Occasionally, there are questions that have good content, but are poorly written -- bad punctuation, grammar errors, no paragraph breaks, and sometimes just a bad grasp of English. Good questions mind you, things worth asking, but just poorly written. One today started with "Me and a friend" that got me thinking about this.

My theory is that when someone reads a poorly written question, they don't give it the real consideration it may deserve. It's too easy to focus on bad presentation and ignore good content. I've seen answers (and comments) where readers are failing to "translate" the question, and are just assuming it's a bad/dumb question based on the presentation.

So to that end, what do people think about "uplifting" questions that are inherently good, but poorly written? There are definitely wrong ways to do this - snarky ways. And one doesn't want to make the OP feel dumb in the process or be a "grammar nazi" about it. But still, some could use a bit of help I'd think?


1 Answer 1


Be bold with editing, but respect the original author.

What is the etiquette for modifying posts?


Fix grammar, spelling, links, remove "hi" and "thanks", and all that stuff.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I try to edit my questions for readability, ensuring that inverse pyramid style where the most important part comes first and the less important later, the question part is clearly marked, footnotes are indeed moved to footnote position etc. -- yet I mostly always close them with a thanks. What's so hurtful about that word of appreciation? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2012 at 19:28
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It's not that it's hurtful, it's just that it takes up space that doesn't need to be there. It's a personal style thing, and if I'm going to edit a post for readability or other reasons, and there is a hi/thanks, I'll remove that too. I will say that salutations are more annoying (and most are automatically culled). See this meta thread for more details: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2950/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetrad
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 23:30

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