As my rep is approaching the 2,000 mark and I'll soon be able to edit posts without peer reviewing, I feel the need to ask if I'm on the right track.

Check out this question and its revisions: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5040317/

I almost felt bad for editing his terribly formulated question into a more civilized wording.

Is this kind of editing encouraged or should I leave this as it is?

Why am I asking this?

Well, problem is that a certain amount of new users seem to be unwilling to 'play by the rules.' They ask rubbish questions and don't pick the correct answer afterward. Editing their poorly worded entries doesn't exactly stimulate new users to be more precise in the future. I know it's not about 'winning' or scoring rep, but I can imagine this growing flow of low quality entries to eventually pollute the system too much. Don't get me wrong here, I love editing and contributing to a better Stack Overflow. Quality questions, better formulated questions help us all. But one can imagine the frustration it might evoke on some.

How do we feel about this?

  • Note that there is no "rule" saying that you must accept an answer, in fact it's completely optional Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 11:43
  • @Kop - Most of the time, the question has been answered perfectly. Unwilling to accept an answer, in that case, is not playing by the rules in my (and others') book. Hence the regularly seen comment: 'work on your accept rate'.
    – Kriem
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 12:15
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/50479/… Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 13:05
  • 1
    maybe not by your book, but the community here on meta established that accepting an answer is completely optional. We also established that pestering the users with comments about the accept rate isn't nice and shouldn't be done; if a user has too low of an acceptance rate, the most you should do is simply not answer his or her question. Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 14:00
  • @Kop - Ok. Noted. :) I'll update my book.
    – Kriem
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 14:06

3 Answers 3


Anything that will in the end help the question is good in my book.

If it's good for the question (as in will get it more answers), then it's a good thing to do.

  • That's how I look at it as well.
    – Kriem
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 11:41

In general, definitely edit - as long as you are sure you get the OP's meaning, editing is great. If you're not sure, don't - altering the OP's meaning can derail a bad question completely.

In the example you link to, however, it is not worth the effort IMO - it's a terrible question, and unless the OP improves it massively, it needs to be closed. (It's not a grammar problem in this case.)


Since SE serves "to make the internet a better place" that should include improving questions into a readable form. However in that specific case I'd probably have waited for a clarification first...

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