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Could we have a "Have you reviewed and spell checked your question [OK][Review]" button before a post button appearing on new questions by new users?

I'm constantly editing posts, not to remove unclarities, but to fix misspelled words in the title. Missing spaces, non-capitalized i's, non-capitalized sentences, the list goes on. Way too many users need to be educated on how to post it seems.

Besides it annoying the hell out of me, it's not nice for a new person to be reminded of his/her shortcomings on the first post. On the other hand we really cannot afford this community to become YouTube-quality.

So can we have something automated at least for first time users? Even just a reminder text would be an upgrade to the current situation.

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    $\begingroup$ From my personal point of view, that would indeed be a nice addition as it would save me/us tons of time editing newly posted questions. Surely, a language gap can sometimes be the cause of spelling glitches etc., but it's indeed not uncommon to stumble upon Q&As that obviosly haven't even been read twice before hitting that post button. TL;DR: Everything that might leverage or safe-keep the quality of Q&As gets my upvote. $\endgroup$ – e-sushi Apr 5 '17 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ Related, but stronger feature request on MSE $\endgroup$ – SEJPM Apr 5 '17 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ If you ask me it isn't spelling that's important. Spelling means nothing in the scheme of things. Ideas count, not letters. It's comprehension which is sadly lacking throughout the entire SE estate. I get some really stupid comments (only yesterday) that are what I call toggle comments. Some one clearly hasn't understood the question (bothered to understand), latches onto a familiar phrase and then spouts on skewing the ensuing narrative away from anything constructive. We've all frustratingly experienced this. $\endgroup$ – Paul Uszak Apr 6 '17 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Spelling is important. We're scientifically minded. We want to let our site look professional. YouTube like questions and answers aren't going to help with that. I don't mind if there are issues with the wrong order in sentences and suchlike. But if the post clearly has been written with only speed in mind it makes the entire site look bad. $\endgroup$ – Maarten Bodewes Apr 7 '17 at 0:01
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As someone who is part of the problem I should try to respond. I think there are several types of users who have this problem. Most simply don't write English as well as you would like. Personally I probably make far more mistakes then might be expected considering my general English language skills (slightly less than native). I answer on my phone. I do not have spellcheck which I've grown addicted to. I know this so I read my answer over, but I don't see my mistakes. I see what I intended to write. An hour later If I reread my post I will see a bunch(but not all) of silly errors. I may edit my own post. I don't think such a button would help me. What I need is spellcheck when typing on my phone. Either from the site or from my phone.

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    $\begingroup$ I've got the same issue, I do edit too much after making a post. But there are people just not making the effort (like you clearly are doing now; I don't see anything wrong with this post anyway). You can see it happening if only 30 percent of the I's are uppercase, there is missing punctuation etc. $\endgroup$ – Maarten Bodewes May 7 '17 at 0:34
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The message you want to display in the method you have proposed will not do what you want.

A message without pointing out a problem is useless.

Simply saying "have you checked your spelling and grammar" without pointing out what specifically is wrong and where doesn't achieve much of anything. If you're not able to point out specific problems that need addressed, then the user isn't going to do anything about it. That would be similar to - actually, worse than - Microsoft Word just underlining the entire paragraph and stating "something isn't right here." Everyone is just going to click through it and ignore the message.

You're just annoying the users who don't have this problem.

Plenty of your user base does not have trouble with their English typing skills and don't have a lot, if any, spelling or grammar mistakes in their posts that this message is super useful to them. You're targeting a subset of your new users with a message that will annoy all of your new users.

Not all of our users are fluent in English.

It's a natural part of the world we live in. Lots of other languages exist out there with completely different grammar rules than English has, and not everyone is as proficient in English. What they typed into the box may very well look like correct English to them based on how they've learned their own language in the past, or based on the amount of English they've been taught so far. Their browser might not even tell them it's wrong if they have their browser language set to something other than English.

Asking them to review their grammar and spelling likely won't yield any results because they wouldn't even know what is wrong with their spelling or grammar until you told them. I get that no one really signed up here to teach English to people but if you want to interact with the rest of the world, sometimes you have to.


The best thing we could do to help you with this right now is modify the Ask Guidance that appears in the yellow info box at the right when asking a question. But even then, the advice needs to be better worded than just "Have you reviewed your spelling and grammar?" You may be interested in creating a meta FAQ that explains the standards of the site (proper grammar required, etc) and suggests online tools that these users could paste their post into for more detailed advice before posting. Then you could briefly mention quality standards and link to the post for more information and further help.

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I think rather than asking for a quick spell check before submitting, they should be encouraged to clarify their question. It might be better to provide a simple template, especially for those who are new and don't know latex.

Rather than, "did you spell check your question" I think something along the lines of, "Have you asked your question clearly? Did you include where the question came from?" would accomplish more.

Re-reading animuson's answer, I think providing the option of a template would go a long way...have field entries for:

  • title
  • State your question in 120 words
  • Do you have another question? You can add two more.
  • Do you need to add latex to your question?

If they answer "yes, I need to use latex", provide them with a quick run through on how to write what they need in latex.

I think that would push up content on the site, since new users would be learning latex and how to ask questions in a clear and concise manner.

This is just my two cents though.

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No.

One way to understand this is if you try to post this question again in Cantonese. It's a little challenge for you. And don't forget, if you get it wrong I'll chastise you for it (my Cantonese is perfect) and perhaps delete the post. Or are you suggesting we don't want foreigners here as they devalue the site? A kind of lexicological cleansing. Edgy stuff.

I'm not sure as to why we can't "afford" grammatical or typoggraphical errors. YouTube is valued in the order of $80B. crypto.SE will never be monetized, so a wider user base, diversity and tolerance might be a good alternative. Or did you mean more erudite? Keep out the riff raff eh? I think that you have to go with the Zeitgeist and accept that the general tone of social media sites is changing. People post here on their phones, watching TV and playing Halo simultaneously.

Also the spell checking isn't reliable is it, so how could that be accomplished 100% successfully? Mine in Chrome occasionally and arbitrarily just stops working. So unless I'm the most special person in the world(!) others will have this issue too. Rabbitty.

PS. "lexicological", "monetized" and "raff" all currently have a red squiggle beneath them. They are spelt correctly but feel free to change them.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the proposal is not about "run a spell-checker about your post, provided by SE" but more along the lines of "show a message to first-time posters that says 'did you not forget to check your spelling? it helps you have a much better time here'" $\endgroup$ – SEJPM Apr 6 '17 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ The comments about "lexicological cleansing" and "edgy stuff" seem uncalled for. I think Maarten is not suggesting anything particularly strange. His suggestion would probably result in improvements in readability of questions, and therefore give people a higher chance to get an answer. Of course it will not be 100%, but perfect is the enemy of good.. $\endgroup$ – CurveEnthusiast Apr 7 '17 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ I pride myself in an ability to understand the point behind a question, regardless of grammatical and/or spelling errors. That said, if I can't read through a question and understand what it is they're asking then I can't answer it. If it means the difference between someone getting an answer to their question, or having it closed than I vote for a quick note to first-time users to review their question to make sure it conveys what they intend it to. $\endgroup$ – nonce May 1 '17 at 4:15

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