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There were suggested edits to the following question.

What is the status for EIGHT man endgame tablebases?

The edits were to replace "man" with "piece". The reason for the edit "change to inclusive language". This isn't the first time this has occured there are often edits for gender neutral language.

These edits are the only edits, otherwise the question remains unchanged, and these edits aren't improving the quality of the overall question in most cases. In some cases it actually detracts from the question as it confuses technical term.

My question is what are the community expectations on edits for inclusive purposes only, is there a moderation standards that exist ? Generally speaking I am all for more inclusive language when it's appropriate.

I'm curious of people's thoughts

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    In this can, piece is the more accurate word to use as is. Jul 1, 2023 at 6:56
  • Generally feel the same. I see the general vernacular has changed and I missed the memo.i have only ever known them as N-Man Tablebases
    – Dheebs
    Jul 1, 2023 at 7:14
  • I should preface this by saying this isn't some "anti-woke PC" rant. I just prefer the technical names. I declined the edits in said post on the grounds that I believe that the terminology in the edit was incorrect. I'd be most curious on the mods stance though.
    – Dheebs
    Jul 2, 2023 at 14:25
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    It seems this user has made a habit of this. Some of these edits are trivial, require reviewer time, etc., the hallmarks of edits that are best made when one is 2k+. Jul 6, 2023 at 12:11
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    "Piece" unambiguously excludes pawns; "unit" unambiguously includes pieces and pawns. What is the problem with replacing "man" with whichever unambiguous noun is appropriate to the question?
    – Rosie F
    Jul 28, 2023 at 13:48

2 Answers 2

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"Chess men" is still standard terminology I believe, if less popular than "chess piece". "Piece" can be a little ambiguous since it can refer to non-pawns or just minor pieces. On the other hand, you could argue while the chess army would be mostly men, the queen is a clear exception.

I find such minor edits to be unhelpful. Maybe this is an interesting question on terminology for the main site. Some tech organizations have changed "whitelist" and "blacklist" to "allowlist" and "blocklist", but these are not industry standard terms.

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The wiki page on editing privileges states: When should I edit posts? Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to edit it, you are encouraged to do so.

Some common reasons to edit a post are:

To fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
To include additional information only found in comments, so that all 
  of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
To add related resources or hyperlinks

The ONLY one that even peripherally fits is "add updates as the post ages", but in this case nothing has changed except societal perception of gender usage and preferred pronouns.

As Shog has said, what is the spirit of the rule? To actively improve the post. I would argue that while it is currently the trend towards neutralization and pronouns, these edits are not actively improving the posts in question. I would probably have declined the edit on that basis as well.

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  • Please do not use codeblocks for anything that is not actual code. Quoteblocks explicitly exist for a reason.
    – Nij
    Oct 13, 2023 at 10:56

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