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What are the most common spelling errors can be corrected across the site? How would one help edit spelling corrections?

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I ran a spell checker across the entire site. Here are the all the words it found that were misspelled at least 100 times:

Count Misspelling Suggestion Reason
4045 url URL Capitalization
2031 Wordpress WordPress Capitalization
1767 urls URLs Capitalization
1721 javascript JavaScript Capitalization
1661 https HTTPS Capitalization
1648 html HTML Capitalization
1294 htaccess .htaccess Punctuation
1282 wordpress WordPress Capitalization
1280 http HTTP Capitalization
1189 php PHP Capitalization
1149 apache Apache Capitalization
959 Adsense AdSense Capitalization
953 Javascript JavaScript Capitalization
872 css CSS Capitalization
843 URL's URLs Punctuation
759 seo SEO Capitalization
744 adsense AdSense Capitalization
698 ok OK Capitalization
695 CloudFlare Cloudflare Capitalization
677 ip IP Capitalization
605 facebook Facebook Capitalization
531 nginx Nginx Capitalization
521 Adwords AdWords Capitalization
441 dns DNS Capitalization
414 js JS Capitalization
395 dont don't Apostrophe
391 h1 H1 Capitalization
386 Godaddy GoDaddy Capitalization
367 cpanel cPanel Capitalization
339 googlebot Googlebot Capitalization
336 pagerank PageRank Capitalization
326 URLS URLs Capitalization
318 godaddy GoDaddy Capitalization
307 ajax AJAX Capitalization
292 i'm I'm Capitalization
291 StackOverflow Stack Overflow Spacing
267 Paypal PayPal Capitalization
265 english English Capitalization
255 xml XML Capitalization
251 linux Linux Capitalization
235 Youtube YouTube Capitalization
230 cloudflare Cloudflare Capitalization
225 youtube YouTube Capitalization
224 ssl SSL Capitalization
216 StackExchange Stack Exchange Spacing
216 mysql MySQL Capitalization
210 adwords AdWords Capitalization
206 IP's IPs Punctuation
205 Github GitHub Capitalization
203 404's 404s Punctuation
189 api API Capitalization
187 GoogleBot Googlebot Capitalization
180 bing Bing Capitalization
178 CPanel cPanel Capitalization
176 Ok OK Capitalization
164 doesnt doesn't Apostrophe
163 thats that's Apostrophe
160 github GitHub Capitalization
158 SERPS SERPs Capitalization
158 jquery jQuery Capitalization
150 Pagerank PageRank Capitalization
149 seperate separate Spelling
140 Cloudfront CloudFront Capitalization
138 phpmyadmin phpMyAdmin Capitalization
138 paypal PayPal Capitalization
138 Hostgator HostGator Capitalization
136 pdf PDF Capitalization
136 de Unknown
135 Cpanel cPanel Capitalization
130 301's 301s Punctuation
129 h2 H2 Capitalization
127 joomla Joomla Capitalization
125 cms CMS Capitalization
124 url's URLs Punctuation
124 stackoverflow Stack Overflow Spacing
124 firefox Firefox Capitalization
122 Dreamhost DreamHost Capitalization
118 apache2 Apache2 Capitalization
117 drupal Drupal Capitalization
116 wikipedia Wikipedia Capitalization
115 i've I've Capitalization
113 png PNG Capitalization
107 se Unknown
106 html5 HTML5 Capitalization
104 Mediawiki MediaWiki Capitalization
104 Im I'm Apostrophe
104 blogspot Blogspot Capitalization
100 vps VPS Capitalization
100 stackexchange Stack Exchange Spacing

Methodology

  1. Download the entire Stack Exchange data dump which takes several hours using its torrent, even with a fast internet connection.

  2. Run the spell checker against the entire archive. The way it works is:

    1. Parses rows out of the data dump that contain Title= and Body= XML elements.
    2. Parses the Markdown in the body and discards code blocks, HTML tags, URLs, and links.
    3. Breaks the title and the remaining text from the body into words.
    4. Compares the words to the aspell dictionary and discards any that are spelled correctly.
    5. Compares the words to a dictionary of technical terms, tech product names, and jargon that is used on the Stack Exchange network and discards any such words.
    6. Pipes the remaining misspellings to be counted.
    7. Adds spelling suggestions from a spelling corrections list
    8. Formats the output in a Markdown table

    The command for running it produce the table output above is: 7zcat /stackexchange/webmasters.stackexchange.com.7z | grep Body= | node editor.user.js stack-exchange-words | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr | head -n 500 | node editor.user.js print-correction | grep -E '^[0-9]{3}' | sed -E 's/^([^\|]*\| )([^\|]*)( .*(Spelling|Apostrophe|Spacing|Unknown))$/\1[\2](https:\/\/webmasters.stackexchange.com\/search?tab=votes\&q=%22\2%22)\3/g;s/(.*)/| \1 |/g'

Editing to correct spelling

Any user to our site can edit submit edits to any post. Spelling corrections are welcome. Users with enough reputation can make edits without any review, however edits from low reputation users need to be approved.

I have written a user script that can correct many of these spelling errors (and correct other types of errors as well) with the touch of a button: Auto-Editor: a user script for automatically correcting common errors

As with all clean-up projects, don't just fix this one issue. More than likely there are other issues with the post that should be addressed. Edits should be rejected in the edit queue unless they attempt to fix all the major problems in a given post. That may include:

  • Non-descriptive titles
  • Capitalization
  • Formatting
    • Paragraph breaks
    • Lists
    • Code blocks
  • Other misspellings
  • Grammar
  • Tags (either inappropriate or missing)
  • Remove "hi", "thanks", "please help", "here is my question", and signatures

Be aware of front-page flooding. Only fix a few posts at a time. It usually takes a while to edit each post properly, so you won't want to do to many of them at once anyway.

It is also common that posts that have spelling errors should be closed. If the post is:

  • unclear
  • duplicate
  • a site review or other problem that no other webmaster will encounter
  • asks for third party tools (or other off-site resources)

flag the post to be closed.

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  • Dang, I've always written "StackOverflow" and "StackExchange" as one word!? (The one word spelling would seem to be the most common spelling on Webmasters and StackOverflow.)
    – MrWhite
    Jul 20 at 10:33
  • Awesome effort btw! :)
    – MrWhite
    Jul 20 at 10:33
  • You don't seem to be able to search for Capitalization issues using the standard search box?
    – MrWhite
    Jul 20 at 11:09
  • Unfortunately site search is always case insensitive so I didn't link any of the capitalization errors to site search Jul 20 at 17:28
  • You have too much time on your hands @StephenOstermiller :o) Great work.
    – Steve
    Jul 26 at 22:26

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