I'm somewhat puzzled by these edits:


Let's break them down:

  1. Changing "w/" to "with"
  2. Capitalizing "Medialink"
  3. Changing "&" to "and"
  4. Changing "E.g." to "For example"
  5. Changing "Googling" to "searching"
  6. Removing "Thanks in advance"

I don't really mind some of the nitpick corrections (e.g., 1 or 2).

But changing an ampersand to "and"?

Or E.g. to "For example"?

These seem more like personal preferences & not something that confuses the meaning. I appreciate people taking time to edit someone else's question & clarify the meaning, but this seems gratuitous.

Not a big deal, but I'm curious what the community thinks.

  • I think this is mostly just to "have an edit". There are some I would have personally edited (w/ for example), but it's personal preference.
    – nopcorn
    Aug 9, 2011 at 1:33
  • I'm curious as to the reason why someone downvoted this question as it seems to be a reasonable question which was also written in a detailed, well thought-out, and neutral manner. Aug 9, 2011 at 3:41
  • 2
    It is a reasonable question. But the main statement was: > These seem more like personal preferences & not something that confuses the meaning and > but this seems gratuitous, which I do not agree with. @Randolf
    – slhck
    Aug 9, 2011 at 8:36
  • @slhck: That's definitely a tough call. =) Aug 9, 2011 at 11:31
  • 2
    To be honest though, we shouldn't put so much weight on votes on Meta, except for determining the opinion on feature reqs and discussing answers. @Randolf
    – slhck
    Aug 9, 2011 at 11:38
  • @slhck: I was under the impression that votes here [in Meta] don't count towards peoples' scores. Aug 9, 2011 at 11:47
  • @Randolf Right, although only true for all Meta sites except meta.SO. By "weight" I maybe meant to say "care".
    – slhck
    Aug 9, 2011 at 11:50
  • 1
    Actually, I think it's alright to have such edits. I would be much more motivated to answer a much more readable question ..
    – bubu
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:11

3 Answers 3


Generally speaking, those are the sort of changes that one would not edit a post for if they were the only thing. I wouldn't go out of my way to change "&" to "and". However, if a post is already being edited for some reason, then it makes sense to fix it up along the way.

Using full words is usually more easy to read and understand, and is easier for search engines to understand. The change from "googling" to "searching" seems a bit arbitrary personally, but again, is understandable because it makes it more general, which could be seen as more fair.

As far as removing the "thanks in advance", that's a somewhat standard practice. Since we don't allow signatures on posts, some users consider that to be a "signature" of sorts. I don't personally go out of the way to remove it, but taking it out is an acceptable edit. The going opinion is that "thanks" text decreases the signal-to-noise ratio because it's not really related to the problem at hand.


These just look like your standard "since I'm in here anyway, I'll make this post legible and better for all".

Ampersand is used when you want to bridge two subjects together that are linked by some relationship. Hall & Oates. Bill & Ted. Sam & Dean. It shouldn't be used in a normal sentence in place of a standard "and" which was the right call on this edit.

"e.g." to "For example" is usually a personal preference thing, but the former usually comes in the middle to end of a sentence as a slight aside while the latter starts one.

While you may be using Google to conduct your search, you're still just searching and there's no need to genericise a trademark when the actual behaviour will do fine.

"Thanks in advance" is one of those things usually taken out because it's not necessary and adds clutter to the post.

  • 4
    y u say that? What those changes 4? Aug 9, 2011 at 2:20
  • 2
    Let's carry this malarkey over to the ELU chatroom where we can tussle it out like real linguists who need JokeExplainer in the ring @jeff
    – random Mod
    Aug 9, 2011 at 2:44
  • 1
    Oh, Lord, how precious ... a ring! Aug 9, 2011 at 3:43

To add to what @nhinkle and @random said, Gareth (the user who edited your post), is our most prolific editor in the last months. He has done some great work clarifying posts to help maintain the quality of the site.

In your case, it was just meant to help others to read the post more fluently. If you have any objections, feel free to revert to the first revision. Nobody will argue with that, since your post didn't lack formatting, proper spelling or capitalization. It's just a few minor touchups.

I hope you don't feel like this is a big deal upset or anything.

  • It certainly lacked proper spelling though. The main of the edits pointed out.
    – random Mod
    Aug 9, 2011 at 13:15
  • I'm all for editing too -- although I've seen much worse.
    – slhck
    Aug 9, 2011 at 13:17

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