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When I come across a post with poor grammar and/or spelling errors (maybe because the author is not a native speaker), I usually suggest an edit to fix them (since I lack edit privileges myself). I noticed others post a comment instead, asking the author to fix their post. I was wondering which approach was prefered.

On the one hand, the OP might learn something from fixing their own mistakes and they are also in the best position to edit to provide clarification, if the wording isn't clear.

On the other hand, when I edit it myself, it is usually faster (broken windows disappearing quicker from the home page). Also, I assume that when someone posts something on the site, they already tried to write to the best of their abilities. telling them to fix their spelling won't do much then.

Should I continue fixing posts myself?

Should you find grammatical and/or spelling errors in this question, feel free to fix them yourself.

  • Also, I assume that when someone posts something on the site, they already tried to write to the best of their abilities. :) – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 21:41
  • Hmmm, I found one comment that suggests edits on a post you subsequently edited. It seems that this is more a case of "10th post from the same user and they've made no apparent improvement" as ChrisF describes. All of OP's questions are edited by others, no sign (s)he did a single edit, so the comment was a little bit justified... – yannis Jan 9 '12 at 22:48
  • @YannisRizos If you mean this post, yes that's the one that got me asking. I hadn't seen at the time the poster had a "history" and that in fact it had been the second time I had edited one of his or her questions. – PersonalNexus Jan 10 '12 at 5:46
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Comments with the sole intention of pointing out spelling / syntax fixes are discouraged:

When shouldn't I comment?

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;

Go ahead and do the edits yourself, and flag such comments as obsolete (if you can spare the time).

  • Thanks for the link. I had totally forgotten there was guidance on how to comment. – PersonalNexus Jan 9 '12 at 21:44
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Yes, you should continue editing posts yourself.

The only case where you might want to comment instead is if you notice you're editing the 10th post from the same user and they've made no apparent improvement. However, as you point out, fixing the broken windows is fairly important.

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    +1 : As a non native speaker, I really appreciate any correction made to my posts for this purpose. It's a way like any other for me to improve my written english. – Matthieu Jan 9 '12 at 21:11
  • Will do. And @Matthieu as a non-native speaker myself, I agree 100%. – PersonalNexus Jan 10 '12 at 5:42

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