I cannot imagine a spelling correction that changes at least 6 characters. Spelling corrections are discouraged, whether explicitly or through this limit (I'm not sure whether they are explicitly discouraged anywhere). So they shouldn't be mentioned in the edit summary hint.

The one on Skeptics.SE currently reads:

briefly describe your changes (corrected spelling, fixed grammar, improved formatting)

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    'nuff said – balpha Feb 25 '11 at 13:24
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    @balpha yeah, like you don't already know that you should say "fixed spelling" there by the time you gain the superpower. This hint is for newbies, who NEVER have that privilege, and are only frustrated. – RomanSt Feb 25 '11 at 15:18
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    My point is that your claim is wrong that spelling corrections are discouraged, and that the 6 character limit doesn't exist for normal editing (only for edit suggestions, but since you have full edit rights on SO, I assume that's not what you meant). – balpha Feb 25 '11 at 15:52
  • @balpha: he has 101 rep points on Skeptics (the site he cites), so it's possible he just never read the summary suggestion before trying to edit there. But... yeah, I'm not sure why he's assuming spelling fixes would be abnormally brief. – Shog9 Feb 25 '11 at 15:56
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    @Shog9: It’s not an assumption, it’s experience. – Timwi Feb 26 '11 at 2:08
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    @Shog9 it's because most people don't spell "lfikeih thishfis" but more "liek this" that spelling fixes usually require less than 6 characters to be changed. – RomanSt Feb 26 '11 at 13:09
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    @romkyns: If you truly think this is a problem, let's see some examples. My assertion is that posts so close to perfection that only 5 characters or less can be changed in good conscience are exceedingly rare; if you dispute this, link to a few recent posts that demonstrate otherwise. – Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 18:59
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    @Shog9 if they are so exceedingly rare then why on earth would anyone forbid such extremely rare edits in the first place?!... – RomanSt Feb 26 '11 at 21:04
  • @romkyns: just... read my answer. I amended it yesterday to explain the rationale behind the limit. – Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 21:09
  • see the answer by @Shog9 for why I declined this. – waffles Feb 27 '11 at 23:29

I cannot imagine a spelling correction that changes at least 6 characters.

Sure you can. Close your eyes, relax, and picture this:

Leety McTxtspk is asking a question on SO. He misspells most words, because that's just the kinda guy he is. Just fixing the multiple spelling problems will easily bring you over 6 characters...

...But he also forgot to format his code. So you do that too, and now get to write both "fixed spelling" and "improved formatting" in the summary, with no reason to worry about the length limit (since you've now changed every single line of the question).

My point is simply this: the 6-char edit minimum isn't intended to discourage spelling corrections, it's intended to discourage incomprehensive edits!

Typo or misplaced apostrophe bothering you? Fine - fix it. But while you're in there, look around - chances are, there is a lot more you could - and should - be doing. Remember, every suggested edit must be reviewed by at least one other person: don't waste their time.

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    How does any of this help anyone trying to fix a single-character spelling mistake? You’re not addressing the question at all. – Timwi Feb 25 '11 at 19:52
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    @Timwi: where does the question say anything about single-character spelling mistakes? I consider those an edge-case anyway - you can almost always find something else that should be changed - just look at this question: if balpha hadn't been trying to prove a point, he could easily have made the same corrections I did and gotten past some 6-char edit requirement. – Shog9 Feb 25 '11 at 20:29
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    @Shog9: If you admit that you cannot always find something else to change (as evidenced by your use of almost), why are you supporting this ridiculous limitation that such edits should not be possible? – Timwi Feb 26 '11 at 2:07
  • @Timwi: because finding a post that is so close to perfect that I can find 5 or fewer characters to change is very unusual (as evidenced by my use of edge-case). OTOH, users who'll fix one typo and leave the rest a wreck are common. But you're mischaracterizing the limitation anyway - such edits are indeed possible, it's just not possible for low-rep users to suggest them using the new UI. Users with 2K+ can easily make such edits, and in a truly critical situation a low-rep user can ask a moderator to do so (as I have done in the past on sites where I didn't have editing rights). – Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 18:57
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    @Shog9: ① You haven’t edited much then, because I see this so-called “edge-case” all the time. ② How does that fact that users with unreasonable amounts of rep can do it help anyone who doesn’t have that much rep? – Timwi Feb 26 '11 at 20:53
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    @Timwi: 1) You can easily view every edit I've ever made if you really wish to make that case. 2) It helps them by allowing edits that they cannot make to be made by others. – Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 21:13
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    @Shog9: How helpful. – Timwi Feb 26 '11 at 21:21

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