I just had a post edited for a questionable grammatical 'thingie' and for double spacing after a period/full stop. That's right. Like this. See? No, you can't! Unless I do this.  There it is.

Listen, I don't care if you want to show you are cool or ergonomic by using single spaces; but is this really something that should be a viable and approvable edit? Smacks of Wikipedia-type editorial activity that will eventually send many of us running for the hills of ... of I don't know where else.

And listen, I don't really care that much, but it does seem bizarre, so I submit that perhaps we should gently suggest such behavior is too finicky.

Especially since apparently the double spaces get turned into single spaces anyway, it seems? This is not a dup of this post. See this amusing article for background.

  • Bonus points to the person who catches the Easter egg in this question.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


Your post got edited to correct the grammar in it. While the editor was there, they happened to also knock off a spare space - those double-spaces don't get rendered when the Markdown gets converted to HTML. In general, the post author's style should be left alone, and edits that solely do things like this (see: en-GB vs en-US edits) are strongly discouraged... when it's something as minor as this, it's not worth the effort in complaining.

If you really feel it makes a difference... you can always edit your extra space back in.

  • True. But I don't think that "a community" versus "community" is necessarily incorrect grammar. A community is a thing.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:38
  • More to the point, I don't actually care, but I do care about people who make completely inconsequential edits, because that really ruins the point of the site, which is useful information. So that is why I complain.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:39
  • 9
    "Getting community started" is incorrect grammar. "Getting a community started" is correct grammar. Minor, yes - inconsequential, no. The fact that your extra space was also removed is orthogonal, and can be reversed as an authorial style choice.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:40
  • Wait, what? Both of these are fine. "Building community" is a very common phrase (actually, too common) in many settings.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:47
  • 5
    Certainly not one I've come across without it being corrected. Building community what, it implies? Building community spirit, sure, or building community consensus, etc - but not just building community. More to the point - building a community is certainly the more common and more well understood form - reading "building community" takes a moment to parse; reading it with the article is obvious. It follows that editing it to the latter form is an improvement - if not in grammar, then in readability.
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:52
  • I'm unsure whether we've built community together here or not, but Ngram viewer seems to support that this isn't something I'm making up. Anyway, all trivialities ... I just hope new users don't get turned off by this sort of unnecessary editing.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 26, 2019 at 22:12
  • 7
    @kcrisman "Building community" is fine. "Building community started" is not. Jun 26, 2019 at 22:59
  • ? "Building a community started" isn't correct either, so that is a red herring. "Getting community going" seems fine to me, but I won't bother credentialing myself.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 27, 2019 at 1:04
  • Inter alia, I'm sort of impressed by how many downvotes I'm getting on this question - clearly it has struck a chord with people who would make this kind of edit. I suppose I could go for the "Peer Pressure" badge, but I'm actually more proud of the downvotes.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 27, 2019 at 1:09
  • 1
    @kcrisman you didn't say "building community, though. You said "getting community." Jun 27, 2019 at 2:36
  • I think we are agreeing, because I said "getting community going". I found "building community" to be something more people might have heard said, so I used that as an example in these (now very extended) comments.
    – kcrisman
    Jun 27, 2019 at 3:16
  • Perhaps if one thought of "community" as a collective plural we could all agree. Otherwise one could diagram the sentence where "these" have "a community", which is a little strange given that there are multiple communities, though each of them will have community ... <gives up trying to explain>
    – kcrisman
    Jun 27, 2019 at 3:19

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