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I just saw a question with title

Is there such a thing as an acid without a hydrogen?

And I suggested an edit to remove a before hydrogen to make it

Is there such a thing as an acid without hydrogen?

https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/53552

It was rejected by 2 established users so I'm sure It must be me who is missing some point here.

Could someone enlighten me and highlight my mistake?

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    $\begingroup$ Both versions are grammatical, so that would make your edit completely, utterly superfluous. Frankly, there is a lot of non-native English in other posts, and you can find them easily using the homepage. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 5 '17 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ The first version is not grammatical, its implied version is grammatical. $\endgroup$ Apr 5 '17 at 9:09
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    $\begingroup$ If a decent portion of people use the phrase, it becomes grammatical. I've seen it used often and by chemists, and it's as opposed to acids that have no hydrogens, or that have more than one hydrogen. Why do you think it's ungrammatical? Might be a good question to ask on ELL, don't you think? $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 5 '17 at 9:20
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    $\begingroup$ In common American English usage, it's completely acceptable to use "a hydrogen" in place of "a hydrogen atom". I never gave the title a second thought. (@M.A.R.) $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Apr 5 '17 at 10:53
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I wouldn't call it disregarding grammar.

In this case I think that both titles are correct. The first one refers to a hydrogen [atom], while in the latter it refers to hydrogen in general. As such I support the decision to reject it, as it does not significantly improve the state of the question. The reason given by the reviewers reflect that:

This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

Edits bump the question to the top of the active tab of the homepage. As such they should be a substantial improvement over the current state. Removing an article (which I think may or may not be there) does not achieve that.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Martin, I would agree that if it was meant to refer to a hydrogen item explicitly it would be fine to have that article there but a casual reader seeing the question on the HNQ list wouldn't take that as implied as a Chemistry.SE user would. I do believe that the change is important however its not more important than what moderators think :) $\endgroup$ Apr 5 '17 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ The HNQ is a fun feature and as a community we don't pay too much attention to it. (I personally think it causes a lot more harm than it is useful.) It is true that it is not important what a moderator thinks about the question. But I was not the one making the decision in the first place. I simply tried to give you a reason as to why your edit might have been rejected and that I concur with this sentiment. You can hope that one, or both of the rejecting users will answer here, but I doubt you will get a better answer. $\endgroup$ Apr 5 '17 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ I think you read my comment other way around. I mentioned my reasoning is not more important than what a moderator thinks. It actually meant that I accept what you think of it. I never implied it is not important what a moderator thinks $\endgroup$ Apr 5 '17 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Hanky RE your first comment -- I think the content here (and everywhere else) is tailored to its own audience, not necessarily to outsiders. Naturally, even some jargon would leak to the title, that most users won't understand. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Apr 5 '17 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that is true. That is why I asked the question in the first place to find out if it is some jargon used by Chemists. It is indeed that and I don't disagree. $\endgroup$ Apr 5 '17 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ @HankyPanky Sorry, now that I read it more carefully, my comment seems very silly. $\endgroup$ Apr 5 '17 at 10:26

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