I am very picky about how I phrase myself and will often read, reread, edit, reread, and edit again continuously despite being happy with each revision upon submission, though often only briefly, until reaching a point of genuine satisfaction.

I often feel rushed to submit my changes for fear of exceeding the 5 minute limit for editing my own comment, which I feel discourages revision. I have on more than one occasion ended up deleting a comment just to repost it again with a new revision; though I only do this around the time of the original post, not some considerable time later.

One might argue that I should take as much time as needed before the initial submission but despite taking all of the time I need before hand, I still find myself meticulously editing, re-reading answers, considering my response, rephrasing for clarity, etc.

I don't know how others feel on the subject but I would be much more comfortable if instead of having only 5 minutes since the time it was created to have 5 minutes since the last edit was made. This way if I decide to change it after 4 minutes then I will get another 5 minutes to consider the entire revision.


I've received a lot of down-votes without comments which I can only assume is from those who believe this to be a non-issue related to proofreading with bias towards personal indifference. I'm not proposing this feature because I'm too lazy to read my submissions. I'm doing it because I spend time an excess considering and reconsidering for the tremendous value I put upon the clarity of my words.

This request isn't just for myself but also for the rest of us who care enough about the quality of our writing to spend the additional time continuing to ponder them even after submission.

  • 3
    You have all the time in the world to proofread your comment prior to posting; what benefit does extending that time allow?
    – fbueckert
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 19:53
  • It allows further reconsideration and improvement to an otherwise complete thought. It's not about proofreading but rather on reflection for improving upon the thought itself.
    – Zhro
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 21:24
  • 3
    You could just remove the comment and then add the improved one, that is what I do on occasions I miss something.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 21:52
  • 1
    @Mark Kirby: You're correct and I do this often enough. But I have also encountered situations where my time to edit has run out after someone has responded below my comment with an @(name) and removal and reposting would alter the natural flow of response. It's interesting that despite being unable to continue editing, we can still delete the comment.
    – Zhro
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 21:56
  • I do agree with you, I have had times when I think 5 mins is just too short and more time would be nice but comments are second class here, so I doubt it will change.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 22:09
  • Note that on feature requests here on Meta Stack Exchange, voting is used to indicate agreement or disagreement with the proposed feature, and not necessarily the quality or usefulness of the post itself. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 23:03
  • Why are you so obsessed with making your comments perfect? Do you realize how much time in real life you are wasting for little gain?
    – Masked Man
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 4:28
  • It's not about the time I lose personally but rather the value of the knowledge that I impart to others.
    – Zhro
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 15:11
  • @Zhro Ok, so write your comment in a text editor, edit it until it becomes perfect, and then post it. Alternatively, you can impart knowledge by posting answers, those can be edited without time restriction.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


For somebody who's particularly focused on making a comment perfect, that could leave a comment editable for a long time. It's only a comment; better to either focus more on your words before posting or just let it go. We all have typos and bits of unclarity lying around that we can no longer edit; people understand because it happens to everybody.

The 5-minute window is a compromise to allow quick fixes to just-posted comments. You wouldn't want a comment to remain editable after somebody has replied to it; the software can't check for that (what counts as a reply?), so rather than making comments not editable at all, they allow this brief window during which replies are unlikely (though it happens).

Besides, a lot of comments will probably be deleted eventually, after they've done their job. They aren't meant to be durable.

  • "A lot of comments should be deleted eventually, after they've done their job..." I would have to disagree with this. I've found many comments to be as equally important as answers. They can provide valuable insight into the decision for the author but also guide the reader towards an alternative answer that better fits their personal use case without having to open a question of their own. I find that I'm in a minority here with the value I put on comments. I feel that comments are exactly the thing that sets us apart from discussion forums and other Q&A services such as Experts Exchange.
    – Zhro
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 22:15
  • 1
    @Zhro that's the guidance in the help and to moderators, though. Of course, sites vary in their strictness. I'll edit to make it more predictive. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 22:16
  • Just hit this restriction again. I want to change "I find that..." to "I've found that..." after adding the additional mention at the bottom which I felt didn't deserve its own comment. Deletion also is unacceptable since you've cited me in your own comment.
    – Zhro
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    And as one piece of anecdotal evidence, I wrote and posted my reply before your "I find that..." part was present, and only noticed it at all because of this new comment. Within the window you have now you already had the ability to change your comment in a way that invalidated mine (you didn't, but you could have). Now imagine being able to do that for an hour or more -- who's gonna notice? (And to address what you added: we don't want to be like forums, where you have to wade through tons of comments in search of signal. Answers belong in answers.) Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 22:25
  • I understand your perspective, of course. I considered the edit a useful addition as it carried further the same thought. To post again with just that part would have felt more like a response to your later comment (which it was not). I understand both sides with regards to my proposal and simply disagree based upon my personal valuation of comments. I am particularly surprised though by the comment-less down-voting which I consider to be strongly negative.
    – Zhro
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 22:36
  • 2
    +1 for "you wouldn't want a comment to remain editable after somebody has replied to it." Imagine the chaos that could be caused if five people reply to a comment you had initially made—but have then completely changed in the course of half an hour. This is actually a real problem for some questions that get modified to the point that existing answers to the original version become meaningless. Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 3:03

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