Sometimes when I make edits to a question or an answer, it is rejected for being "superfluous." Why is that?

  • Can you point to some specific edits? Can give a better answer if there's specific context around the question. The general answer is: edits need to be substantial. Simply changing XCode to Xcode with an edit is going to get it rejected -- it's not significant enough to improve the state of the question or answer.
    – Ian C.
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 20:56
  • I thought the purpose of editing questions and answers is to fix spelling and grammar errors? Commented May 20, 2016 at 21:00
  • 1
    Yes, but if you look at the editing guide, first and foremost Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. That's very subjective, but on the whole it usually works out with community-approved edit queues.
    – Ian C.
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


The reason for rejection is pretty clear. Don't just focus on the word ‘superfluous’.

This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

Edits, especially suggested edits, should significantly improve a post's readability or equivalent, and definitely shouldn't be making a post worse.

I've just had a look at every one of your suggested edits, and there's only a couple there that I'd approve. Almost every single one either doesn't help the post in any way or makes the post worse.

Here's a few randomly selected examples from your recent suggestions that illustrate my point:

  • https://apple.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/161967

    You've literally added 6 characters and changed 1 character. That's only just over the required amount to submit the edit. Besides, it hasn't helped anyone — it's not in a title or a critical component of a question or answer which would help search users.

  • https://apple.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/161966

    I am extremely close to reverting this edit. I've reverted this edit. If I could superping, I'd be bringing this up with the users who approved the edit.

    • The first sentence is no improvement, just a change in style.
    • The edit to the code is poor (‘killall’ is not equivalent to ‘osascript quit’ and I don't understand why you changed it) and you should not be making changes to code in this way without support in comments or elsewhere.
    • You added nothing to the third sentence but expanding what was already there, just in more words, which don't improve comprehension and actually make it more confusing as to what's being referred to.
  • https://apple.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/161268

    All you've done is add line breaks. Don't do this — it's worse to read.

  • https://apple.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/161489

    You should not be leaving valedictions on posts, let alone making them bold.

  • https://apple.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/161495

    What exactly is being improved here? All you've done is change some words to some synonyms, replace ‘the’ with ‘Spotlight’, and incorrectly change one of the questions to something completely different which wasn't what the OP was asking.

I think I've made my point, but if there's any other edits you want discussing specifically, link them. I'm sorry to say I would have edit-banned you a long time ago and brought this up then, but the past month or so I haven't been keeping up with others’ reviews as much as I'd have liked. I strongly suggest reading the editing guide if you haven't already.

  • Thanks for taking the time to dig into this!
    – nohillside Mod
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 13:40
  • 1
    I can't help but chuckle a little at your edit, as it's one that should have been rejected, as you literally moved a single quote character from one side to the other of the character it preceded. :-) Commented May 21, 2016 at 17:37
  • @user3439894 I knew someone would pick up on the irony, I purposely used a poor edit summary too ;)
    – grg Mod
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 17:46

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