A low-rep user decided to edit one of my answers last night, changing one word and thereby making the first sentence mean exactly the opposite of what I intended — turning the post into nonsense.

The low-rep user couldn't do this by himself. He had to have the help of high-rep users. @Martha and @cornbreadninja both approved the atrocity. Only @coleopterist recognized that this was an invalid edit and rejected it.

So overnight the post, which had nothing wrong with it otherwise, and from which @Fumblefingers cribbed ideas, got downvoted — maybe not because it had been edited into stupidity, but we'll never know.

Was this a hunt for hats in the review queue? Was it something else? In the future, please keep your hands off my prose if you don't understand it.

  • 1
    It was a mistake?
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 13:44
  • 1
    @Mitch likely. The edit was one word in the very first sentence, but I myself had to read the entire post — and even more specifically, the last sentence — to figure out how much difference it really made. Still, very unfortunate.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 13:48
  • 4
    Yes. If someone is going to review an edit, they need to read the entire post. Still, I blame the review-queue mentality. I've approved edits sloppily myself in the past, and regretted it later. Maybe it's karma.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 13:52
  • 2
    I find that the review queue hides too much, that I have to spend extra time looking at the question and answer to really know. Also, I'd like to fill in a comment (and that's all) but you can't do that on the review queue display. The review queue doesn't encourage edit approval for me; I think it was a problem with the complexity of the multiple interestingly placed negatives.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 17:00
  • 1
    I don't know why your answer got a downvote there - or indeed, why mine collected two. But I've had several inexplicable downvotes recently. Given all the current fuss about high-rep users imperiously closevoting, maybe there might be a couple of people "grudge-voting". Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:24
  • @FumbleFingers I thought one privilege of high reputation is seeing who has cast the votes?! Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 2:20

3 Answers 3


I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm very, very sorry. It was late, and apparently I wasn't thinking straight.

Have I mentioned I'm sorry?

  • 3
    Apology accepted. And I still love you.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 18:05
  • 4
    What heartless bastards are downvoting Martha's post?
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 1:38

On behalf of my erstwhile colleagues in the LitCrit biz, and my wife, who is about to join their ranks, I should like to thank you all for the opportunities for professional and financial advancement you are creating for future generations of textual scholars.

  • It was better before you changed it. I'd run it by the LitCrit folks again.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:06
  • @Robusto Fooled myself, fooled you too - but "contributing to X you are creating" is redundant, and I have to split up those two fors. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:15
  • Nah, just messing with you.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:35
  • @Robusto Anyway, LitCrit people don't do actual LitCrit anymore. They do Theory instead. Except the Marxists, who are out of a job and have to scrape by on Post-Colonialism. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:39
  • 1
    Q. What does an employed LitCrit major say to an unemployed LitCrit major? A. "You want fries with that?"
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:55
  • @Robusto [wince] Been there, done that. Works for musicians, too, especially drummers. And my son's a percussion major . . . Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:56

I've only just seen this meta post, but I must say it's a bit ott to say I "cribbed ideas" from you.

As I pointed out in chat earlier, I certainly didn't consciously swipe the word inversion from your text. I'd already said in my very first sentence that the reference to Shakespeare wasn't actually necessary to analyse the construction, and the word inversion probably only came to mind because in my later edit I wanted to quote a different version of Tolkien's various earlier variants (See? - yet again I'm getting tied up in knots trying to avoid repetition when expressing that concept! :).

Anyway, I'm not getting uptight, and I mean nothing personal by this (you are after all deservedly our highest-rated user), but I'm downvoting this meta question because I think you could have just remonstrated in chat (as I did, when KitFox erroneously changed my glisters to glitters).

  • She did? But that is infamous! How can she not know about the holocaustic controversy involved with that one? Tolkien’s original typesetters did the same boneheaded thing, and drove him up the wall and down the chimney with all the righteous rage of soggy balrog in high dudgeon. Infamous, I tell you, simply infamous!!
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:20
  • 1
    I most certainly did not change glisters to glistens. I changed glisters to glitters because the title of the page you linked to had "glitters" there. As I said yesterday, we all know the original was "glisters"; I changed it to match the link title.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:25
  • @tchrist: Der... I didn't know anything about controversy over Tolkien's "adaptation". I just remember when I was about 13 our English teacher witheringly dismissing the one copy some kid (in a class of at least 30) had, when he put up his hand and said "Sir! It says glitters in my book!". I did feel a bit sorry for that kid - but he was a right swot, and he'd brought his own copy from home so he could make notes in the margins (the rest of us had personally-numbered "school issue" books, which under pain of death we weren't allowed to write in! ). Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:33
  • @KitFox: Ooops! I really didn't do that on purpose! Just goes to show we all make mistakes! Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:34
  • @KitFox: Feet of clay, Kit. Feet of cuh-lay.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:55
  • @Robusto Oh! Is that a hidden hat? I want one!
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 19:57
  • @KitFox: What good is a hidden hat? You can't wear it anywhere. No one will notice.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:09
  • @KitFox♦: When I click on "Winter Bash" in top-left of the "main" page it takes me somewhere that implies I've got hats. I can see them on top of some other people's icons, but not mine. Am I being punished for being a bad boy? (Please, Miss Whiplash! :) Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:10
  • @FumbleFingers You can put hats on from your profile page.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:12
  • @Robusto No, but you can whip it out and smother anybody who threatens you with her hat. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:16
  • @FumbleFingers You have 9 hats: see here Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:20
  • Pfft ... I can't even remember when I had 9 hats.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:21
  • @KitFox You can choose? How? Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 20:59
  • @StoneyB: Yes, and you've got 11. But if I go to your User Page, your "picture" has an overlaid tash/pipe. Why haven't I got one? Is it maybe because I never figured out how to have my own personal picture instead of an auto-generated geometric pattern? Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 21:52
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers I figured it out. Go to your profile page ... at the bottom of the column next to your avatar is a line labeled flags ... click on the number ... and up comes a window where you can select which hat to impose. To change your avatar, have the new picture ready ... click on the edit link right above your literary effusions ... click on CHANGE PICTURE under the geometric flash ... that takes you to gravatar where you're on your own because doing it once was enough to last me a lifetime. All I remember is it's "tied" to the email address you use for your SE account. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 22:06

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