# Is it OK to roll back stylistic editing on one's own post?

Someone edited my posted question from a style that I preferred to one he preferred. It is OK for a book or journal editor to change copy to house style; but this user has no such status. The matter is purely an aesthetic one: there is no issue of correctness or clarity involved. Am I being petty in rolling back the unwanted edit?

• If things are as you say, then roll away. – Gerry Myerson Oct 5 '15 at 11:09
• If it is about this question, however, I have to note that your choice is much non-standard, and $\frac{1}{\sqrt{y+1}}$ is not only far more common, but also more readable than $\frac{1}{\surd(y+1)}$. – Daniel Fischer Oct 5 '15 at 11:27
• If that's being petty then you are welcome to join my pettiness club ;-) I hate unnecessary edits to my posts! – David Oct 9 '15 at 1:23
• Thank you, @David, for your moral support. I have clearly offended those who cannot bear to see $\surd(y+1)$ instead of $\sqrt{y+1}$ in someone else's post. I don't want to make enemies among the army of vinculum-lovers, so I have abandoned the struggle. – John Bentin Oct 9 '15 at 10:15
• I appreciate it when someone re-arranges my layout for better appearance. On the other hand ,changing my English- letter variables to Greek is not only unnecessary but irritating. And don't ever change my "for positive integer n" to "n in N" because half the members include 0 in N.Including me. – DanielWainfleet Oct 9 '15 at 17:14
• If your style were used in your answer, then you have the say in how you want it to look, as long as it isn't offensive. However, if you insist on your square-root style for your question, then you're just discouraging people from bothering to answer. Nevertheless, it's your question so do as you see fit. People will also respond as they see fit. – user21820 Oct 12 '15 at 14:26
• @user21820: I'm trying to imagine who would think "That's an interesting question, and I know the answer; but I won't bother to give it, because I don't like the questioner's way of writing square roots". If you know the answer, then please forgive my pesky parentheses, which are anyway now replaced by vincula, and give me the opportunity to vote up and perhaps accept your answer. – John Bentin Oct 12 '15 at 16:16
• @JohnBentin: No you have read me wrong. People who can read your question and know the answer will still answer, but if your notation (not in this particular question) strays too far from the norm, then reading your question would become too difficult and some people might give up or be simply unable to read it, and hence you may lose an answer. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to this question of yours. – user21820 Oct 13 '15 at 11:22

Edits should generally respect the personal formatting preferences of the original poster if they can be recognised. If there is a plain R in the post body denoting the real numbers, editors may choose their preferred of $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathbf{R}$ when editing, since it's not clear what the OP would have chosen, and both are correct and in use. But if the OP made a choice, and it's correct, that should by default be respected.

In cases where the personal preference causes severe issues like

$${\Huge\color{red}{\text{THIS!!!}}},$$

however, overriding the OP's choices is appropriate.

If somebody edits your posts to replace your formatting choices with theirs, and yours are correct and don't cause disruption, roll back.

• So very tempted to override your stylistic choice of $${\Huge\color{red}{\text{THIS!!!}}},$$. – user642796 Oct 5 '15 at 11:38
• @Arthur: this might ignite a rollback war. And locking the answer won't do any good since moderators can override locks. Even suspending the involved users won't be helpful, since diamonds are not broken by suspensions... :-P – Asaf Karagila Oct 5 '15 at 11:46
• I think the huge color red text would be acceptable if you are presenting a correct proof of the Riemann Hypothesis. – DanielWainfleet Oct 9 '15 at 17:19
• It has sometimes proved irritating when somebody has tried to edit my post, and wound up with even less idiomatic English than my formulation. Then, I have no hesitation in rolling back. (Fixing my typos is of course fine.) – J. M. is a poor mathematician Oct 10 '15 at 15:04