I've been using StackExchange for a while and saw a post came up in my popular network questions feed, that I felt could do with a little editing. So I did a little work to help clear the question up and hopefully make it more readable, whilst also correcting some grammar. The edit in question is here.

However the OP rejected it under the reason:

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

My edit doesn't seem to do that, I used some standard StackExchange formats and made it a little easier to read. Was I incorrect to do so? Could I have done something else? Did I miss something?

If anyone can enlighten me, as I like to help contribute, but getting things like this with a bad explanation is a little offputting.

  • 4
    Don't give up on editing. Some people are very protective of their posts. Others are not. Keep on going Daniel San. :)
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


I think you're fine. Your edit was fine to my eyes, it does not make any drastic changes and does not change the intent of the post. Had I edited myself I'm not sure I would have done the bullet points thing, but otherwise, really don't worry.

Had your edit come up with me in the review queue I would have approved it likely (and assume the same for others). However it caught the OP right away and they decided they preferred to leave it as is. When you reject an edit I believe you have to choose a reason for that and they ticked that box, so that was some rather harsh language for a harmless edit.

Consider the OP is likely not a native English speaker and does not see the subtleties you corrected as wrong, it takes a high level of English to see that. Also note they are a high-rep user on other SE sites (more so than you, but then rep is just a number) so they have an idea about what is fine or not. (Then they might have chosen a better reason to refuse your edit.

Finally, sometimes an OP knows that there is better SE style but still decides to keep their original question as is, and that is their good right. I have used the same refusal reason you cite when someone wanted to edit out the "OK we are all adults here" from this question of mine
OK, we are all adults here, so what is a bidet for and how do I use it?

All in all, please keep editing and don't be frustrated by one refusal that was worded too harshly.


I went ahead and re-fixed the mistakes as your edit suggested. There is simply no excuse to have them in on the site. I left the formatting as it was, and I strongly believe that it was the part that made your edit rejected.

In the future, avoid making changes which are not certain improvements. If the text has no formatting whatsoever (e.g. single block with no paragraphs, or misused caps), go ahead and fix it to your likings, nobody will object. But if there is some decent formatting, please refrain from fixing it to your personal preferences. The same rule applies to other aspects: wording, hyperlinks, etc. If there are spelling mistakes and dead links - fix them, but avoid rephrasing sentences which are not incorrect or ambiguous (even if you're a native speaker and know a cool idiom which fits nicely) or replacing relevant links with similar links to resources you like more.

  • @pnuts I don't get what you're trying to say. Is it that only fixing 7 mistakes is not significant enough to warrant an edit? Or is it that list formatting is better than free text? Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 8:46
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    @pnuts I disagree that the formatting changes were beneficial. In the original post, it was clear that the main question was "are they worth having" and that the others were just little clarifications. In particular something like "Is this true or is it false?" (in this case, "are they worth having or are they overkill?") is a standard rhetorical device, whereas having two bulleted questions "Is it true?" and "Is it false?" is just silly. Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 15:44

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