Below are two identical suggested edits. The first was accepted but the second rejected. Why? The reason given for the rejection was that the edit deviates from the original intent of the post.

Both edit suggestions:

  • Were in the highest-rated answers, likely be read by a variety of visitors
  • Did not change the texts of those answers
  • Added links from dictionary abbreviations (ODO and MW) to EL&U's list of dictionary abbreviations
  • Were under questions that are stated plainly, with no abbreviations or dictionary mentions

These answers surely did not intend for dictionary abbreviations to be cryptograms that overshoot the technical levels of their questions. Anyone familiar enough with EL&U to understand an isolated ODO or MW doesn't even need that information when it is contained in a URL elsewhere in an answer.

I don't suggest this kind of edit when the tone of a question seems appropriate for EL&U shorthand in answers. These suggestions were for the sake of clarity, not points. (Anything past the 50 points needed to comment is more than enough for me.)

An accepted edit

What are “legacy brands”?
Does the phrase "Legacy brands" just mean "companies that are inherited from generation to generation" or there is another particular meaning? . . .



  ↓ edit accepted


= [[ODO](https://english.meta.stackexchange.com/a/148/153448)]

Same edit rejected

Does English have an equivalent word for alimungawan?
It's the short semiconscious or confused state after sleep. Very much like a hypnic jerk but you don't go back to sleep. . . .



  ↓ edit rejected: “This edit deviates from the original intent of the post.”


= [[MW]](https://english.meta.stackexchange.com/a/148/153448)

  • 4
    I didn't vote on either of these, but I don't understand the logic of linking to a glossary when you can link it to the source. Hovering over [MW] would reveal a link to Merriam-Webster, identifying the source and the abbreviation together. A link to a Meta post is more mysterious, because in most cases it points to a discussion on a question or point of policy, which is unnecessary here.
    – choster
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:01
  • True, it would be better to duplicate the link to the dictionary entry. I'm sure it's been mentioned before, probably everywhere on SE, but actual tooltips would nice to have. The link I suggested, if clicked, at least shows what that monogram-looking thing means. (For a good time, ask MW what MW means)
    – lauir
    Mar 9, 2016 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


I understand you tried to do something very meaningful to this community. If this community had discouraged using all those non-standard and unfamiliar abbreviations in the first place, you would not have had to make those efforts to link the Meta post.

The first edit was approved by the Original Poster who posted the answer. That's why it didn't require two approvals. The second one was rejected by other users who probably didn't find it necessary to link the Meta post to the abbreviation "MW".

Users have different style and preference. For example, I always use "Merriam-Webster" or "Oxford Online Dictionary", but some users prefer "MW", "M-W", "ODO", etc.

If I were reviewing the second edit now, I would not approve it because it doesn't seem to improve the post very much and if you click on the hyperlink groggy, you can see the link is from Merriam-Webster.

When you have more than 2,000 reputation points, you will be able to edit any post without going through a peer review process, but I would not recommend linking the Meta post to all the abbreviations appearing on English Language and Usage. There could be tens of thousands of them.

  • 1
    Excellent point that it was the original poster who accepted the first edit. And point appreciated that the edit wouldn't contribute significantly, though the reason for rejection, given by two different reviewers, said something quite different.
    – lauir
    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:09
  • @hmmn Thank you for your understanding. The reasons given by two different reviewers are standardized input, in other words, they don't represent what the reviewers thought 100%. We should not take them literally. Anyway, your effort to make an edit is a contribution to this community.
    – user140086
    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:13
  • 2
    "ODO" in particular is opaque because the Oxford Dictionaries website just says "Oxford Dictionaries", not "Oxford Dictionaries Online". If it just says ODO without a link, it really does seem like something to fix – preferably by adding a link to the dictionary entry. Personally, I prefer to give the name of the dictionary I'm quoting rather than the name of the website it's on, but I always provide a link if I can.
    – user28567
    Mar 11, 2016 at 6:27
  • @snailboat Hi, snailboat. Can you come to ELL chat room if you have a few minutes?
    – user140086
    Mar 11, 2016 at 6:34

The most obvious reason is that two different reviewers had different opinions about linking the abbreviations to the meta post. I'd guess in the second case, the reviewer thought you intended to link to a definition of "groggy" or that it was a snarky way of suggesting that the OP look up the word in one of many dictionaries. It's hard to say.

In any case, I think it's a good idea to link to the meta post for abbreviations and I felt your comment made it clear that that was what you intended.

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