I've seen it repeatedly Officially Declared that 'we' do not enforce styles, and do not do trivial changes that have zero effect on clarity. And yet in practice, over the course of my so far short stay here, I have repeatedly seen both my and other people's questions edited in exactly this 'not done' manner. (On a related note, sometimes it's not quite the same thing as a style edit, but a 'fixing' of an 'error' without checking whether there is an error in the first place.)
Examples (details altered to protect the accused while the jury is out):
- 'Fixing' the style from one style guide's to another's, such as with commas, quotes, capitalisation, pronoun usage, spelling choices, etc.
- Making rewrites based on whether one follows a person-first style or don't-hide-the-adjective style ('fixing' the post to differ from the authorial style).
- Changing 'clip' to 'magazine' (or vice versa) while not being an expert on weapons, thus not knowing that the two are different things and that either may or may not be correct depending on intended meaning, and not checking the definitions before doing such a 'fix'.
I've been unsure how to react to that.
I think that just ignoring it will mean that the 'policy' has no power at all, as the people who ignore the policy will get the last word.
When it's my question, obviously I can keep reverting the edit, though it's frustrating that there's no way to revert only parts of an edit and keep the useful changes, or at least to revert a specific edit when several have been made. Though even that has the downsides of (a) needing to constantly watch for Style Warriors and (b) de facto becoming a participant in an Edit War, even if one on home turf.
When it's someone else's question, participating in an edit war on someone else's behalf seems even less appropriate. But doing nothing also means the poor newbie is likely to get an impression of Doing Things Wrong and trying to conform to the style warriors' preferences in the future.
I tried bringing up the edit's necessity or lack thereof in comments, only to have it brushed off, left as-is, and then seeing the same sorts of style edits happen again but with other posts of other people. So in practice it seems commenting does nothing to prevent such edits.
Should personal style preference enforcement be reported somehow? (I don't recall spotting an edit report button.) Or should something else be done?