I would be quite happy for someone to correct a minor spelling error in an answer (or question) that I posted. Would that offend some people? Or is there another reason that it is not allowed? This restriction makes sense on the other stackexchange sites but here it is a different situation because English learners who come here should be able to expect that examples and definitions are correctly spelled.


Is the post otherwise so perfect that it cannot be improved in any other way?

Somehow, I doubt that. :)

The reason for the restriction is that suggested edits are peer approved; they take time and effort for your fellow users to read and process. That is why we ask that your edit suggestions please be substantive improvements, at least 6 characters' worth. I do not feel this is an onerous requirement.

And if you do, then earn 2k rep at which point you can make all the 1 character edits your heart desires.

  • 13
    Sometimes, there is indeed just the one misspelling. I guess that's what invisible html comments are for...
    – Marthaª
    Mar 29 '11 at 14:26
  • @martha dream bigger! Mar 29 '11 at 16:15
  • 4
    Thanks Jeff, I am still working on my 2k rep... but in the meantime I guess I will just have to explain why I edited more than simply the misspelling.
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Mar 30 '11 at 11:18
  • 5
    Corrections of at least 6 characters build a quantitative, not a qualitative barrier for correction. To be found by searching algorithm, a single character can be too much. Additional edits are just noise; noise for the peer approving process too, I guess. Apr 1 '11 at 16:10
  • 1
    I find a lot of posts which actually are pretty good, but have one minor typo or word that needs to be capitalized. My solution is to flag them until I've gained enough rep to edit.
    – JYelton
    Apr 4 '11 at 18:15
  • 8
    @Jeff: I think this restriction had a very reasonable foundation in the first technical-related sites as SO, superuser and serverfault, but may have to be re-thought for language stacks.
    – Petruza
    Dec 31 '11 at 10:23
  • 6
    Is the post otherwise so perfect that it cannot be improved in any other way? Somehow, I doubt that. That's a silly reason for not allowing a user to fix one blatant mspelling.
    – J.R.
    Sep 6 '12 at 22:04
  • @J.R.: If an error is "blatant", surely it stands to reason it will be noticed and corrected by somebody with sufficient privilege to unilaterally force through an edit? I think it's not worth cluttering up the review queue (or the question page itself) with 1-char "suggested edits pending approval". Dec 17 '14 at 18:51

Another factor is that after some number of edits a post (question or answer) automatically kicks over to community wiki, which means (as I understand it) the previous owner loses any rep that was there and loses the ability to gain more. So you should try to consolidate edits -- one edit fixing six one-character errors is better than six separate edits (even if they were possible).

  • 1
    When a post is edited from 5 different users, or 10 times from its OP, the post automatically becomes a CW post. I agree it is better to consolidate the edits, rather than doing 6 different single-character edits.
    – apaderno
    Jan 1 '12 at 23:09

@Jeff's answer is fair enough, what I think the problem resides in is that people without enough reputation to make small edits without approval are still presented with the message ... unless absolutely necessary giving them the illusion that they still can make that minor edits if just they can play the absolutely necessary card, but that's not possible at all. It's just misleading.

If low reputation users should wait for approval of any >6 char edit anyway, why not allow them to make any minor edit and still have to wait for approval?
I realize this would make the stack of approval-pending edits bigger for other users to consume, this minor edits could have a somewhat lower priority, so more elaborate edits still get resolved sooner.

  • 1
    This is good for a comment, not good as a answer.
    – Mitch
    Dec 31 '11 at 16:33
  • wow, you should post that in meta.meta.
    – Petruza
    Dec 31 '11 at 17:06
  • 4
    @Mitch; that should be an answer, but I can't make single-character edits on comments :) Jan 1 '12 at 15:44
  • @Tim: Gah! I'd give some justification but it's just a typo.
    – Mitch
    Jan 1 '12 at 23:05
  • 1
    It's a waste of time letting users review a single-character edit; if such edit would be necessary, users with the privilege of editing any post can edit it. The other reason for not allowing single-character edits is that posts edited from 5 different users are converted to CW posts.
    – apaderno
    Jan 1 '12 at 23:11

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