How much should we edit? I see the value in the ability to improve questions and answers made by other users, but I also believe editing has some downsides to it.

Having your question edited, your original text turning up all red on your screen isn't very encouraging. Small things as removing greetings, changing titles and removing tags such as "grammar", are they really necessary? I think we lose more than we gain here.

Why edit back and forth? There are things we all have different opinions on. And instead of editing back and forth, we should discuss what should be allowed and not, in the meta. Whether or not "in Esperanto" should be allowed in titles is a such example. Another is about the above mentioned "grammar"-tag. We should vote about what we want. If the outcome is that it doesn't matter, if these things appear in posts, they shouldn't be removed through editing.

Of course there are things that are simply wrong. I'm not saying we should stop editing. Also, we can't vote about everything. But rearding the most common edits, I think we should come to an agreement.

  • Help center's input on greetings and signatures: esperanto.stackexchange.com/help/behavior
    – kristan
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 19:59
  • Where did all the previous comments disappear? I remember there was at least one comment I wrote myself, and many others. I tried to have a look at them to quote something in an answer to a later question (approach to newcomers). Is such sudden removal of content normal in esperanto.stackexchange? – I give up trying to answer the new question. (I must backup this comment for later use as a question.) Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


I am in favor of correcting typos, converting the x-system and similar systems to ĉapeloj, improving formatting, adding translations to E-o or En, and correcting grammar or vocabulary usage, in cases where there is an obvious error, such as using necesas instead of bezonas and the like. I would advise against stylistic edits in general, as they can sometimes change the meaning of what was said, or be perceived as doing so, and that can annoy the original posters, who may have had specific reasons for phrasing it how they did. While we want posts to be clear and readable, and so stylistic edits may at times be necessary, I think they should be avoided when they aren't necessary.

  • To make a post clear and readable means also removing parts like Hello, I am from Austria, and I am learning Esperanto from posts.
    – apaderno
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 18:48
  • @kiamlaluno I myself don't find it more or less readable with or without it, though I don't see how it adds much of value to the post.
    – kristan
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 18:54
  • 2
    @kiamlaluno Sometimes, knowing where the OP is from can help with answering or understanding a question. We are a very diverse group and sometimes cultural and linguistic misunderstandings can be cleared up if we know the OP is, for example, from Austria. Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 19:32
  • It has been brought to my attention that the help center advises against greetings and signatures: esperanto.stackexchange.com/help/behavior
    – kristan
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 19:51
  • 1
    I see why they think greetings should be avoided, but I still believe it is unnecessary to correct a newcomer for such a thing. Would it be possible to paste that link, or something similar into the comments below such a post? Something like "Welcome, we are happy that you want to participate to the site. You might find this page useful about which format is recommended at Stack Exchange." Or does that sound rude too? Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 20:16
  • @AntoniaMontaro that sounds like it could be useful; I'll consider doing that.
    – kristan
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 20:19
  • @CharlotteSL That is something to put in the profile. There is a field for that extra information. Adding "Hello, I am from Austria, and I am learning Esperanto in my spare time. I am also learning Italian and Spanish. I apologize for my English." at the beginning of every question is not something that should be done. Stack Exchange says: "Go straight to the question."
    – apaderno
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 5:19
  • @kiamlaluno I agree with Antonia's proposal. We're talking about to which extent to edit. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 5:29
  • @AntoniaMontaro If a user keeps asking questions starting with Hi, editing it out you are teaching the user not to do that. In that case, removing Hi is perfectly acceptable. If that is the only thing to change, then change it; otherwise change everything it should be changed.
    – apaderno
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 5:46
  • @kristan The question body should go straight to the question, without giving details that are not necessary. There is a question on the network meta site specifically about this.
    – apaderno
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 5:49
  • I feel like translations of questions/answers should be addressed. Should it be a goal of this SE to translate a certain percentage of questions and answers? I think this question on its own might merit a meta post.
    – esperblue
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 2:08

My experience so far is that the edits I've seen have not always been beneficial. The first two times my text was edited, I felt it changed the meaning so I edited it back. The third time, I had quoted a dead, archived web page. When I wrote my comment I considered converting the quotation from the X-system, but I opted not to because of the context and that it was a quotation. Someone thought it should be converted, so I left that edit alone. (Not a big deal.)

I do appreciate edits and comments for spelling mistakes. Some help in formatting is always appreciated.

On the other hand, some times where I think some editing might be useful - such as translating an short answer and posting the translation as part of the original answer - especially when having a long discussion about the thing might take more effort. I don't see lot of that happening.

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