Improvement of a poor question by non-authors

There are already many Q&A related to the improvement of a question by the original author. It is quite obvious and well documented how to proceed to improve the form of a question. However, I did not find guidelines or discussions about the case of poorly formulated questions that will probably be proposed for deletion but someone else could transform into good questions by adding a knowledge the OP is probably missing.

The Help Center says

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

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To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
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My question is about the reasonable limits of clarifying the meaning of the post. For example (but, please, take it just as an example, it is not the focus of my question), today I saw in the Close vote list this question.

I think that the OP should have used the comments to improve the question. However, he/she is new to the subject matter of the question, ii) and a newcomer to this site. As a consequence, no modification was done, and the question is going to be closed. What is the general feeling about the best behavior? Leaving the question in its original state or adding enough details to transform it into an acceptable question?

• Just wanted to add you could also recommend them to go to this (new chatroom) chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/118530/constructive-feedback and have an amicable discussion there Jan 17 '21 at 8:20
• Re "no modification was done": If they have only been exposed to forums, the whole concept of editing is completely foreign to them (the blame is on the forums (the software)). They may not even know what "edit" means. Jan 17 '21 at 10:14
• I am often annoyed by comments requesting the definition of absolutely standard terminology (and I can remember a few more from the same guy who wants a definition of a "4-fold axis"). Nobody here understands the whole of physics (and probably not even the whole of undergraduate physics). A comment which basically says "I don't know much about crystallography" is pointless, and likely to send a serious questioner somewhere else on the web where they might get an intelligent answer rather than content-free fluff. Jan 17 '21 at 20:43
• @alephzero Since simple cubic lattices do have 4-fold axes, I assumed the OP meant something other than the usual definition or didn't understand it. What the OP was asking did not seem to make sense. You are correct that I am not an expert in crystallography. I’ve made 5894 comments so I am sure that there are many you don’t like. Jan 17 '21 at 21:27
• As I wrote, please, take the example as prototypic, I do not think that a discussion here about 4-fold axes would be consistent with my question. My point is that I think I understand, from the OP comments, that this question is coming from a conceptual mistake, quite frequent for beginners, It is also evident that the OP is completely unaware of it. In order to improve the question, the OP should probably be able to see his own mistake. But in this case, no question would have been asked. This kind of catch-22 situation has a counterpart in the editing process. I would say that, since ... Jan 18 '21 at 6:47
• ... I see among the OP comments a way to improve the question, if I would edit accordingly, my action would be consistent with OP's intention with high probability. However, I feel a little uneasy with such a non-perturbative action and I wanted to have some other opinions, in particular from more experienced members of the community. Jan 18 '21 at 6:53