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It bugs me, as it has annoyed a lot of people before, that when editing a post one has to correct and capitalise PHP, MySQL, SQL, ASP, jQuery, you, I, why, the etc again and again and again.

See also: Can 'u' and 'i' part ways with Stack Exchange?. I understand all the arguments against doing this automatically, when a post is created, and so that's not what I'm going to suggest!

However, on the English language sites, can we have an "auto-correct" box in the editing / markdown toolbar?

I propose it would work as follows:

  1. There would be a set list of words that this could be applied to.
  2. Maybe moderators could add to this list but certainly no one else.
  3. Upon clicking of the i -> I button all words, not within <code> tags or ``` ``, that are on this list would be capitalised or spelled correctly; u becomes you etc.
  4. If possible, altered words could be underlined in green, say, so that the editor would see what they have changed.
  5. It should only be available to "responsible" users, i.e. those with a certain amount of reputation, maybe those who have already received the Strunk & White badge or had a certain amount of suggested edits accepted.
  6. Simply clicking this button shall not constitute an edit. This is to stop massive amounts of posts being bumped as people get their hands on it for the first time and to ensure that everything is corrected in a post.

Positives:

  • The editor has a chance to put everything into code blocks before any changes are made.
  • Although automated there is always someone there to double check that it's been done correctly.
  • The site looks a bit more professional.
  • Posts that previously exhibited this problem are easier to read.
  • The low quality filter is not affected initially; poor spelling can still be used to place a post in the queue.
  • The lives of Stack Exchange's dedicated team of editors/grammar monkeys become a lot less painful.

Negatives:

  • Something might get missed.
  • Meta might be deluged in requests for more words to be added.

P.S. I have deliberately not tagged this as the excerpt reads:

Sites perform some edits automatically when posts are submitted, such as removing signatures or redundant "@username" alerts.

This is not what I am suggesting.


Due to popular demand (not Popular Demand) now with new capitalisation.

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6  
Until I got to your second paragraph, your first paragraph bugged the heck out of me. –  simchona Sep 4 '12 at 21:24
    
Would you like me to spell and capitalise everything correctly :-)? –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 4 '12 at 21:25
7  
Yes, I would like you to do so. –  Bart Sep 4 '12 at 21:26
3  
Imagine how easy it would have been with some sort of button you could click :-). –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 4 '12 at 21:37
2  
Interesting suggestion. Maybe it could use a more specific title? Like "Auto-correct" toolbar automating recurring editing tasks for higher-rep users or something... better suggestions are welcome though. –  Pëkka Sep 4 '12 at 22:43
16  
Why don't we just include things like i, u, plz and other lulz in teh low quality filter? I honestly don't care much if someone doesn't capitalize jQuery or MATLAB correctly, but i, u, and smth make me want to poke someone with a nuclear missile-tipped cattle prod. –  Robert Harvey Sep 4 '12 at 23:14
1  
I'd suggest adding the removal of spaces wrapped around punctuation. Sentences like this : Is there a library / plugin to do X ? –  Jim Sep 4 '12 at 23:36
3  
i SuPpOrT tHiS . iMpRoPeR cApItAlIzAtIoN mUsT bE sToPpEd . –  Dennis Sep 5 '12 at 0:17
2  
Could we include "y/Y" instead of "why"? I saw a user asking about list comprehensions ask "Y is it so complicated" and steam came out my ears. –  David Robinson Sep 5 '12 at 0:23
    
@Ben Flattery will get you everywhere! Thanks for the citation. –  jonsca Sep 5 '12 at 0:44
    
But then we couldn't make "y u no" meme references. –  casperOne Sep 5 '12 at 1:39
    
@casperOne Anything to get you to post less :P Only kidding. You could always put it in code blocks. –  jonsca Sep 5 '12 at 1:41
    
Objection! Personally, i like my broken spelling... –  H.B. Sep 5 '12 at 1:42
    
@jonsca it's ok, the image has an impact greater than the words anyways =P –  casperOne Sep 5 '12 at 1:42
    
@RobertHarvey, I would like those words to get corrected as well! I'm advocating these posts getting picked up by the low quality filter; I'd just prefer it to be easier to fix them. –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 5 '12 at 7:48

3 Answers 3

Interesting suggestion.

Maybe a user script would be a good way to start. (No, I'm not volunteering!)

I think that the corrections list could be customisable (per user, per site?), I'm not sure why you're against that, especially as it creates your second negative.

I suspect that the highlighting and 'this is not an edit' functionality might make this request more expensive than it needs to be.

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6  
A user-script proof-of-concept definitely sounds like the way to go here. I've had too many bad experiences with insufficiently context-sensitive auto-correction to think this is as easy as it sounds. –  Shog9 Sep 5 '12 at 6:57
    
I guess it would help a potential scripter if there was somekind of template 'hook' script for capturing editor events. Does that already exist, or could someone knock up a 'proof of concept' - i.e. an 'empty' user script which adds a button to the editor and provides an string OnIconClicked(string input)? –  Benjol Sep 5 '12 at 7:29
    
I agree, with most of your answer. If something were to be integrated I would want it to be a little restrictive to avoid "click and runs" maybe limiting it solely on success of previous edits might be better than a "this is not an edit" functionality. –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 7 '12 at 7:40
    
@Shog9, woops, forgot to @ you on my previous comment... –  Benjol Sep 7 '12 at 7:43

Pointless. If it is badly spelled, someone will edit it and get a 2 rep bonus!

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1  
I think most editions don't bring reputation to their author. –  dystroy Sep 5 '12 at 6:13
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Actually they do. I've got a considerrible chunk of rep just from editing peoples grammar –  imulsion Sep 5 '12 at 6:14
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Yes you did, but that's just because you don't have yet a lot of reputation on SO. Past a certain threshold, you won't get reputation from editions. I, for example, started editing after this threshold. –  dystroy Sep 5 '12 at 6:17
    
Ah i see how much rep do you have to have to stop getting rep from editing? –  imulsion Sep 5 '12 at 6:19
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2000 points. See that : meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87572/… –  dystroy Sep 5 '12 at 6:22
8  
@imulsion wish I could gain rep from editing comments like yours as well –  prusswan Sep 5 '12 at 6:52
    
I can't agree with you; though not because of the reputation argument. It's because I've edited around a thousand posts. You're at 14 or 27 (depending on how these things are counted) anything to make my life easier as an editor is, IMHO , a good thing. –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 7 '12 at 7:37

I have been using this userscript made by Tom and others in Super User which was pretty useful. Maybe you could give it a try?

Click to install the script.


The script was a fork of SE Editor Toolkit and is generally pretty functional.

share|improve this answer
    
That, sir, is something to test! –  ben is uǝq backwards Sep 7 '12 at 7:38
1  
If you want to test it, come over to Ask Ubuntu. Got lots of posts to edit, fix, clean up and what not. ;) –  jokerdino Sep 7 '12 at 7:39

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