OK, so I edited a question in Programmers. The poster had misspelled a word, and I corrected it. I do this all the time in Stack Exchange. And... My correction was fewer than six character (because the error was fewer than six characters), and my Edit Summary ("typo") was fewer than ten. To me, that's a good and appropriate edit. But I was encouraged to lengthen the edit, and required to lengthen the summary - that's dumb.

Then, because I don't yet have edit privileges (or because I wasn't logged in), I got this message:

Thanks for your edit! This edit will only be visible to you until it is peer reviewed.

Actually (assuming it passes muster), my edit will be visible to me forevermore. It will be visible ONLY TO ME until it is peer reviewed.

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    Er.. what? Maybe I'm just dopey on a Sunday morning, but what exactly are you requesting here? That I copyedit the above blockquote? Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 22:02
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    Why can't be such minor edits allowed as a special kind, not bumping the question to the front. The editor could itself classify its edit as normal or minor. It doesn't help much but does no harm at all, does it?
    – maaartinus
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 1:58
  • @maaartinus You might be interested in the discussion about such a change on Meta Stack Overflow.
    – user8
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 3:58
  • Thx for the link. There's a good argument there: "Adding this "minor edit" feature would allow them to make those bad faith edits without anyone noticing. I don't see how that's an acceptable trade-off for being able to make the occasional minor edit without a bump.". However, there's a solution, although not completely trivial: Put such a question to the front, but let it go down the list much faster. Something like moving the question one position down for each newer question could do it. Alternatively, unbump it (i.e., put it back where it was) after e.g. 10 views.
    – maaartinus
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 4:15
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    @Jeff: yes, I am requesting that "only be visible to you" should be changed to "be visible only to you" in the missing-edit-privileges dialog. The second wording is unambiguous and unconfusing. Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 15:06
  • @Carl the current wording is unambiguous because, given the context, the alternative interpretation doesn't make sense. What you're proposing is an awkward wording of something that already is clear.
    – user8
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 20:15
  • Not sure where to post my thanks for fixing the verbiage - so, thanks for fixing the verbiage! I just saw the new & improved version today. Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 17:13
  • @CarlManaster Edit your proposed copy into the question and I will change it ... will only take a moment. (ping me in a with a @samsaffron after you do it) Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 6:01
  • @samsaffron Thanks, but it was updated shortly after I made the request; see my comment Feb 5'11 at 17:13. Thank you. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


From the Edit questions and answers privilege page:

Try to make the post substantively better when you edit, not just change a single character. Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged.

All edits bump the question back to the front page, so editing for the sake of correcting a minor typo or spelling mistake is potentially annoying to other users. If your edit isn't substantial enough to avoid the filter, it's probably not worth doing at all.

In terms of the copyediting you're requesting, it's not necessary at all. It is perfectly valid to say "only be visible to you": given the context, "only be" modifies "visible to you". The other way to read it, that your edit will stop being visible to you once approved, doesn't make any sense in this context.

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    I find it is a very rare post indeed which only has ONE mistake worth editing. Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 6:38
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    you are correct that the alternate reading doesn't make sense - and that's why I think we should avoid it. My suggested wording avoids it. Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 15:09
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    Single-character changes can easily improve a post substantively. For example, by changing it from having wrong spelling to having perfect spelling. @Jeff: You haven’t read much on these sites then, have you? I see them all the time
    – Timwi
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 14:19
  • @Jeff Atwood: I just stumble on yet another one "weather" instead of "whether". One makes sense, the other doesn't. Commented Feb 27, 2011 at 9:48

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