Martin L. West, Textual Criticism and Editorial Technique
(Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1973), p. 8:
When scholars argue about whether Aristophanes wrote δέ or τε in such-and-such a passage, the debate may seem trivial to the point of absurdity, and indeed the sense may not be affected in the least. But by asking the question "which in fact did the poet write?", scholars may be led to inquire into the usage of the particles and the habits of Aristophanes more closely than it would ever have occurred to them to do otherwise. In the same way, by asking such questions all the way through the text, they learn all kinds of things that they did not know and never wondered about, sometimes things that were not known to anybody.
Related post: Minutiae