This is a constant peeve of mine, to see posts where the asker seems to be working with a keyboard without the Shift key. I would like to propose that at the very least, the letter i alone outside of a code block be capitalized.

Is there any case where that replacement would change the meaning of the question? Possibly change it as well if it's i'd. im etc (im is more iffy.. it could refer to instant-messaging).

I realize that there are many other auto-corrections that can be made, but the singular i on its own is pretty much 50% of edits on these types of posts-without-caps. It just looks bad, IMHO (non-punctuated, non-capitalized posts), the equivalent of electronic chicken scrawl. Someone is bound to come along and fix it, but 50% of their work will just be changing i's to I's.

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    Sometimes people will refer to i as a counter variable outside their code block. An auto-correct would change the meaning. Feb 10, 2011 at 18:54
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    i) That might have annoyed the Romans. ii) And whoever still likes Roman numerals. iii) But: I'd love autocorrection of StackOverflow and the like! ;-)
    – Arjan
    Feb 10, 2011 at 19:17
  • @arjan So is I) bad? Feb 10, 2011 at 19:19
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    @cyberwiki - But then it would be i inside the code block and "I" outside the code block where they're explaining the code. It's a small percentage usages, but I do think it's a valid point. Feb 10, 2011 at 19:19
  • iv) Note that full lowercase posts get a low score in the heuristics for detecting a bad answer. (Well, @cyber, "Iv)" would look odd!)
    – Arjan
    Feb 10, 2011 at 19:24
  • See my answer - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3932/…
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 10, 2011 at 19:35
  • @ChrisF I think this is stronger than a spell checker (and underline), my request is to auto-correct it. But I am getting the feeling it is a bad idea Feb 10, 2011 at 20:00
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    Uh...anything that says "just this one time" scares me a little, just like "oh, we just need a quick temporary fix for this, you'll certainly get more time to fix it properly, later, scout's honor". These two almost never hold. Feb 10, 2011 at 20:01
  • The hordes have convinced me. Feb 15, 2011 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


To me, this line sums it up:

(im is more iffy.. it could refer to instant-messaging).

There are too many in-betweens and once a simple change is in place, naturally be prompts will come for 'just this one' and 'yeah, just this one more' and one must ask, where will it end? And will any of the dangers hit the community before it is realised it was a bad idea? And how hard will it be to abandon if not? Or otherwise?

And inevitably, success cannot be guaranteed - hence these questions cannot be ruled out and answered prior to experimentation, and the webs have already proven through that medium for us, concluding the idea, in general, is a bad one.

I am no proponent of bad writing, however; I'm as disgusted as the next guy, the above is just me trying to think logically about it.

  • hence i posed the question, is there any case where i on itsown or i'd can be seen as anything otherthan the rolay i? (bad cap, spelling, puncuation all intentional) Feb 10, 2011 at 19:07
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    @cyberkiwi What if the question asker is talking about a variable named i?
    – Donut
    Feb 10, 2011 at 19:17
  • how does sarcasm come into this? Feb 10, 2011 at 19:20
  • @Donut - it just becomes the uppercase variable I.. Feb 10, 2011 at 19:22
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    @cyberkiwi: for (var I=1; l<5; l++) - it's not working, what did you do to it?! (hint: uppercase "i" and lowercase "L" are hard to tell apart in many fonts, including those used here) Feb 10, 2011 at 20:03

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