Which one of those words I should use when something is changed.

I update the record


I edit the record

closed as off-topic by Mari-Lou A, AmE speaker, choster, jimm101, Hellion Oct 31 '17 at 18:17

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Update has the extra sense of adding newer information (or removing outdated information, per @trentcl's apt comment), whereas edit just has the sense of changing the information. Note that in the source below on the definition of edit, the definition listed as 1.c. mentions bringing about standardization or conformity, but not necessarily adding any new information.

Take for instance your name on some social media site. Let's say you first input it incorrectly. You could edit it to fix any typos, but that wouldn't necessarily be updating your name. Your name was the same regardless of the typo. Now let's say you legally changed your name and wanted to have that reflected on your social media, you could update your name, since what used to be true no longer is.

update : to bring up to date - M-W

edit 1c : to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose - M-W

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    It needs to be noted that the above distinction is not strict (except in certain technical contexts), and often the two words will be used interchangeably. – Hot Licks Oct 28 '17 at 11:41
  • I already upvoted, but I think this answer would benefit from a little etymology. I mean, where does the word "edit" come from? "Bring up to date" is clear enough. – Mr Lister Oct 28 '17 at 14:59
  • @MrLister, I'll comment the here since it wasn't asked for in the original question. From what I can tell, edit may have come from a variety of sources, all of which have their roots in the Latin edere, 'to give out, put out, or publish.' It is cognates with edition. – Nolan Oct 28 '17 at 17:08
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    I'd suggest not using the phrase "add information" to define update, since you can also update something by removing (outdated) information (old contact info, for instance). Otherwise, good answer. – trentcl Oct 28 '17 at 22:01

I am from IT sphere. And in case of some MVC you may count next distinguish between these words:

edit action is responsible for rendering the view (html form to POST data)

update action is responsible for interacting with the model (db updates etc)

  • Yes, the words are used in the world of computer programming (a domain I am in as well), but it was not clear from your original question that you were asking about that. You are correct, edit renders the view to allow the user to change some information, and then the update will take that new information it received from the user and apply those changes where needed, thereby updating the model. The names don't apply to the actions the program does, per se, e.g., rendering an HTML form does not actually edit anything, but it allows the user to edit, thereby getting its name. – Nolan Oct 28 '17 at 17:19
  • @Nolan: OK. I delete question – Eugen Konkov Oct 30 '17 at 16:04

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