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I raise this question because I made an edit to improve an answer few weeks ago as I found some mistakes in the pinyin. To my dismay the edit was rejected. The reason posted was that:

"This edit changes too much in the original post; the original meaning or intent of the post would be lost."

In this case, how do we go about improving an already good answer?

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  • I don't recall rejecting an edit, but can you give the link? – Alenanno Oct 1 '12 at 10:13
  • This is the link – 杨以轩 Oct 1 '12 at 10:15
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Thanks for contributing to the site and trying to make it a useful tool.

I rejected the edit, because the tones were changed. The question was about pronunciation, and the original poster had explicitly included all the tones, so I thought changing those tones was a significant change to the answer. It was a close call, but I decided to reject.

I did not check to see what the correct tones are, especially since colloquial pronunciation could be different from what I might find in a reference work.

My rule of thumb for approving suggested edits is to approve formatting and spelling changes that are obviously correct. If someone adds some extra information that doesn't look at all controversial, I'll approve that, too.

As for what you could do when you want to correct an answer, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Add a comment to the answer so the original poster can correct it himself. Other people can also read your comment and see the correction.
  2. Add a separate answer with the original answer plus your correction. In my opinion, if a change is too significant to be a suggested edit, then it's perfectly acceptable to copy the answer and post a modified version of it as your own. Linking to the original answer to give credit would be polite.
  3. Post something in the chat room to see if other people agree with your correction. If you get consensus, ask someone with edit privilege to make the correction.
  4. Wait until you have enough reputation to just make the edit yourself. If you've been around long enough to earn edit privilege, I trust your decision more than mine, because you've spent some time thinking about the question. I'm just looking at the edit and making a quick decision. (Don't you already have enough reputation to make edits?)
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  • Thanks for your detailed reply. I didn't mean to fault your decision because I understand that this is indeed a close call since the question is on tones and I am changing them. I made the decision to edit instead of posting a comment because the poster has not been active for a few months and it can take a very long time before anyone would notice a comment. Now that I have the edit privilege and since it was rejected once, I just want to bring it out so that we can discuss what should be the correct pinyins for 血 in standard Mandarin. It shouldn't be a unilateral decision on my part. – 杨以轩 Oct 3 '12 at 2:44
  • There is a similar question here for your reference. – 杨以轩 Oct 3 '12 at 2:47
  • OK, @QuestionOverflow, I looked at the question you linked, MDBG, and chinese-forums.com. I found references to xuè (literary), xiě (colloquial and Taiwan), and xuě (also colloquial). These results agree with the edit you originally suggested. – Don Kirkby Oct 9 '12 at 19:33
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    Ok, thanks for your confirmation. I will go ahead and make the edit then. – 杨以轩 Oct 11 '12 at 4:41
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I didn't notice that you changed the tones when you made the edit. In this case, I agree with the rejection.

For example, you changed:

  • xue2 > xuè... It should be xué.
  • xue4 > xiě... It should be xiè.

I saw the edit and personally I disagree with the rejection, I would've accepted it. In the least, the rejection might have used another reason but I don't see anything wrong with it.

I'll ask the moderator if they want to explain why they rejected it.

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  • I explained my rejection in another answer, @Alenanno. Feel free to comment there. – Don Kirkby Oct 1 '12 at 20:34
  • @DonKirkby I didn't notice the tone change, I agree with you in this case. :) – Alenanno Oct 1 '12 at 22:02

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