A couple of days ago, I was awarded the "refiner" badge ["Edit and answer 50 questions (both actions within 12 hours, answer score > 0"]. But in the last couple of weeks, I've barely been active on MSE, so I couldn't have done all this. I was baffled until I started writing this question, where the "Similar questions" suggestions led me to some enlightenment. I'm a native english speaker, and completely misunderstood the badge description. That suggests to me that a rewrite might be in order.

I now see (looking at Refiner and Illuminator badges confusing) that the intended meaning is the following:

For at least 50 questions, do X, where X is "both edit and answer the question, with an answer score > 0, within 12 hours",

rather than

Within 12 hours, do Z for at least 50 questions, where Z is "both edit and answer the question, with an answer score > 0."

I don't have a proposed rephrasing, because the scoping of adverbial phrases in English doesn't seem to have enough precision to allow what's wanted in a single sentence.

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    $\begingroup$ I personally don't have a problem with it, but if it is causing confusion for some users, then I don't see a problem with rephrasing it. $\endgroup$
    – user400188
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ I also think it is fine, but I cannot recall what I thought when I first learned of the badge. I think it would be fine if you have a good suggestion with more than one sentence; there is already Complete at least one review task. This badge is awarded once per review type and Visit the site each day for 30 consecutive days. (Days are counted in UTC.) $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2021 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ Posts on Meta Stack Exchange related to the wording: What is the Refiner badge really for? and Description for Explainer, Refiner, Illuminator is unclear. (The latter is marked status-completed and it seems that was the thread that lead to the current wording.) $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2021 at 12:04
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    $\begingroup$ The current wording is definitely confusing. The "within 12 hours" is at the end, but somehow is intended to restrict the "do", which is near the beginning. Without knowing that intent already, I'd naturally associate the "within 12 hours" with the "answer score > 0". I.e. for the question I edited, my answer needs to receive a positive score within the next 12 hours. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2021 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ I'm glad others find it confusing, and that I'm not alone in my bafflement. I actually like Alex Scruton's proposed rewrite a good deal, although it can still be misread as requiring that all the work be completed in twelve hours if you stretch your mind a bit. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2021 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ How about, "edit 50 questions, and answer each of those questions within 12 hours of editing it, achieving answer score > 0 on each."? $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2021 at 5:35
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    $\begingroup$ For a moment I thought: someone answering 50 questions and editing those questions within 12 hours :o $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2021 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ Could be like this: "By editing and answering a question within 12 hours, you'll earn 1/50 of the refiner badge (but this is invisible), so you need to do this 50 times, to earn the complete badge (which will be visible)". $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2021 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ Well, one easy way to solve this issue would be to delete the "within 12 hours" condition. I often edit a question very quickly (in particular when $\LaTeX$ needs some improvement), just to read it more easily, but answering the question sometimes requires an over night thinking. $\endgroup$
    – J.-E. Pin
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


I believe this wording may be better:

Edited after comments: "For 50 questions, edit and answer each question within 12 hours (answer score > 0)"

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    $\begingroup$ "both edit and answer the question" maybe? $\endgroup$
    – user7530
    Commented May 21, 2021 at 7:14
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    $\begingroup$ yeah, "For 50 questions, both edit and answer the question within 12 hours (answer score > 0)" sounds even better $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2021 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ I am afraid that wording is not very grammatical. If starting with "for 50 questions", the sentence should be "for 50 questions, edit and answer them ...". Then the same confusion may arise easily. $\endgroup$
    – Apass.Jack
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ Let’s say “For 50 questions, edit and answer each question…”. This way avoids all confusion $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2021 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Within 12 hours of what? Unspecified, there are two obvious assumptions: 1. take both actions within 12 hours of each other 2. take both actions within 12 hours of the post occuring. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 14:43

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