The title of the popular question: My seatmate has digestive problems causing unpleasant smell. What ought the cabin crew do? is, to my mind, stilted, and needlessly ambiguous. Someone with flatulence need not be suffering from digestive problems. That diagnosis is a possibility if a person has severe, and recurrent flatulence and if the wind expelled is particularly foul smelling.
The vague, bland, and speculative "digestive problems" could well be a sign of halitosis. Ever sat next to someone whose breath stinks? It's not pleasant but it really only affects you, the co-passenger. No one else in a plane will be aware of the problem.
I suggested one edit, which was rejected
- My seatmate has recurrent "rotten eggs" flatulence. What ought the cabin crew do?
Not long after, a high-rep user rolled back the post to its former title
My seatmate farts like rotten eggs. What ought the cabin crew do? (link)
The original title was very clear, very easy to understand, and written in good English and, yes, it drew the HNQ crowds. Is that a bad thing to have on Travel SE?
I understand why some users felt that the original title was unnecessarily graphic. The offender is the word "fart", which is not listed as vulgar, offensive, or rude in the following dictionaries: Oxford Dictionaries, Cambridge Dictionary but is said to be taboo by the Oxford Learners Dictionary and “often vulgar” by Merriam-Webster.
Would it not be better to replace the term "fart" with a more formal and serious term, e.g. flatulence? That is not an offensive, vulgar, or rude word.
Ten hours later, the title was rolled back by a third user, to its present format
I then proposed my second suggestion, which I thought struck a good balance between accuracy and politeness.
- My co-passenger has recurrent flatulence. What ought the cabin crew do?
When I checked back, I found to my surprise that the question was locked.
- Is it my fault?
- What did I do wrong? Were my suggested edits bad?
- Why was my first edit rejected? I don't have enough rep to read the review history.
- What could I have done better?
The question is now unlocked. Which pleases me enormously and makes me feel less guilty. I will not suggest any further edits.
- Many thanks to @@Dirty-flow who told me where to look for my proposed edits: ☞ profile page → all actions → suggestions
The reason given by both reviewers for rejecting the first edit was: “This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.”
The second edit was rejected because: “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.”