I am glad that many non-natives post try their best to write their questions in French, and I am sure that many natives like me are very willing to correct them, and help them improve.

PROBLEM: After correcting the asker's question, I often receive get:

Oops! Your edit couldn't be submitted because:
Edits must be at least 6 characters

So I give up, and:

  • The asker does not get any feedback,
  • I am frustrated,
  • The site's quality decreases as more and more broken-French accumulates.

Given the particularity of this site, and the interest that many on meta have shown in having their own questions corrected, should the "6 characters" minimum be lowered?

  • 1
    Can you give an example of a question that couldn't stand more than 6-chars worth of improvement? The intention of the quota is to prompt non-trivial edits, since most questions will tend to have more than one error; if this assumption is invalid on this site for some reason, it would be nice to see evidence of it.
    – Shog9
    Aug 22, 2011 at 5:21
  • @Shog9: for instance french.stackexchange.com/questions/329 "pour moi c'est difficile reconnaître". Such users usually write very short questions, so it is even harder to get to 6 characters. I have seen correctors transforming a perfectly valid expression into another one just to get to 6 characters, so that their original correction gets submitted. Doing so confuses the asker as to what was wrong in the first place: french.stackexchange.com/posts/312/revisions Aug 22, 2011 at 5:32
  • @Shog9: see french.stackexchange.com/questions/283/… for another example. Here I had to resort to adding a comment; the user corrected himself, and then my comment was out fo place.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 22, 2011 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Shog9, I know this isn't going to get past Jeff, but it really is a bummer not being able to do minor corrections, and having to 'invent' corrections just for the sake of it. Sometimes it's just an accent. And the only alternative is to leave a comment for the original poster - which then leaves trailing comments which don't make any sense once the correction is done. Unless the OP adds another comment to let the first person know the edit is done. And both remember to delete their comments...
    – Benjol
    Aug 22, 2011 at 9:23
  • Another example: french.stackexchange.com/questions/354/…. There is just one word too many, and it's only 4 letters long.
    – Benjol
    Aug 22, 2011 at 9:29
  • @Benjol: whooops, fixed that. Thanks!
    – Joubarc
    Aug 22, 2011 at 11:35
  • "Not going to get past Jeff" - hasn't the community fully overthrown him by now?
    – Joubarc
    Aug 22, 2011 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


If I understand correctly, the limit does not apply any longer once you get full edit rights (500 rep). I can do very small edits now and I don't see the error any longer.

Actually, disallowing people with less than 500 rep to make orthographic corrections may even be quite sensible.

  • 1
    It makes sense that people who haven't understand the SE concept yet can't edit, but in the case of FLU, we need a lot of manpower to correct questions. To bear with this specificity, we might want to lower the barrier from 500 to 250 for instance. Aug 22, 2011 at 7:39
  • Keep in mind this beta has just started. The number of people with more than 500 will rise rapidly, at which point this shouldn't be an issue anymore. Plus, I'm not sure we actually want each and every mistake corrected within the minute.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 22, 2011 at 7:43
  • 2
    @Joubarc, but as of Thursday, the number of people posting questions which potentially need editing will rise rapidly too (we hope!)...
    – Benjol
    Aug 22, 2011 at 9:21
  • Right, didn't really think of it that way. Still, more users means more editors, let's just hope the ratio will be good. That said, thus far there are some very motivated editors and it's not rare to see questions/answers edited multiple time in a row. You'd think it's a game to make sure your name is the one after the 'last edited by' mention. (Yes, I played too.)
    – Joubarc
    Aug 22, 2011 at 11:39
  • 1
    On other sites, people with "limited" reputation can PROPOSE edits (stored in a buffer), but they don't take effect until someone with an appropriately high reputation reviews and "signs off" of them.
    – Tom Au
    Aug 22, 2011 at 14:59
  • That's supposed to work here too.
    – Joubarc
    Aug 22, 2011 at 16:20
  • When I enter a small edit I get the message Edits must be at least 6 characters; is there something else to improve in this post?. There does not seem to be any way I can submit my edit if it is shorter than 6 characters.
    – reg
    Aug 19, 2013 at 8:11
  • I didn't know this rule of 500 rep to make <6 edits. I think that those small edits are very important in a site about correct language. the warning should tell that it will become possible later
    – radouxju
    Oct 2, 2015 at 19:27
  • When a "s" is missing or a "é", this rule is very very frustrating.
    – Quidam
    Dec 20, 2016 at 5:58

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