There is a (rather poor) question in a tag I frequent:


It was closed and downvoted (no surprise there).

I was looking at it again and it hit me; he's asking for classic mode!1

I would like to edit this question to make it a bit more obvious what he's asking for, and then answer it.

But obviously, I can't.

What should be done in this situation? Even if it were reopened, would me editing it to reflect what I think it means be crossing the line of putting too many words in someone else's mouth?

1: disclaimer: at least I think so anyway. It's kinda hard to tell.


I agree it's problematic. I guess what I would do is edit the question and explicitly invite the asker to revert or change the edit if it's not what he meant. Putting words in someone else's mouth is rude, but in this case the question is of very low quality in the first place, and should be cleaned up before it can be re-opened, so it needs an edit anyway.

In any case, avoid an edit-war. If the original user disagrees with your edit, leave it be. At worst you can open a new question of your own.

  • I guess I should have made this more clear. I have a chicken and egg problem; I can't edit the question because it is closed, but it can't be reopened without an edit. May 24 '11 at 12:59
  • @John I thought closed questions are editable. If it isn't, maybe you should open a feature-request, because in my eyes they most definitely should be editable.
    – Oak
    May 24 '11 at 13:12
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    @Oak: I can edit it. I guess that you just can't suggest edits on them? May 24 '11 at 14:35
  • I do not have the edit link on that question. I can edit other not closed posts (though not this answer, curiously). @Ullallulloo's suggestion seems most probable to me. May 25 '11 at 2:08
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    I have opened a question about this on Meta Stackoverflow. meta.stackexchange.com/q/92614/152101 May 25 '11 at 2:23
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    @John: You also can't suggest edits on the per-site metas. May 25 '11 at 2:43
  • @Ull: Any idea why? May 25 '11 at 2:45
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    @John: Some guesses might be that most people that post on meta would be experienced enough with grammar to not need edits as much, and that you can't earn rep here. May 25 '11 at 14:41

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