I've managed to get myself into a rollback war with a user on this post. The original title was

Way of obtaining chomsky normalform, does it influence performance of CYK parser?

which I changed to

Does the particular CNF representation of a grammar influence the performance of a CYK parser?

which the OP then changed back to the original version, which I then changed back, which was then changed by the OP back to

Way of obtaining Chomsky normal form, does it influence performance of CYK parser?

My understanding from the comments is that the OP is concerned with confusing Chomsky Normal form and Conjunctive normal form, which I agree needs to be disambiguated. However, to my eye at least, the OP's phrasing is not proper English.

Of late, I've been doing 'broken-window' work where I clean up capitalizations and add punctuation etc, on the grounds that a cleaned up question is more likely to be answered, and also reflects better on the page and site as a whole.

My question is: at what point should I stop attempting to fix grammar on questions when the OP seems unwilling to accept my changes ?

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    $\begingroup$ When the OP changes it back twice? I don't see that there's any point in fighting further. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ true. but the bad grammar grates on me :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ I almost changed it too, then realised there was a war going on. There's no point fighting it, grating though it is. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ People who refuse help... will get what they deserve. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ Proposal: "Does CYK performance depend on grammar structure?" A reference to CNF (which is not ambiguous in the context of grammars, isn't it?) is unnecessary since (pure) CYK does only work with such grammars. Jan, you question could have been posed in proper English just by replacing "it" with the part before the comma. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 18, 2011 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Jan: the length of the title is hardly the issue, if the title makes very little sense due to poor grammar. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2011 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ Aren't we making a drama out of an insignificant detail? I can understand that both parties can feel a bit frustrated about this issue, but in the end, it does not really matter that much. I think moderators are encouraged to fix broken windows, but if an OP resists, just let it be whichever way they prefer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ I agree. I have no intention of pushing this matter further, or getting into a grammar war. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan: These rude comments are simply not appropriate or appreciated on this forum. Suresh merely does not wish to engage in this petty discussion. I have deleted the copy of comment above from the main question, as it does not belong there. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan: I cleaned up the original question, which is part of my role as moderator. Also, if you wish that I receive your messages, please use @Dave or rather than @Clark. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


There has been a similar incident on Math.SE (by some other user) recently which caused the that user to become rude and insult two polite high reputation users of Math.SE and IIRC the user was suspended for rudeness. I think we would like to avoid getting such incidents, so:

if an OP doesn't fix the question, and doesn't allow others to fix it, and is not responding to the comments constructively, then I think we should leave it as it is.

If you really don't like the way the question title is written and it doesn't get fixed by OP, then just add a down vote, if enough people do this the OP will pay more attention to these issues and hopefully will react more constructively to people who want to improve the quality of the question.


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