The problem

I review and/or edit some answers and I see common mistakes.

Would it be possible to add to the Suggested Edits review answers that may contain common spelling errors?

For instance 'jqeury', 'usefull' and other words the OP often mistypes.

The SO system would auto-correct answers that present those common mistakes and editors would review those auto corrections.

Why review auto-corrections?

Sometimes, it can happen that the system raises a false positive. A human check is needed to detect those specific cases.

What are the advantages ?

  • As it's possible to create new tags, it would be possible to create new common mistakes.

  • A user that creates a common mistake often detected would be awarded with one or more badges (1000, 5000, 100000).

  • The quality of answers would raise as they get less and less errors.

  • 3
    I'd be more in favor of this if The System made the changes, and prompted the asker/answerer to accept/reject the changes (or re-edit) before the post actually makes it to the site. Having yet-another review task for what will mainly be trivial edits doesn't appeal to me.
    – Mat
    Oct 11, 2012 at 15:11
  • @Mat Yep that's the point. We teach the system common mistakes and each time it detects them, it asks us (the editors) if we should approve or not the auto-correction.
    – Stephan
    Oct 11, 2012 at 19:52
  • I'd rather the system ask them (the askers/answerers) than us (the editors/reviewers).
    – Mat
    Oct 11, 2012 at 19:54
  • Ok, for this point of view, answers would be corrected faster. But what about old answers (answers published before the introduction of auto-correction) ?
    – Stephan
    Oct 11, 2012 at 19:58
  • 2
    You'd want to pass the ~4 million posts through the spell-checker and put all the stuff that falls out in a review queue? That sounds like a lot of churn just for typoes. (I don't like them either, but...)
    – Mat
    Oct 11, 2012 at 20:00
  • @Mat processing the existing posts would only incur a one-time cost, and that cost could be spread out over an arbitrarily long period of time. Normally, posts would only have to be spellchecked at submission time. It's still extra work, but not as much as you're making it sound like.
    – Pops
    Oct 12, 2012 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


I don't really see the point of this idea. Not that it's terrible, but I doesn't add much either IMHO. Sure, some of the common spelling mistakes would be picked up. But if it then ends up in review, most of them will most likely be blindly accepted, leaving other potential problems in place.

Sure, there might still be the "improve" button as there is now, but I can't see that being used much, given my experience with the current suggested edit. In essence, you would most likely end up creating a whole bunch of suggested edits we would normally consider "too-minor".

I would much rather see our current automated system improved. The one made of people and their spell-checker. :P If anything, I would like to see their contributions and reviews improved.

  • 1
    If those "too-minor" suggested edits do not fit with Suggested Edits(SE) , they could have their own "section". There would be a new review type called 'auto-corrected answers'. With this new revision type, the SE would not be cluttered with too-minors edits.
    – Stephan
    Oct 11, 2012 at 19:55
  • 1
    You can put them in another queue, give them a flashy name, whatever. They are still suggested edits in the end, and most likely more often than not too minor.
    – Bart
    Oct 11, 2012 at 21:13

On one hand, Bart is right. Errors like these usually appear on posts that contain other errors as well, so any attempt to automatically fix them is likely to miss at least some problems. Also, many reviewers these days just blindly approve all edits they come across, as has been discussed extensively elsewhere on Meta. Until that problem is fixed, these suggestions would just reinforce the undesirable "accept minor edits" behavior while failing to getting attention for the bad posts from good editors.

On the other hand, nothing says the system has to attempt to fix the misspellings. In fact, it would almost definitely be easier to implement this new review path without that feature. We could simply have a list of all posts that contain probable misspellings and give reviewers the option to either edit or ignore them. Reviewers who approve blindly would probably be too lazy to check on that queue — unless "ignore" counted as a review for badge purposes — and good editors would be able to find posts needing help without worrying about minor edits getting approved while they worked.

Now that I've written all that out, the proposal sounds a lot like the existing "low quality" review path. Perhaps this could be implemented as a tweak to the algorithm of that path. Heck, maybe it's already implemented and we just don't know it.

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