I have just reviewed about 8 suggested edits. Out of those, 5 were edits where nothing was changed besides one word "debuging" in the title was changed to "debugging".

I think there are probably other common programming words that people constantly typo. If it's in the post it's minor, but maybe an auto-correct for the title?

A very small suggestion, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.


I'm sorry, but I don't agree with the closing decision or the downvotes. First of all, this post isn't a duplicate of the linked for two reasons:

  1. The problem I'm pointing to isn't with bad grammar. I'm talking about having a list of specific programming words that are constantly being typo'd
  2. I'm only referencing mistakes in titles, and not in posts.

To quote @AlienArrays comment:

I just searched this stackoverflow.com/search?q=boostrap, got over 1100 results! Maybe we should hold a rally or something and go through one word a day!

I find it hard to believe that autocorrecting those manually is anything but a waste of time. With all the due respect to community fixing, I'm talking about specific typos that happen again and again and again. There's no point in not auto-fixing them.

Now with questions it makes sense to me to leave editing to other users, because if it's a well written post, changing an i to an I is minor, and most users will avoid editing and it doesn't really matter all that much. If a post is written badly, either it will be ignored because it doesn't deserve the attention or the typos will be fixed along with other more important edits. My point is, they get treated in the context of the rest of the question, which varies.

But titles? Anyone can make a stupid typo like writing debuging instead of debugging, regardless of the quality of the post. I find it surprising that suggesting to automatically fix that (which will probably save a ton of time, and make for better search results) receives such negative responses.

Another update

I'd like to quote the answer of the @ire_and_curses from the linked "duplicate" which I think says everything (emphasis mine):

I think some automated cleanup would be beneficial [...] Despite what users on meta claim, manual community cleanup is not sufficient to keep up with the incorrect grammar and typos. Take a look through any random selection of questions on Stack Overflow. You'll find them full of errors, even ones with lots of votes and answers.

In a related way, I also think a lot of tag cleanup tasks could be automated [...] One thing that does surprise me is how ambivalent/negative the reaction seems to be to this sort of proposal. On a website dominated by people whose job it is to automate things, I find the answer 'we have people to do that manually' difficult to understand.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Even if you still think my post is a duplicate, it doesn't seem like the previous post received a canonical answer that closed the subject for good. I think it's important this issue deserves some more attention and debate, and as you can see from the quote, I'm not the only one to think so.

Suggested solution

@Shog9 mentioned in comments that there are no alternatives. I'd like to respond to that with my suggested solution: have a dictionary for common cases. I can think of two good ways to populate it:

  1. Recognize common edits (if word 'a' as changed to 'b' more than 20 times, the next time it will be replaced automatically).
  2. Let users higher than 2K populate and change the list as they please.

Obviously, this sort of thing needs to be done with caution, but I think it's solvable (either with my suggestion, or using a different auto-correcting tools).

Even still, we can solve this without actually autocorrecting automatically - here's another suggestion: Have a small warning pop up to users when the autocorrecting tool recognizes a possible mistake in the title. You still leave it to the users to fix, but you are doing something to maybe prevent too much mistakes and tons of repeated edits. How's that?

  • I'm just happy that folks are fixing these.
    – Shog9
    Feb 2, 2014 at 17:52
  • 2
    @AlienArrays too minor != small. Small edits are permissible if they fix everything wrong with the post. Obviously for suggested edits, they need to e more than 6 characters and 99% of the time, you can find enough wrong to fix 6 characters. Feb 2, 2014 at 18:09
  • @psubsee2003 in this particular case though, I did end up leaving a comment for the editor. Plenty of those should have been rejected as "too minor" but weren't. The editor responded positively though, so all is well. ;)
    – Bart
    Feb 2, 2014 at 18:11
  • @Bart fair enough, I didn't look for the specific edits in question Feb 2, 2014 at 18:12
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    @AlienArrays I, personally, don't have a problem with it unless the post is crap and should be deleted. I'd skip the post unless it has upvoted answers or has upvotes or is closed as a duplicate, as those types of closed questions usually have a lot of value and should be cleaned up. If the post is delete-worthy, then just skip it and let it get deleted. Feb 2, 2014 at 18:18
  • 1
    @AlienArrays it won't go to the review queue if you edit it since you have >2K on SO. But it will get bumped to the front page, so you want to rate limit yourself so you don't bump every misspelled bootstrap question. Feb 2, 2014 at 18:20
  • 1
    @AlienArrays and if you were talking about the edit sending it to the reopen queue, that only happens when the post is on hold. Once it moves to closed status, edits do not automatically put it into the reopen queue. But I wouldn't worry about the reopen queue too much anyway. That queue moves pretty quick. Feb 2, 2014 at 18:26
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    Titles and tags are extremely important for helping folks find existing questions, @AlienArrays - yes, there are edits I would consider "too minor" in both of these categories, but my threshold is very low; anything that'll let a title show up in relevant search results when it otherwise wouldn't is probably worthwhile.
    – Shog9
    Feb 2, 2014 at 18:48
  • @Shog9 I'm with you a 100%. Titles are important, and having the right term helps others find better results. which is exactly why some terms need to be auto-fixed. There's no point in manually fixing them, it's just a pointless waste of time. Don't you agree?
    – yuvi
    Feb 2, 2014 at 18:52
  • @yuvi Why would they spend developer resources on a thing like that though? When we have plenty users who are willing to fix stuff like that, and most browsers (if not all) have a built-in spell check already. And where there's one typo, there are often more. It never hurts to have a look at those posts.
    – Bart
    Feb 2, 2014 at 18:56
  • @Bart because the point is to help people. And as mentioned, a better title means better search results (from google too), which might also mean less duplicates (which means less resources if you're going with that logic). To quote one of the answers from the "duplicate": On a website dominated by people whose job it is to automate things, I find the answer 'we have people to do that manually' difficult to understand.
    – yuvi
    Feb 2, 2014 at 19:01
  • 1
    Saying "it's a waste of time" when there's no alternative isn't really helpful, @yuvi. Automatic correction is only a good idea when the cost of incorrect edits is very, very small: note that we do have some logic in place for doing automatic corrections to punctuation, and even there the results have been... Mixed. Maybe propose a concrete strategy & test it against the data dumps?
    – Shog9
    Feb 2, 2014 at 19:07
  • @Shog9 There are plenty alternatives. I agree that this needs to be approached delicately and with a lot of thought into it. I think the best way would be to define switharoos, a list of common mistakes and what to change them to. populating this list can be done with two very reasonable methods: 1. recognize common edits (if word 'a' as changed to 'b' more than 20 times, the next time it will be relpaced automatically) 2. let users higher than 2K populate and change the list as they please
    – yuvi
    Feb 2, 2014 at 19:18
  • That quote of yours @yuvi seems to be based on the idea that such automation is simple/trivial enough to work just fine and without significant error. That is not my experience with any auto-correction I've encountered. Debuging vs. Debugging is perhaps easily solved, but you're not writing a tool for just that case. Nor do you want to manually build some dictionary for common cases, especially considering the amount of sites in the network and their particular needs. I love automation, but I feel that in this case manual edits are acceptable and perhaps even preferable.
    – Bart
    Feb 2, 2014 at 19:18
  • @Bart Nope. It's obviously not easy or trivial, but I think it to be important. Also, a dictionary for common cases is exactly what I had in mind. It makes the most sense, and it's the core of the problem I was talking about
    – yuvi
    Feb 2, 2014 at 19:20


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