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If a user edits an answer to make a small edit that increases the aesthetic value of it. Should it be acceptable?

NOTE: this is not a duplicate of: How to make small but important edits?

That question refers to "small but important" edit. Here, the edit is not very important. All it does is it just "improves the aesthetic value" (by increasing integrity of between the question and the answer, therefore improving readability).

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So long as there's good reason to think the post is improved by the edit, even if it's only improved a little bit, then the edit makes sense.

However, if you don't yet have enough reputation - so your edits need to be reviewed by others - then you should avoid edits that are small and unimportant (and most edits that are unimportant, even if not small), because someone has to actually review your edit and decide between accepting, rejecting, or improving it.

Therefore, users with 2000+ reputation may sometimes make edits that are quite acceptable, even though they might have been rejected if someone with less reputation made them. The issue is whether or not an edit is significant enough to be worth burdening reviewers.

Please note, though, that as far as I can tell, the majority of all edits on our site, including those by 2000+ rep users, would be quite appropriate for anyone to make, even if they had to be reviewed and approved. Even if, for example, you've just improved capitalization throughout the post, such an edit is pretty clearly major enough to be worth making, and ought to be approved (or improved, if applicable).

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If your edit improves the quality of the post in even a small way, feel free to edit. Sometimes it's something as little as changing "i" to "I" or adding a question mark, but it should still be done in my opinion, if it indeed improves the quality of the post.

Remember, people from all walks of life read the questions on this site eventually, and almost every question/answer will be of some benefit to more than one person at some time. Therefore, it's best to have questions and answers at the highest possible quality, because quality improves readability, and besides, it lends some credence to a question or answer if it "looks good" ;).

Personally, I have no qualms accepting such minor edits when reviewing suggested edits, because in fact I encourage them (the minor edits), and anything that in general improves the quality of the site and its content overall.

  • Yesterday I saw an answer where someone had used 'effect' instead of 'affect'. Is it worth doing such a minor edit if it needs reviewing as many people whose first language is not English wouldn't even notice? – StarNamer Aug 22 '12 at 23:40
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    @StarNamer: IMHO, yes it is. In any case if you don't fix it, someone else will. – RolandiXor Aug 22 '12 at 23:41
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    For someone whose first language is not English, and may be relying on a translation service, using the wrong word (e.g. effect/affect) may lead to unnecessary confusion. – Carl H Jun 23 '15 at 9:44

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