Should "Edit: " be used in posts when edited by the original poster?


How spooky are the skeletons? (Edit: spelled skeletons wrong)

It would make more sense, at least to me, exclude these from a post. They can be included in the edit notes, but not in the post itself.

Here's an example from a question:

Train service or Train's service - Adj or Possessive (Edit) Genitive

OP included an "Edit: " in his post explaining why he edited the post, I removed it because I believed that it was inessential.

What should be done about these in the future? Continue to edit them out>

  • 7
    I don't like the style of "EDIT: things were edited". I prefer new information to be integrated seamlessly into the original material. The post should be able to stand alone, not carry around a lot of historical baggage. That said, (a) I don't think we can or should dictate this, people's preferences are their own and (b) sometimes, particularly in response to comments requesting clarity or additional information or suggesting possible duplicates, the giant "EDIT" serves as a sign to critics or earlier commenters that their critiques have (potentially) been addressed.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:44
  • 1
    I find it annoying to see such things, because they are usually formatted terribly, they often change the question considerably rather than refine and improve the existing answer, but also they often give a self answer which ruins the point of the post. I check the edit history to see what has been changed. But if 'Edit' is not put in. I don't I am often unaware that a post has been edited. So I'm conflicted.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:48
  • Your example leads to a 404.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:53
  • @Helmar The author of the post deleted it as it was off-topic and in danger of being closed. It's still available to 10k users. However, I'm sure there are other questions: here's one.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:57
  • 1
    @DanBron Please post as an answer. It's a good one.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 17:41
  • 1
    @MetaEd Hellion beat me to the punch, and expressed it better than I probably could.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 18:34
  • @DanBron For part (b) in your comment, it might be better to place the EDIT note in comments. If the request for clarity etc was satisfied, the OP can even request a clean-up of the comment trail (or flag as obsolete for a mod to do it if the commenter is unresponsive).
    – Lawrence
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 17:38
  • @Lawrence That could work, but there's a risk of the changes not being noticed, due to the comment being buried at the bottom of a long chain, though of course the question will still be bumped to the top of the front page.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


I generally feel the same as what Dan Bron said in his comment: I prefer that new or changed material be integrated seamlessly into the original post so that it can stand alone instead of calling attention to how it evolved, but I recognize that occasionally a big fat marker calling for a second look and re-evaluation of the question can be helpful.

For your in-post example (about fixing a typo), I completely agree that calling attention to the fact that you fixed something trivial is entirely unnecessary; that sort of comment goes in the "edit explanation" box, not in the post.

For your real-world example (originally this deleted post's edit history, visible to 10k+ users only), I think you could have tightened up the added material a bit, but should not have rolled it back completely; the OP was trying to add material clarifying the specific source of concern for the question. As originally written, it was an "unclear/too broad/proofreading" sort of question; the edit narrowed the focus down to "how do I correctly punctuate this type of clause". (Which I agree was still an entirely closeable question, but there was at least an attempt to improve it.)

As a general guideline, I would lean toward the same rule of thumb as the "thanks" situation: if you see a post with some form of "thanks" at the end or an "edit:" marker, don't just pop in, remove that, and move on; take the time to look the entire post over and fix other small flaws that you find. If you can't find anything else that needs fixing, leave it.

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