Here is an oddity, methinks:

  • if I add tags, and only that, to someones question, all is well. I can add as few or as many (5) as I like.
  • if I add tags and fix a tinyweenylittle bit of text, ("i might as well do it, since I am already adding tags") such as adding the odd comma, capitalising a few words. Then I get the message that "all edits must be at least xx characters", and the system will not let me submit the changes.

This is of course not madly important, but it is a hiccough or by design? (the result, simply, is that I do not bother with spelling and tiny refinements).

2 Answers 2


Editing questions is a little weird.

Retagging used to be a separate privilege from editing. For that and other reasons, when you make an edit, the system checks to see whether you edited only tags, or made changes to the title or body of the question. If you only edited the tags, bingo bongo, you're good to go. If you tweak a character or two, you run into our substantial edit policy.

Further reading: MSO thread, tips on getting around it legitimately.

To answer your question succinctly: Yes, this is by design. A convoluted and sort of confusing design, but a design nonetheless.

  • Fair enough, it was basically what I suspected. A little odd, i grant you, but appreciate the explanation.
    – benteh
    Jan 13, 2014 at 16:59

I think the rule against "minor edits" is related to the fact that too many distinct edits triggers a conversion to Community Wiki status. Plus, if you don't have enough rep for the edits to be committed, then some one else has to review each one.

However, I do find it annoying. As mentioned in the Meta-StackOverflow post Abby Miller linked to, it comes up when editing the Markdown for proper block or inline code formatting. That sort of edit can make the difference between a readable question and total gibberish. But the validator reads it as just a couple spaces or backtick characters, and balks at the "minor edit", so I have to make an unneccesary change to the text for the edit to be accepted.

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