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I see very often some minor edits awaiting validation, including edits that:

  • Spell check of one or two words,
  • Remove of one or two typos,
  • Add a link to a term,
  • Add a single tag.

I always reject them as being too minor. Sometimes, it fails, displaying a message saying that the edit was accepted meanwhile, which indicates that while I was sure that the edit must be rejected, another high-rep user was convinced that the edit must be accepted.

Are edits like this valid edits?

If yes, what would be an edit being "too minor"?

I believe that:

  • Spell check is not minor when the mistakes seriously affect the question/answer. If somebody wrote "he have", it's an error, but it doesn't worth an edit of a long answer, since we still understand what's being said.
  • Edit is not minor when it removes several typos (the number of typos being related to the length of the original question/answer).
  • Edit is not minor when adding multiple links which are undoubtedly useful, or one link of an extremely high importance (i.e. if the term is ambiguous and is subject to wrong interpretation by a large part of the audience). On the other hand, a link to Wikipedia of a mostly known term isn't worth it.
  • Edit is not minor when adding a tag which gives the meaning to the question. For example a simple "php" tag can change a meaning of the whole question: in one case, it appears off-topic. In other one, it seems valid.

I just don't get the idea that we can receive +2 rep by adding just another tag or correcting one or two typos, compared to the effort to write a question or an answer to receive +5 or +10/+15.

Have I misunderstood the "too minor" concept?

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They are valid edits in the sense that they are making the post better, but are they making the post better enough?

If there are spelling mistakes or typos or a missing tag then there's probably something else wrong with the post as well. You have to ask why weren't these other areas addressed at the same time. However, this isn't always the case - an otherwise perfect post may just be missing a link to Wikipedia or the canonical reference site for the topic.

You have three options:

  1. Reject either with the "too minor" response or the "other" with an explanation to the user.
  2. Hit the "Accept" button and move on.
  3. Hit the "Improve" button and make the other changes yourself. This still gives the editor 2 points.

All options are valid and which one you take just depends on the circumstances of the edit.

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Well, if there is a trend, it might be my fault!

Insofar I've rejected only two edits:

  1. One that only removed the automated duplicate notification,
  2. A weird one that revised only two words, that where referenced in a comment to the question

Those where too minor, but obviously also otherwise problematic. But I can't really say I happened upon really minor edits. For argument's sake, here's a few examples I'd consider too minor:

  • Links that don't add anything valuable, an example would be someone adding Amazon links to this answer.
  • Spelling & grammar corrections on a post that has a lot more of such errors

The question I would ask myself, if I happened upon those is if they where made in good faith. The Amazon links I would probably reject, but the minor spelling & grammar corrections I would improve, or if lacking the time I would simply approve. To my mind, these edits would be from someone not very confident with his/her English but stll eager to contribute in any way (s)he could, and I don't mind that. But I wouldn't mind anyone rejecting them either, and if such a rejection ever made it to Meta, I would defend it.

Special cases that I would reject outright, would be minor edits on old posts. If someone is on a badge run for Strunk & White and / or Archaeologist and spamming the front page with minor edits, it wouldn't be very nice. Assuming I noticed repeated such edits from the same user, I would flag one of his posts for moderation attention, and continue my own run towards the elusive Marshal badge.

As for tags: Retagging is possible at a lower rep threshold. If it's an edit that's mostly retagging I'd assume the user was going to do that originally, but just went ahead and capitalized those I's as well.

I recently found out that suggested edits on StackOverflow require approval from two users. To be honest I would prefer that would be the case here as well, only if for the process to be peer reviewed, as is (almost) everything.

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