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I have noticed that this user, Jamie Hutton is doing a massive set of typo-correction edit suggestions.

This is pushing the review queue right up (over 70 and over 90 at different points today) and I am not sure this is of much value -- I would much rather see less focused edits that are more substantial.

It just feels like an abuse of the suggested edits system.

What do you think?

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  • 6
    I wonder if they are just trying to "power through" and get their 1K rep for suggested edits...it certainly doesn't look like behavior that should be encouraged. Dec 19, 2011 at 20:07
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    That user has been a member for 2 days and already has an archaeologist badge! WTF?!? It took me months to earn Strunk & White Dec 19, 2011 at 20:08
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    Is there a cap on how many proposed edits such users can do per-day? Since our review votes are capped, I think there should be, if not. Dec 19, 2011 at 20:16
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    So you can change one letter in the title, but you have to change 6 letters in the body of a question if you lack edit privileges? Something seems very wrong about that.
    – Toomai
    Dec 19, 2011 at 20:29
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    I think correcting misspellings in titles for questions benefits the site as a whole, but maybe the person that discovered it should propose a massive edit here in meta instead of doing it him/herself.
    – Marcelo
    Dec 19, 2011 at 21:33
  • Still going... suggested edits 1692911 through 1692939 are more of the same.
    – jscs
    Dec 20, 2011 at 0:40
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    And now I'm out of votes. Why on earth am I vote-limited if edit suggestions aren't?
    – jscs
    Dec 20, 2011 at 0:45
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    @Problem Me too, now. sigh Dec 20, 2011 at 1:03
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    Wow, he actually hit 190 rep solely on edits. Dec 20, 2011 at 1:34
  • @AndrewBarber See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/91392/… Dec 20, 2011 at 4:23
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    @BradGilbert - I actually find most of hist edits to be good ones, definitely more substantial than single word corrections.
    – Oded
    Dec 21, 2011 at 15:03
  • There were quite a few edits just now, that only removed thanks. Dec 21, 2011 at 15:06
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    @BradGilbert - Those are considered good edits...
    – Oded
    Dec 21, 2011 at 15:11

3 Answers 3

95

You're not going to like this answer, but I approved every one of his suggested edits (that were in the queue) except four, where someone got to them first and declined them. On those four, I went ahead and made the requested spelling changes.

How is correcting spelling errors not making the internet better? Do you really want to have this discussion the next time someone throws a txtspk question at you?

It might interest you to know that the user rep-capped long before he was done making suggestions. The system works.

Seriously, there are far more serious things users can do to the site than fix a bunch of spelling errors. The horror.

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    I approve this answer. I've been making edit suggestions to correct minor spelling and grammar errors on one of the betas I am in and every one of them got approved by the SE employees. Dec 20, 2011 at 3:44
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    But what if someone searches for the same problem using the same misspelling? They'll be left high and dry; the horror! ;) Dec 20, 2011 at 3:44
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    I agree with Robert here - the user is trying to help. It's not a big deal, and everyone should stop jumping on him for doing something beneficial.
    – nhinkle
    Dec 20, 2011 at 3:46
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    I can see this on keywords maybe, but on silly words such as "accommodation" which virtually no one would search for anyways, no way. The words he was changing don't really affect the search and are common misspellings that most people wouldn't even notice. I still don't believe most of them constitute a full edit. A good search would still match the rest of the words and just not the misspelled one.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2011 at 3:49
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    @animuson Can you tell me exactly how this (correcting misspellings) makes SO worse? Dec 20, 2011 at 3:52
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    @NullUserExceptionอ_อ: It doesn't make it worse, but it is not substantive as an edit. Isn't that the reason for rejecting as too minor? The only thing correcting "accommodation" does is fix one misspelling on SO.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2011 at 3:53
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    @animuson Who said I agree with that definition of "too minor"? It's certainly not doing the site any harm, so what's the problem here? Dec 20, 2011 at 3:55
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    It might be too minor if they're changing things that aren't in need of changing, but if he's changing something that's wrong and making it right, that's hardly a bad thing.
    – nhinkle
    Dec 20, 2011 at 3:59
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    @NullUserExceptionอ_อ: I just said it doesn't do any harm, but it doesn't really do any good either. So we fixed a misspelling that barely anyone notices anyways and probably 50% of people also make.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 20, 2011 at 4:00
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    @animuson Then let's do them a favor and teach them how to spell words correctly. I stand by my assertion that any grammar/spelling corrections are welcome. It makes the site look more professional. Dec 20, 2011 at 4:03
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    When I am in "Review mode" and see an edit like this, I typically dive in and clean up the 23 other things that should have been fixed. So, that's 2 edits to the post by 2 new users. The harm is that the post is closer to CW conversion -- perhaps undeservedly so. This is one more reason why I think we need the "Reject and Improve" feature. Dec 20, 2011 at 4:05
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    @BrockAdams You can show your support here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/83721/… Dec 20, 2011 at 4:09
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    Jeff and waffles have both expressed the opinion that such edits should be rejected.
    – jscs
    Dec 20, 2011 at 6:24
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    I think that if the behavior is toxic to the community of people that regularly make more substantial edits, it should be discouraged. What I don't know how to do is entice people to take more ownership in the posts they edit, so that upon hitting 'save', the post no longer requires editing.
    – user50049
    Dec 20, 2011 at 7:18
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    @jwiscarson: A lot of the comments here seem to suggest that, if a post is to be edited, the editor must take responsibility for cleanup of the entire post. I'm not sure that's fair. There are plenty of other able-bodied people that can pitch in.
    – user102937
    Dec 20, 2011 at 21:07
10

Cleaning up spelling errors in question titles has some small benefit ε which is—taken alone—greater than 0. Seems the problem is really how it interacts with other site features:

  • The edit queue must be reviewed by high-rep users, at a cost greater than ε
  • Doesn't this bump questions as well? This cost may or may not be greater than ε, no idea. SO gets so many questions that a bump doesn't last long.

Seems like the real problem is the edit queue—fix it. If SO Dev added a rule:

  • If a title edit is only a few characters, AND
  • those characters are part of a word not in some dictionary, AND
  • the new word is in some dictionary
  • THEN auto-approve

That seems fairly low-risk, and would get rid of most all of the costs of these tiny edits.

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This guy has done a search for the words "framwork" and "expresion" in titles of posts and is now on a crusade to correct them all. Either he is an English major with a concentration in Spelling, or he is trying to crank up his rep +2 at a time, or he is on a crusade for the Copy Editor badge. In any case, he must be stopped!

He has a total of 10 points from answers, none from questions. All of his rep (238 last time I looked) is from edits.

Please, someone stop him! I've already reached my 40 reject limit on suggested edit for today, and he's still going strong!

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    I think framwork is an excellent thing to correct. I guess there are quite a few people that would search for framework.
    – going
    Dec 20, 2011 at 4:10
  • +1 for writing an epic answer. Dec 20, 2011 at 4:16
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    He helps people searching for "framework" or "expression" finding more answers. Why is that bad? Nov 19, 2012 at 14:17
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    Why on Earth were you rejecting good edits?
    – TRiG
    Mar 24, 2013 at 1:32
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    I somehow keep ending up reading this page again and again each time I find a user with hundreds of rep points gained by editing lower case "I"s and uncapitalized first words. Jun 12, 2014 at 13:15
  • Searching for "framework" is the same as searching for "framwork". Any decent search engine won't mind. Jun 12, 2014 at 13:16

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