Coming from HNQ I saw the post "Are all current world currencies 'decimal'?" I read the post and then moved onto the answers and the first thing I come across was some nonsensical sentence:

The word you're looking for is not "metric" but "decimal".

My first thought was wtf is this 100+ scoring, accepted, post on about when the question didn't say "metric" at all. I decided to check the edit history of the post and see the question was changed. Whilst correct, the edit is jarring as it makes a 1/3 of the top answer rather confusing. As there is now a disconnect between the question and the answer.

If this were a site I contribute to, then I'd roll back the change. As the edit reduces the posts, question and answer, quality.
I don't know what the status quo of this site is. But since two 50k+ users approved the edit, I think posting this to meta be the best option.

Should the edit be rolled back?


2 Answers 2


How about adding a bracketed note referring to the editing correction? Square bracketed notes are often used by editors to indicate changes made by a person other than the original author. e.g.:

Every currency I can think of or have ever used is 'decimal' [was: 'metric'] ...

... then the top answer still makes sense.

Another alternative perhaps is to use strike-out text:

Every currency I can think of or have ever used is 'metric' 'decimal' ...

... which shows a correction was made to the terminology

Both of these approaches have the advantage of not only improving consistency between the top answer and the question, but also preserving the keyword "metric" in search engine indexes of the Q&A page and so remain potentially useful to other people who are searching for an answer online but using incorrect terminology.


I think rolling back the question would be the strictly correct thing to do if we consider the general Stack Exchange approach to questions changing (which we do also follow here).

But in this case it might be more pragmatic, and give us a better end result, to simply edit the answer to remove the now-redundant correction too. There is a bit of confused discussion about the exact meaning in the comments but I don't think that would be fundamentally affected by this.

  • Editing the answer to remove the now-redundant correction removes the useful knowledge that "metric" was the incorrect term to begin with. Other people searching online for "metric" based currency would be less likely to arrive at the Q&A if instances "metric" are removed. IMHO, part of the value in the existing Q&A is the explicit correction in the terminology used by the OP. Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:44
  • As perhaps a better example: When it comes to taxes, many people mistakingly use the accounting term "write off" when really they mean to ask about "tax deduction". In such cases I think it is useful to allow at least one instance of the erroneous terminology to remain, while correcting it more generally, so that search engines indexing the Q&A page will index it for the incorrect terminology as well, as others are likely to search for the incorrect terminology. Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 16:48
  • @ChrisW.Rea yes, good point Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 17:04

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