6
$\begingroup$

I answered a question where I put a few things into proper quotation marks, i.e. and . Then there is an edit which converts those into " which are second or inch marks. I do not understand why this edit has been made.

Regarding the “loose → lose“ thing I just learned that “to loose” means “to unfasten” whereas “to lose” is what I actually meant, the process of having a loss.

| |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Somewhat related mother meta post: meta.stackexchange.com/q/285248/263383 $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Oct 3 '16 at 19:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A related anecdote: For computer programming, the more stylistic quotation marks can impair the ability to cut-n-paste code, for example breaking shell scripts in subtle, hard-to-discern ways. I lost 5 minutes of my time last week on that very problem. (Relevant when physicists write code.) $\endgroup$ – Ryan V. Bissell Oct 11 '16 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Because those are unicode, and some would argue it's bad usability to put unicode where ascii works as well $\endgroup$ – cat Oct 16 '16 at 17:31
9
$\begingroup$

I can only guess, but here are my guesses:

As for why the edit suggested changing the quotation marks: plain text does not allow for proper (curly) quotation marks, so the " character has become the standard to represent quotation marks in plain text and text-based contexts (as opposed to rich text) online. Granted, this part of the edit is probably not an improvement, because it's rare that a modern browser would have any problem with curly quotes, but given the ubiquity of the straight quote, it's no more than a marginal change.

As for why the edit was approved: since the quotes are a marginal change, the validity of the edit is mostly determined by the single most significant change, which fixes a piece of incorrect grammar. Therefore, the edit is considered a net improvement that doesn't introduce a significant problem and it gets approved.

But again, those are only my guesses.

| |
$\endgroup$
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ This is also an anonymous edit, so if the editor only wanted to fix the 'loose', then the system would've asked for a 6-character edit or bigger. The changes to the quotes are a relatively harmless way to do that. (But again, that's still a guess.) $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 3 '16 at 15:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .