I'm really chagrined to read the comments on this question about google's spell checker.

The question said, 'anyone have a pointer to the code or the algorithm.' Chances are that, indeed, this algorithm is in fact the subject of a paper.

The commenters (and perhaps close voters) have jumped on this poor soul because his subcontinental English led them to misread him as just another 'send me the code' idiot, when, in fact, his question is nothing of the kind.

Well, yes, and his title was pretty lame, but the comments were still way too mean for my taste, given the content of the question indicating that the title was not a fair indication of his mental state.

Lately, I seem to be seeing a lot of 'jerk' comments. Look, if you don't like it, spend the rep and vote it down. Don't insult the OP's intelligence.

  • With the context of the asker's other activity, I suspect he or she is a troll. Doesn't justify arguably-abusive responses, but keep that possibility in mind. – Michael Petrotta Sep 23 '10 at 1:09
  • @Mic I haven't researched that. – Rosinante Sep 23 '10 at 1:10
  • This question was worse (in terms of harrassing the OP): stackoverflow.com/questions/3643906/… – NullUserException อ_อ Sep 23 '10 at 1:17
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    When you look at the comments and answers, consider the [ original version of the "question" ](stackoverflow.com/revisions/…). – Peter Ajtai Sep 23 '10 at 4:04
  • There's a fair few folks in involved with the opening and closing of that question and the posting of smart ass comments that could have edited the question into shape. Also I don't see why @NullUserException rolled back the title of the question other than for mischief. – Kev Sep 23 '10 at 8:02
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    @Michael - the OP has asked all of two questions, both related to natural language parsing (ok I don't understand the context of the SMS one, but someone has asked). So I hardly see that as trolling. – Kev Sep 23 '10 at 8:31
  • @Kev: I have only a feeling, nothing solid other than years of witnessing Internet trolling. Here's one comment that tickled my filter: @pekka...ya next week will be all right...thanks in advance.. – vidhi Sep 5 at 19:45. This after a day of sarcastic responses. This seemed too on the nose for me. – Michael Petrotta Sep 23 '10 at 17:04

I'm not quite getting how you're tying the overflow of comments the OP is receiving with his "slightly-weak English". I see either a very naive asker, or a possible troll (some of his earlier comments are a little suspect). A lot of the comments were over the top, I agree, but I don't see, in this case, how language has anything to do with it. Can you point to a specific comment that raises that flag to you?

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    The one teeing off on 'how is babby formed' is what suggests to me that this is, in part, linguistic prejudice. That remark, which turns up like clockwork in snarly comments, is the hallmark of 'Oh, you are from India or Pakistan and I'm going to insult your command of English.' At least as I see it. – Rosinante Sep 23 '10 at 1:21
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    @Rosinante: I wouldn't have interpreted that comment the same way you did - I'd always assumed that particular meme started with a pre-teen with poor sex-ed and poorer typing. – Michael Petrotta Sep 23 '10 at 1:25
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    @Rosinante: Let's be careful not to assume that abusive behavior is always racially- or linguistically-based. Doesn't buy you much, but things get ugly when you drag race or culture into the mix unnecessarily. – Michael Petrotta Sep 23 '10 at 1:28
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    "how is babby formed" was the catch line of a particularly persistent troll from very early on. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Sep 23 '10 at 1:44
  • @dmckee: really? Well, that's one urban myth down the drain. Next you're going to tell me they're not actually singing those songs live at the Grammys. – Michael Petrotta Sep 23 '10 at 1:49

I think the only reason for those comments and the highest answer is the original title. Most people probably didn't even bother to read the question, which is totally understandable: "where can i get source code of google?" is just impossible not to make fun of.

The question should be reopened now that the title has been fixed. The asker may as well be a troll, but the question is genuine and there are some pretty good answers.


First up, I whole-heartedly agree that mistreatment and snide comments based on race (or insert other touchy subject/group here) shouldn't be tolerated.

However, once you get past the weak English, IMHO it's hard to tell if there is a valid question that meets SO standards.

The question is so poorly formed that we can only guess what they were really trying to ask.

Was it an entirely valid request for help on how to implement a spell check/did you mean feature?

Or was it an entirely bogus request from someone so disconnected with reality that they thought you could just grab a chunk of google code and magically have google quality functionality in your app? (yes, there's probably an API, but you get what I'm trying to say)

And this uncertainty is exactly why this question should be closed. Sure we could edit this into a meaningful question, but we'd only be guessing.

Also, why bother when there is already tons of similar (if not dupe) yet well written questions in the system.

  • Nicely put as to why the question is so poor. – Peter Ajtai Sep 23 '10 at 4:03
  • Yes the question is poor but that's a result of the poster not having english as a first language. It doesn't take much of an IQ to understand what the OP is after. There were plenty of muppets^H^H^H^H^H^H^H users making smart-ass comments who have the requisite rep to edit the question into shape. After all isn't this what SO is all about? Some people need to go back and re-read the FAQ "Be Nice", "We're all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know." – Kev Sep 23 '10 at 8:20
  • I didn't say, 'don't downvote' or even 'don't close'. I said, 'don't harass'. – Rosinante Sep 23 '10 at 17:19
  • @Rosinante - Fair call. – Dhaust Sep 26 '10 at 23:41

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