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I fixed this post by adding a question. In edited form, it appeared to meet the rules of the site.

A high rep user rolled back my changes. Perhaps I added an inappropriate question but he also restored some typos, which I had also corrected. The user did give an explanation, and I am asking here if it is the "party line."

I routinely do this on History SE, where I have a high reputation, and my edits are well accepted.

Did I act inappropriately for English Language SE? Or did the rollbacker?

  • Said user has already explained the reasoning in the comments under that question. – NVZ Jun 30 '17 at 10:55
  • @NVZ: Is this the "party line" on ELU? I disagree with (and protest) the comment which is why I asked on Meta. – Tom Au Jun 30 '17 at 10:56
  • I'm not taking sides. Just pointing out that it's best to include that relevant information here. – NVZ Jun 30 '17 at 10:57
  • @NVZ: Fair enough. I added a line to clarify. Thanks for your help. – Tom Au Jun 30 '17 at 10:59
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    After reading each and every line of text in that page, deleted or not, I've come to the conclusion that it's a non-question. It should be closed as "unclear what you're asking" instead of adding a question to it, which the OP clearly didn't ask. – NVZ Jun 30 '17 at 11:07
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    Because it inserted an arbitrary question which was in no way evident or derivable from OP's text. You don't spend a paragraph examining the percentage differences in tobacco consumption in Ireland vs Turkey to ask "what's a hypernym for the products mentioned in my column labels"? I could have easily inserted "Having said all that, when was contrastive focus reduplication first attested in English?". It's a non-sequitor; it's not ok to change OP's intent or our words in people's mouths, here or anywhere else. What OP wanted was proofreading. Any other question changes intent. – Dan Bron Jun 30 '17 at 11:07
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    In short, the question was rolled back to a non-viable version because it's a non-viable question. – Dan Bron Jun 30 '17 at 11:08
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    @TomAu - if you think there is potential value for a good question in the material presented, you my post your own question. – user66974 Jun 30 '17 at 11:42
  • @Josh: Interesting. Maybe that's how ELU SE differs from History SE, where we are encouraged to fix the other person's question. Thanks for your help. – Tom Au Jun 30 '17 at 11:45
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    @TomAu But this wasn't fixing. It was changing. If the fundamental question had remained the same, there would have been no issue, and I wouldn't have rolled it back. But as I said, there was zero evidence (actually, negative evidence) that the OP wanted hypernyms for his column names. Improving questions without changing intent is encouraged here too. I myself do it; I even have a good "copy editor" badge. But it's critical not to or words in OP's mouth. – Dan Bron Jun 30 '17 at 11:47
  • Genuinely curious. How did reading that post tell you what the OP is looking for? – NVZ Jun 30 '17 at 11:57
  • @NVZ: It was the only reasonable question that came to mind. (I am a professional economist.) – Tom Au Jun 30 '17 at 11:58
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    @NVZ Guys, there is no mystery. The OP wanted his essay proofread. That said, I'm actually really interested to have learned your professions. In the spirit of quid pro quo, I'm a professional artificial intelligence salesman! – Dan Bron Jun 30 '17 at 12:01
  • @NVZ: Put another way, if that table were displayed in an economics textbook, it would (almost certainly) be accompanied by a discussion of necessities, luxuries, etc. – Tom Au Jun 30 '17 at 12:01
  • Comments are not for extended discussion on subjects other than the question; irrelevant comments have been moved to chat. – Andrew Leach Jul 1 '17 at 8:02
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Having read the said post twice, I must say I still have no idea what that OP is asking for.

There's some percentages, table, and stuff, but no meaningful question in it.

In such cases, the best option is to guide the OP on how to improve their question. Also, closing it as "unclear what you're asking" will do.

I appreciate your efforts to improve the question, but our "party line" (as you call it) is that we are not supposed to put words into OP's mouth (or their post, specifically).

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    I would have to agree. Regardless of whether the added question was "the only reasonable question that came to mind", it wasn't the intent of the OP to even ask a question. That's why it didn't fit. – Hank Jun 30 '17 at 13:34
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    There is 'no meaningful question' in OP's post that is 'on-topic' but OP's request is graphically clear in the title: 'Please help me to improve my writing skill. I need your assistance (...)' -- OP used the tag 'ielts' and later indicated in a comment that help is needed with this essay, to which somebody replied, sorry ELU isn't a proofreading service -- so the well-meaning member who modified OP's Q and later wrote this meta question seems to have, unknowingly, very much misinterpreted the intention of OP. – English Student Jul 3 '17 at 9:55

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