

It is a valid correction, especially if you aren't necromancing an old post and other than the pesky 6 letter minimum limit, would be fine

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