Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Open editing process

By hardburn in Meta
Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 10:46:10 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

I suck at spelling. I've noticed that whenever I post a story, half of the Kuro5hin populance jumps all over my lack of good spelling. In one recent example, while the story was still posted, a few extra votes probably would have moved it to the front page. The editorial comments show some voted it to section, but not front page, just because of the spelling and grammer.

Now you could say that I should use a spell checker; the odd thing was that, for the story I mentioned above, I did use a checker (Microsoft Word, the only thing available in the school's library where I wrote the story). Word came back saying there were no errors in the document. I scratched my head at this, saying to myself that I can't write a single paragraph without having some huge spelling mistake, much less an entire article. However, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I posted it.

Putting aside Word's shortcomings, it can be safly said that no spell checker is perfect. Further, current grammer checkers are almost useless. Thus I propose that Kuro5hin implement an open editing process for stories in the submission quene.

This would work by giving people posting editorial comments to a story in the quene the option to edit the story being replied to. A good ol' diff would then be generated between the current version of the story and the edited version. This diff is posted at the end of the editorial comment. The story's author can then go through the various diffs and apply them to the current story as (s)he see's fit, up until the story is posted. Additionally, authors should be allowed to modify the diffs if they so choose (such as in the case where a diff changes what they intended to say).

If this goes into effect, voters should vote only on the actual content of the story, not the spelling or grammer. The Grammer Nazis still get their way and can post their spelling/grammer concerns in editorial comments. Further, people should be allowed to change their votes at any time. That way, if a Grammer Nazi posts a diff, but the author refuses to apply it, their vote can be set down to -1, perhaps posting another editorial as to why they did so.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


I am a Grammer Nazi
o Yes 54%
o No 45%

Votes: 81
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o recent example
o Also by hardburn

Display: Sort:
Open editing process | 95 comments (82 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Alternatively (4.33 / 18) (#1)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 10:47:55 AM EST

You could just learn to spell. Or proofread.

Play 囲碁
Vladinator's sig (4.00 / 5) (#7)
by hardburn on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:09:17 AM EST

"I have no respect for a man who can only spell a word one way." -- Mark Twain

But seriously, I think English needs some serious spelling reform. Current rules just make it bulky and annoying. In Spanish, there are something like 12 rules for grammer, and no exceptions, whereas English has a hundred or so, and plenty of exceptions. Yeah, so English is the combination of a dozen diffrent languages. That was hundreds of years ago, and we should really move past it.

There is one case where it could be argued that the word "ghoti" could actualy be pronounced "fish", due to huge inconsitancies in how words are pronounced/spelled in English.

I rather liked the days of Middle English, where any phonetic spelling was a correct spelling. Their are more important things, such as WHAT THE AUTHOR IS ACTUALY SAYING, then getting picky over the fact that the author used an incorrect form of "their".

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling (4.77 / 9) (#12)
by GreenHell on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:45:09 AM EST

I think this may be what you're looking for ;)

A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
by Mark Twain

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

GrinHel - Ciftles wen idl.

[ Parent ]
Ar iu yur? (4.40 / 5) (#15)
by Whyaduck on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:07:22 PM EST

"Ciftles wen idl." Du iu min "Yiftles wen idl" or wuz ai misriding iur post?

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that folks adore so,
and a torso even more so.

[ Parent ]
iur rait (4.33 / 3) (#40)
by GreenHell on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 02:41:12 PM EST

"Ciftles wen idl" yud bi "Yiftles wen idl"

Ai stel kant spel

GrinHel - Yiftles wen idl.

[ Parent ]
Spelling Reform and Phonetic Alphabets (4.80 / 5) (#35)
by molybdenum on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:37:26 PM EST

A spelling reform would make things much more difficult. First, you'd have to learn new spellings. They might make more "sense", but then, if you made a mistake in the new spelling, you would still have the people pointing out the mistakes. So, either way, spelling will still matter.

There is one case where it could be argued that the word "ghoti" could actualy be pronounced "fish", due to huge inconsitancies in how words are pronounced/spelled in English.

Yeah, that was always one of my favorites. But I doubt that Shaw (it was Shaw, right?) took into account that when we read, we identify the "shape" of the word, not the individual letters, ie, we don't read letter by letter.

As for a phonetic alphabet, whose dialect are you going to use? People in the southern US don't pronounce words the same as someone from Liverpool. If either group were to use a phonetic alphabet, they would most likely transcribe the sounds of their dialect. Therefore, you'd actually have to learn quite a number more spellings for one word, which seems to be what you want to avoid.


[ Parent ]
And that's the problem with reading programs ... (4.66 / 3) (#39)
by Rizzen on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 02:19:44 PM EST

Children should *not* learn to read by memorising the shape of words. My sister's class was taught using the *new* reading system where you have to memorise the shapes of words and associate those shapes with their meaning and sounds. *Very* few kids in her class (now grade 7) can read well. In fact, literacy in the entire town is *way* below where it was ... and the drop can be traced back to the changeover from phonetics to whatever the new system is called.

This is also why the "alternative" programs that teach phonetics is posting such huge gains and successes in literacy. Once a child is shown the phonetic base of their language, they can go off and read on their own. They can make the associations between phonetics, shape, and meaning. Without the phonetics, all they get is momorised shapes with disjointed meanings, and no way to figure out new words.

Once we have become proficient at reading phonetically, our minds creates associations between word shapes and their meanings to speed things along. However, how does one figure out the meaning of a new word, or how to pronounce it, if they have never learnt the phonetics behind their language???
----- The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly those between the ages of 4 and 18. At age four, we know all the questions; at eighteen, we have all the answers. -- unknown
[ Parent ]
Reading in general (3.50 / 2) (#47)
by molybdenum on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 04:05:35 PM EST

Children should *not* learn to read by memorising the shape of words.

I'm not aware of the "new" reading system to which you refer. How does it work? My reference to reading by shape was more in a typographical sense: we associate the certain squiggles and lines in a certain order with certain sounds. How does learning phonetically change this? Again, I'm not familiar with phonetic learning, but you still have to learn arbitrary parings of sounds and squiggles. Does it deal more with breaking words down into morphemes and deriving meaning therefrom?


[ Parent ]
It's new here in BC, Canada (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by Rizzen on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 06:07:41 PM EST

When I went graduated from elemetary school (grade 7 here in BC) only a mere 12 years ago, students were taught to read phonetically. ie. these letters sound like this, those letters sound like that, these combinations make this sound, and those combinations make that sound. Along the same lines as found in dictionaries on how to pronouce words.

From there, we were taught what words are and how to derive meaning from them based on their context in a sentence and/or paragraph. If we were still unsure, we were directed to a shelf full of dictionaries. :)

My sister is graduating from elementary school this year. Her class was taught using word shapes (or whatever the new system is called). It works like this: you are shown a word, told how it sounds, and given its meaning. Then you are shown another word and so on. You are not shown/explained *why* it sounds like that, nor how to break it down to its composite sounds, nor how to sound out a new word. If you haven't been shown the shape of a word and its associated meaning, then you are screwed. The literacy rate in her class is about average but the retention rate and understanding level is *way* below average.

My sister was given a tutor for a few years due to other learning problems (ADHD) and she was taught to read phonetically as part of her tutoring. Her reading and retention abilities have skyrocketed. She's near the top of her class when it comes to reading and understanding what she's read -- and she finds reading fun. Very few of her classmates can be described the same way.

There is currently discussions going on to bring back the old phonetics program -- gee, I wonder why? :/
----- The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly those between the ages of 4 and 18. At age four, we know all the questions; at eighteen, we have all the answers. -- unknown
[ Parent ]
Phonetics (4.00 / 2) (#54)
by sigwinch on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 06:24:06 PM EST

However, how does one figure out the meaning of a new word, or how to pronounce it, if they have never learnt the phonetics behind their language???
I think molybdenum was referring to the retraining of adults that would be necessary for switching to regularized phonetic spelling. Experienced readers definitely read by recognizing whole words, and not by phonetics. Switching over to a new system would make their word recognizers obsolete and they'd have to learn to read from scratch. There's also the issue of translating all the existing stuff. The annoyance and economic costs would be immense.

I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

It's not how they do it now, but how they learnt (5.00 / 2) (#76)
by Rizzen on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 06:12:50 PM EST

It might be difficult for some adults to learn a new language system, just as it is hard to learn a new system of any type. However, it's not the adults that would have the most difficulty, as most were taught to read phonetically and can sound out new words and derive their meaning based on their context and sound. It's children brought up on the "word shapes" (for lack of a better name) system that will have the most problems.

Moving toa phonetically based system will royally screw these children as they were never taught the phonetics behind their language. They were shown words and told their meaning. Trying to read along with one of these children can sometimes be quite painful as they often mistake words based on their overall shape (can be totally different spellings and completely different words). They don't even notice and just keep right on reading, then wonder why the sentence doesn't make any sense.

Those are the ones who would be messed up by an effort to clean up the English language (which is a language based on exceptions and not hard and fast rules). Most adults were taught phonectically and would have no trouble at all with the changeover.
----- The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly those between the ages of 4 and 18. At age four, we know all the questions; at eighteen, we have all the answers. -- unknown
[ Parent ]
Lots of problems (4.80 / 10) (#2)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 10:50:21 AM EST

For example: What if I vote YES, and then go home for the weekend, and the author and his multiple accounts apply lots of content changing diffs at the last minute?

What we nead is authors to have the ability to retract a story so that they can make editorial changes, even if its on the way to beeing posted.
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

Interesting idea (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by miller on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:15:36 PM EST

The idea of applied diff patches being presented here is interesting though; say you could vote on a story provided a patch gets made. If the author deletes it your vote turns into a -1 automatically.

I think there are solutions to all the problems, although on balance I think the proposed system is too complex (even as it stands).

I personally favour a separate editorial queue which voters could vote a story back to if it needs changing, and where an autor has free reign over changing it. However, since I'm not planning to actually implement it myself I can't complain and I'd agree that just the ability for the author to pull a story to oblivion is the best immediate solution.

It's too bad I don't take drugs, I think it would be even better. -- Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

Fixable (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by pwhysall on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:11:50 AM EST

We fixed this over at z.iwethey.org by allowing users to edit their posts, but the whole edit history is available if you want to see what changed.

K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

Sorry (3.42 / 7) (#4)
by epcraig on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:04:53 AM EST

I'm sorry your school confines you to Microsoft's spelling checker, but while that might be the reason for your errors, Microsoft's incompetence is not your excuse.
There is no EugeneFreeNet.org, there is an efn.org
How's this for an editing plan... (4.00 / 14) (#5)
by RareHeintz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:07:24 AM EST

Here's an alternative plan: First, you go spend $5 on a dictionary - a real, paper one. Second, you start proofreading the stories you submit, instead of relying on a brain-dead piece of software to do it for you. Third, you quit trying to get other people to put in the effort you should be putting in to correct your shortcomings.

As a bonus step, quit whining about your stories not getting to the front page because those evil "Grammer (sic) Nazis" don't like your spelling and grammar; no professional news outlet would let a story on the front page that exhibited the piss-poor command of language that this article showed, and there's no reason K5 should either. People try to read this stuff, you know.

http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily

No, but . . . (2.75 / 4) (#9)
by hardburn on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:15:33 AM EST

no professional news outlet would let a story on the front page that exhibited the piss-poor command of language that this article showed, and there's no reason K5 should either

No, but they would pass every story through a copy editor first, realizing that no journalist and no spell check is perfect. Sometimes several copy editors. Despite being Grammer Nazis, I have a lot of respect for copy editors (I used to work at a small newspaper), as they have to spend their day reading the same dumb stories over and over again looking for the smallest spelling and grammer errors.

Oh, and I'm a champian of "any phonetic spelling is a correct spelling".

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Yup (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by dennis on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:28:16 AM EST

I used to be the graphic artist at a small publication. Every story went through the editor, then the copy editor, then I did the layout and caught some errors myself, then it went back to the copy editor, then when the proofs came back from the printer we all went over it again and caught a few more mistakes, and submitted final pages back to the printer. No one person ever caught all the errors.

[ Parent ]
Indeed... (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by RareHeintz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:02:15 PM EST

No one person ever caught all the errors.

Of course not. Nor would I expect anyone to. However, one often sees content on K5 that doesn't appear to have had even one competent attempt at proofreading, and that's my specific gripe.

http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

I just remembered (none / 0) (#91)
by hardburn on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:11:59 AM EST

Just the other day, I remembered my days back at the newspaper. You see, we were small enough that I sat in the same work area as the copy editors. Our newspaper was small enough that one particular freelance writer (whom I will call "Jane"--not her real name) was responsible for a good chunk of our stories (not all of them, not even most of them, but a good chunk). One day a letter came in from a reader saying Jane's articles were great and blah blah blah. As soon as the copy editors read that letter, their lips started curling up, and steam began to rise from them. Then they exploaded: "YOU COULDN'T EVEN READ HER STORIES IF IT WASN'T FOR US!!!" Apparently the copy editors use an entire pen's worth of red ink correcting Jane's stories. So really, some profesional journalists do get things published that show a horrid lack of grammer in it's orginal form.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Corrections (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by nstenz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:06:17 PM EST

It's grammAr and champiOn.

Just for future reference... I'm sure people have complained about your grammAr often enough for you to notice the A in it... Can you at least give us that much?

[ Parent ]

By the way... (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by nstenz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:21:57 PM EST

I voted 'no' in the poll because you couldn't spell the damn word correctly. If you meant grammAr Nazi, then yes- I am somewhat.

[ Parent ]
Ahhh, the edit queue. (4.00 / 7) (#8)
by Carnage4Life on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:10:01 AM EST

The concept of an "edit queue" floats around K5 every other month or so and rusty has mentioned that one is in the works for some time. From what I remember there are many subtle problems involved with an edit queueu, some of which have already been mentioned such as people voting on a story only to have an editted one post. I suggest looking at the previous discussions on how the queue can be fixed.

Click Here For Comments Containing "Edit Queue" on K5 over the last few months

Three simple tips to improve your grammar (4.40 / 10) (#13)
by jobi on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:01:35 PM EST

1. Think twice about what you want to say. It's not like you're going to get a slashdotian "first post".
2. Proofread. Then do it again.
3. Use a dictionary and a thesaurus (the dead-tree kind are best, IMO).

And for the love of god, it's grammar, not grammer!
Don't you people want to learn?

"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."
One further piece of advice. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by pwhysall on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:24:43 AM EST

Don't use the thesaurus.

You probably had the right word (for *your* writing) to start with.

You'll only come off as a clever-arse student type if you use a thesaurus.

Oh, wait... this *is* K5 ;o)
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

don't blame word (4.50 / 8) (#18)
by theantix on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:20:57 PM EST

If you don't like Word, that's your business, I can accept that. But you blame word for errors that are clearly your fault. Word could not have made the mistakes in your article, or failed to suggest that they are errors. I took a screenshot of the article that I dumped into word and it caught a _PILE_ of your spelling and grammatical errors. I strongly doubt that all of the errors were missed by word. If you did try to run the spell-checker, you did not do so correctly. And don't tell me that...
  • You were using an older version of word
  • People added the misspelled words to the school dictionary

    ...because it almost certainly would not account for all of your errors. Now me, I voted +1 section on that article specifically because of the reasons you mentioned. But next time, try using the spell-checker properly and perhaps get a friend to look over it as well. Even if it doesn't catch everything it will usually be enough to satisfy the grammer police.

    You sir, are worse than Hitler!

  • Word oddities (4.00 / 1) (#20)
    by hardburn on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:31:13 PM EST

    You were using an older version of word

    Nope, it was Word 2000.

    People added the misspelled words to the school dictionary

    Possible, but it wouldn't account for having NO spelling errors at all.

    I never write the actual story in Word (you'll get people complaining of moron quotes if you do that, with good reason). I wrote it (with HTML formatting) in Notepad, then cut-and-pasted it into Word, intending to merge spelling corrections into the Notepad document. It's possible it didn't notice the cut-and-paste operation and thought there was no actual text in the document. The HTML may have also confused it (although I do most of my stories in the same manner, and Word usualy flags HTML tags as spelling errors, which I tell it to ignore).

    Additionaly, I notice in your screenshot that Word flaged a few words as errors (such as "cyberwoozles" and "honeynet"), which are correct but unknown to Word.

    while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

    [ Parent ]
    yes, very odd... (4.50 / 2) (#25)
    by theantix on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:55:30 PM EST

    I wrote it (with HTML formatting) in Notepad, then cut-and-pasted it into Word, intending to merge spelling corrections into the Notepad document. It's possible it didn't notice the cut-and-paste operation and thought there was no actual text in the document. The HTML may have also confused it (although I do most of my stories in the same manner, and Word usualy flags HTML tags as spelling errors, which I tell it to ignore).
    Hmm... that is odd. Well, if word 2000 is run in a low-memory situation (if your library was like mine, than it is) it will not automatically fire the spell-check underliner. In that case you have to force it to run the spell-checker with the good-ol' Shift-F7. What I tend to do is write the article in Word, then cleanup the damn "moron quotes" (good description btw) and the HTML formatting when I put it into the K5 preview screen. A decent word processor is much better than notepad for getting a good feel of what it will look like in a browser (and simpler than viewing in a browser), plus the spell-checker has saved me as well. I'm also a pretty bad speller, so I feel for you there... but obviously we all have an interest in having well-written articles, and that includes spelling! Cheers,

    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    Small correction... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by kevsan on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 08:07:07 PM EST

    "Well, if word 2000 is run in a low-memory situation (if your library was like mine, than it is) it will not automatically fire the spell-check underliner. In that case you have to force it to run the spell-checker with the good-ol' Shift-F7." (emphasis mine)

    I agree with you entirely, but I just wanted to add that the keyboard shortcut for Spell Check is 'F6.' Shift+F7 is the shortcut for Thesaurus; I'm quite familiar with it. :)

    [ Parent ]
    oh yeah (none / 0) (#70)
    by theantix on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 05:28:01 PM EST

    heh, of course you are right. I forgot that too, but it makes sense that I use the Thesaurus shortcut much more often so I remembered that! =)

    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    Why not.. (4.00 / 1) (#69)
    by DeadBaby on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:12:12 PM EST

    Just turn off the smart quotes deal?
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    forced spell check (none / 0) (#82)
    by hardburn on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:59:58 AM EST

    Well, I didn't hit "Shift-F7", but I did go to "tools->Spellcheck" in the menu, which should do the same thing (I think).

    Oh, and I didn't invent the term "moron quotes", but I'm suddenly failing to turn up referances to it in the Jargon file and Google.

    while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

    [ Parent ]
    word2k can take a while (4.50 / 2) (#27)
    by delmoi on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:09:04 PM EST

    Actually I often times write a story or comment in the editor box (which actually has unlimited undo in ie6, unlike notepad) and then cut'n'paste it into to word for spellcheck. One thing you have to watch for though is that word won't immediately do spellcheck. You have to wait awhile. Normally, if I don't see any red I'll put in a known misspelled word and wait for that to be highlighted. Until it is, I wait. Also, 'moron quotes' can be disabled in word, and HTML won't screw it up.
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Another possible source of the problem (4.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Karmakaze on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:59:33 PM EST

    Word will only scan text marked as US-English (or rather, text with a language for which it has a dictonary) for spelling. Sometimes when you cut and paste, depending on styles and other wackiness, it gets set to some other "language".

    You can look under Tools -> Language -> Set Language and see if "Do not check spelling or grammar" is checked.

    I'm not saying that's what happened, but it's a possibility. I've had to track this one down before.

    [ Parent ]

    I honestly think.. (none / 0) (#68)
    by DeadBaby on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:10:06 PM EST

    He/She overloaded it. Probably wrote it in another app, pasted it in and while Word was trying to check hundreds of spelling errors saw no little red lines and assumed it was all correct. I've done it myself.

    You HAVE to press F7 to spell check if you're pasting in hundreds of lines of text. The instant checker is for spell checking while you type, it doesn't handle hundreds of lines of text at once very well.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Good idea, already discussed (4.33 / 3) (#19)
    by Elendale on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:31:07 PM EST

    This (along with several other suggestions) has been discussed a lot. The two big ones (which Rusty claims to be working on) are making voting a 0-5 process (like comments, instead of -1/0/+1/+1FP) and adding an editing queue. All the things that are being mentioned have already been looked at in some detail- not to say you shouldn't mention them again, no use letting stupid mistakes slip through the system...
    I suppose i could write up that article on the submission queue i've been meaning to write for... what... half a year now?


    When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

    prove it (4.50 / 2) (#53)
    by dr k on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 06:01:12 PM EST

    making voting a 0-5 process

    Argh. This is the wrong thing to do. See this diary entry. Here's a little excerpt:

    If we insist on doing bad math, we could at least make the math a little easier by working with a binary yes/no system. We can derive the same information (the dubious "average"), and we can also ignore the effects of various voting behaviors designed to influence the system unduly.

    In other words, if one person wants to vote based on the quality of spelling and grammer that is fine - they can choose their own voting behavior. What is important for the health of the story is the behavior of a larger group. Yes, your vote means very little.
    Destroy all trusted users!
    [ Parent ]

    Easier option (1.88 / 9) (#22)
    by GreenCrackBaby on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:40:07 PM EST

    Ban users that vote based upon gammar.

    Unless a story posted lukes lighke dis, everyone here should be intelligent enough to figure out what the author is trying to say. This site is supposed to facilitate intelligent discussions, not be a forum for smug bastards to try and demonstrate their literate-elitism.

    If someone happens to misspell their as "thier", I'm pretty sure I can decipher the meaning and not come to the conclusion you were trying to write "pigdog" instead.

    No. (4.50 / 4) (#28)
    by nstenz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:12:40 PM EST

    This site is supposed to facilitate intelligent discussions ...
    It's hard for me to have an inteligent discushun when everyone is speling like this.

    It's not elitism- it's a simple request. It's the difference between those people who actually took the time to sit down and learn how to spell and use proper English, and those who couldn't be bothered. You want to punish the people who worked harder? Ah, the American way- I don't think so.

    [ Parent ]

    Well... (3.75 / 4) (#33)
    by GreenCrackBaby on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:25:26 PM EST

    ...it's a good thing that everyone here speaks english as a first language. Otherwise, this lack of leeway people seem to show others with a few misspelled words might just seem pathetic.

    Oh, wait a minute...

    [ Parent ]

    Not so much non-native speakers (3.75 / 4) (#36)
    by Karmakaze on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:40:05 PM EST

    As it happens, the errors made by a non-native speaker of English are generally different than the errors made by a native speaker with poor writing habits.

    Very few of the grammarians on the site mind the former. They're also usually a lot more polite about correcting that sort of error.

    Most of the flamage (and yes, some of the flamage is excessive) is directed at sloppy typing and editing.

    [ Parent ]

    I don't think so (4.83 / 6) (#37)
    by quartz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:52:31 PM EST

    Sorry, but not only do I disagree with your point, I actually feel insulted by it. English is not my first language, but that doesn't mean that it's somehow OK for me to not learn how to spell. A language is just a vehicle for one's ideas. Your understanding of my ideas is as good as my command of the language I use to express them. So why should I treat a foreign language with less respect than my first language?

    If I needed an excuse, I would use the fact that my primary language has no concept of spelling (it's a "one-letter-for-one-sound" language), which made English harder to learn, but I don't need an excuse. Do you?

    Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
    [ Parent ]
    The American Way (none / 0) (#80)
    by hardburn on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:47:05 AM EST

    Do you know what they teach in American schools (the best ones, anyway)? Phonics. Phonics teaches how letters and certain combinations of letters (like "ch", "th", etc.) are pronounced. Other meathods teach how entire words are pronounced ("You just prononouce 'word' as 'word'"!). Study after study shows that phonics creates the best readers. It also tends to create horrible spellers, because students want to spell the word as it phoneticly sounds.

    I went to school in Wisconsin, a state which is considered one of the best for education in the US. I went to four diffrent grade schools as a kid, two in one city, two in another city 100 miles away from the other. All of them taught phonics for reading. In addition, I was always part of the highest reading group in these schools (in second grade, I had to be moved to a higher class because my current class was at a lower reading level). In other words, I was part of some of the best public education you can find in America.

    I was also in the lowest spelling group. Little bullitan boards showing the best spellers were always up in class, but I was never on them, nowhere close to being on them. I didn't care. I could also out-read any of my classmates. This stuck with me up to high school, where Wisconsin standardized tests (think SAT-lite) put me in the top 1% of America for readers (and the top 3% for Wisconsin). My ACT score for reading shows similar results.

    So what's the point of this long, braging reply? You can have good readers. You can have good spellers. However, no system for teaching reading and spelling has yet to do both successfuly. The other systems I talked about (called "whole-word" techniques) where you learn how whole words are pronounced make for pretty good spellers, but few can read much beyond "see spot run" because they have to memorize the pronounciation and meaning of each new word.

    So really, the American Way of teaching reading, at least in what are widely considered the best education systems, is to emphisize good reading over good spelling.

    while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

    [ Parent ]
    I'm from WI too. (none / 0) (#86)
    by nstenz on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:25:08 PM EST

    I've lived here all of my life. I went to the same school 1st-8th grade. It was a Catholic school that didn't have a lot of money. I learned to read using phonics as well. I was a complete nerd for years, and I would sometimes read 5 books a day if I had nothing better to do. It got to the point where I was reading several pages a minute of those small-print paperback books, and I would be reading pages and pages ahead of everyone else in the class when we had to read together- but you know how slow people read out loud anyhow, so I guess that isn't overly relevant...

    I was also one of the best spellers. I still am. I have to correct my friends who are now grown adults constantly because they didn't learn how to spell properly. I find it extremely annoying.

    Phonics does not go hand-in-hand with bad spelling, and I don't believe it's detrimental to proper spelling.

    Did you have a 'Spelling' class as well? We did, and I think we got tested on 20 new words every week from the time we could read until the time we graduated. Perhaps that had something to do with it.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes on spelling class . . . (none / 0) (#88)
    by hardburn on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:09:47 AM EST

    . . . but I ignored it. I never viewed spelling as important enough that it should take the time I could be spending hacking my Apple //c :)

    while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

    [ Parent ]
    I am an excellent speller... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Karmakaze on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:16:34 PM EST

    Unfortunately, I am a lousy typist...

    I actually ran into a completely different phonics-related problem. Since I learned most of my advanced vocabularly from reading and not from speaking, I tend to spell correctly. On the other hand, I spent my childhood unlearning some embarassing mispronunciations.

    Honestly, given the word "debut", pronounced day-BYOO, shouldn't "debutante" be pronounced day-BYOO-tent? Okay, apparently not, given the laughter I received.

    [ Parent ]

    That's just the point. (3.33 / 3) (#31)
    by MrYotsuya on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:21:49 PM EST

    The idea of using proper spelling and grammar is to make the job of reading a post easier. If someone would spare a few seconds to spell-check their post, it would save thousands of people reading the message a moment's pause. It's only being considerate.

    [ Parent ]
    Why proper English is important (4.75 / 16) (#23)
    by tudlio on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:44:38 PM EST

    Spelling and grammar are part and parcel of meaning. They're like checksums: they confirm for the reader that what they just read is really what they thought it was. A checksum relies on a specific formula to generate its results; likewise the English language relies on a specific formula (spelling and grammar) to generate its results.

    When a piece of writing conforms to those rules, I can read it quickly, in effect skipping every few letters or words, without losing the meaning because the rules tell me what to expect. When a piece of writing breaks those rules, it slows me down as I have to puzzle out the intended meaning as I go.

    English can be difficult, yes, but it's not impossible. It's not that tough to look up "queue" and use it instead of "quene;" that it can be "safely" said, not "safly" said. I believe it's a gesture of respect for the people who will be reading your submission to put in the extra time and effort to make sure it's easy for them to read.

    Think of it this way: the currency readers are spending on this site is attention. Anyone voting on stories is making a decision: is the value of this story equal to or greater than its cost in attention? Your submissions cost a lot more than those that are properly spelled and gramatically correct. It's therefore entirely legitimate for your readers to vote down your stories based on that cost: what you're offering for sale isn't worth what you're asking.

    Your proposal doesn't address that problem at all. If you're really and truly unable to use proper English (rather than simply unwilling), then maybe a better solution would be a holding tank, where stories that you know use poor English can sit and wait for some kindly soul to edit them, before being placed in the queue.

    insert self-deprecatory humor here
    THAT ARE STUPID (1.83 / 6) (#45)
    by h4b1t on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 03:43:22 PM EST

    [clint.anderson.:.is.:.habit.:.techno+technology.] [icq.7158752.h4b1t@hotmail.com.dalnet.#jungle-mp3] [drumnbass.idm.buzz.psycle.soundtracker.linux.etc]
    [ Parent ]
    To bad the checksum fails when it comes to English (2.00 / 5) (#46)
    by greydmiyu on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 04:03:40 PM EST

    I like the analogy but like every single one, it is lacking. English, where every grammer rule has an exception. English, where there are no spelling rules because we borrow from any language we feel like (so much so I sometimes want to commit siouxeyesighed). English, where almost every word has more than one meaning. English, where conjugation is just a suggestion.
    English, where even people who have studied it for years can have an argument over which of two words belong in a particular place but only because there are only two people arguing.

    English, the language where even the most rabid grammer/spelling nazi of a writer has an editor before their work is published... why not here?
    -- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
    [ Parent ]
    Gramm->A<-r. (3.00 / 2) (#60)
    by pwhysall on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:03:06 AM EST

    Up there with "loose" when one means "lose" as the Most Annoying Spelling Mistake In The World.
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    [ Parent ]
    Spelling/Grammar (1.50 / 2) (#73)
    by eudas on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:27:00 AM EST

    Don't forget "to/too/two", "there/their", "your/you're", "its/it's", ...

    "We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
    [ Parent ]
    Spoken languages are not programming languages (2.66 / 3) (#79)
    by hardburn on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:11:08 AM EST

    Spoken languages are not programming languages. Programming languages are heavily defined so that compilers can interpret the code one way and only one way (and even there, they sometimes fail; how many C programmers haven't stayed up all night trying to figure out why their code didn't work the way they expected?).

    Spoken languages are a monstrosity of ambiguity. It is easy to interpret the same words in many diffrent ways, and I think English is particularly bad in this respect. Having good spelling and grammer is hardly a "checksum". Further, English didn't allways have such rules; both Shakespear and Chaucer had multiple ways of spelling their own names. Both those writers would be modded into oblivian for their spelling if their works would be judged by today's standards.

    And as long as we're nitpicking about grammer:

    . . . use it instead of "quene;"

    the ';' should go outside the quotes (although British rules may allow this, I'm not sure).

    Think of it this way: the currency . . .

    The word after the ':' should be capitalized. Also, to be completely compilant with English rules, there should be a double-space after the ':'. However, it is really annoying to do that in HTML, and so the double-space rule can be ignored for anything on the Internet.

    To nitpick my own stuff: I always put the period outside the quotes, even though this breaks American rules. A good explanation for this is in the Jargon file here. British rules don't care where you put the period, as long as you are consistant.

    while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

    [ Parent ]
    There's a reason (4.60 / 15) (#24)
    by finial on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 12:47:48 PM EST

    THERE are reasons why correct spelling and grammar are important. What do you want YOUR audience to spend THEIR time doing? Reading and considering what ideas YOU'RE trying to present or trying to decide what it is you mean to say? Sorry, but if you care so little about trying to make your position clear, THEN IT'S not worth the time it takes to consider it.

    That is not to say that typos kill an article. Typos happen all the time especially when YOU'RE typing in tiny little boxes or trying to proofread text containing HTML and sometimes you don't see the mistake until after you press POST. But if you tend to make certain types of mistakes, you should be learning from that, and be on the lookout for it. Otherwise, what's the point? You just have to ask yourself whether you want people to take you seriously, and correct spelling and grammar and are indicators of how seriously the author takes himself and, by extention, how the author expects to be treated by his audience.

    THERE are certain things that drive me up the wall, though, and when I see one I forget whatever it was the author was trying to say and I fixate on it. IT'S just the way I am, I guess. Or maybe it was my high school English teacher who would give you an automatic F if you violated any of these rules, even once. It stuck with me.

    • You're
    • Your
    • They're
    • Their
    • There
    • Its
    • It's
    • Lose
    • Loose
    • "Separate" is spelled "Separate"
    • "Grammar" is spelled "Grammar"
    • THERE is no such word as "USian," no matter how much you want THERE to be
    • "Infer" and "Imply" mean different things
    • "You are" is not spelled "u r"
    • If YOU'RE trying to be pendantic or PC, make sure you know what YOU'RE saying. Eg: "Slavist" does not mean "slave holder."
    • "Alot" is not a word

    Don't get me wrong, I make those mistakes on occasion too. Especially after reading /. whose editors have absolutely no idea that "then" and "than" are different words.

    Label me as you like, but that's the way it is. IT'S spelled "Raymond Luxury-Yacht" but IT'S pronounced "Throatwarbler Mangrove."

    Alot (3.00 / 2) (#29)
    by PhillipW on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:18:22 PM EST

    It actually is proper if you seperate the two. "A lot" is the correct way.

    [ Parent ]
    I think that's what he was trying to say. (3.00 / 3) (#34)
    by nstenz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:26:03 PM EST

    It's not 'alot'. It's 'a lot'.

    It's not 'alright'. It's 'all right'. Some dictionaries have begun to publish information to the contrary... I won't accept it. 'Already' is a word- 'alright' is not.

    The stupid little things like that are what really get to me.

    [ Parent ]

    "Official" English (3.00 / 1) (#77)
    by shadowmage on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 07:40:08 PM EST

    I find this an interesting comment; if you do not accept word spelling/pronunciation as published in a dictionary, then what do you consider the final word in canonical English?

    [ Parent ]
    In one particular dictionary. (3.00 / 1) (#85)
    by nstenz on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:16:55 PM EST

    That does not make it right. People decide what goes in that dictionary. Other people decide what goes in other dictionaries. Which one do you consider 'official'? The 'proof' some knucklehead gave me for 'alot' being a true English word was from dictionary.com. I believe that site looks through a bunch of different dictionaries for a definition. I think only one returned a valid result for that 'word'.

    My English teachers would not accept it as a valid word. I suppose that's my #1 reasoning. #2 would be because it annoys the $#@! out of me.

    [ Parent ]

    Amusing... (none / 0) (#78)
    by x00 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:45:12 AM EST

    What I find slightly more amusing is the way that no one has picked up the fact he spelled "seperate" [sic] incorrectly. Personally, I just try to remember separate has "a rat" in it.

    [ Parent ]
    mm hmm (none / 0) (#87)
    by KnightStalker on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:50:18 AM EST

    Not to mention "pendantic".

    [ Parent ]
    ...quite (none / 0) (#94)
    by x00 on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 06:48:09 PM EST

    Which some how seems sooooo appropriate!

    [ Parent ]
    My apologies. (3.00 / 2) (#30)
    by nstenz on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:19:43 PM EST

    My spelling and grammar are generally quite good, but I know I mess up the spelling of 'separate' all too often- Constantly, I think. Perhaps someone should post a reply yelling at me every time I do it until it gets through my head. I'm tempted to post a rant every time someone does something like that- Maybe people will learn how to write properly. I did it above...

    Half of us would have to be on K5 24/7 editing for that to happen though.

    Note: This is not sarcasm. I am a grammar/spelling Nazi to all of my friends. I really do have trouble spelling 'separate'.

    [ Parent ]

    Don't forget 'noone' (2.80 / 5) (#42)
    by mech9t8 on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 03:07:00 PM EST

    ...which I see almost every day...

    "Noone" is not a word, people. No one. Two words.

    Phew. That feels better. ;)

    [ Parent ]
    Your English teacher gave you an F for "USian (4.00 / 4) (#58)
    by Dlugar on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 09:23:47 PM EST


    No, but seriously, I'm a grammar and spelling nazi myself. But the one thing I'm not particularly anal about is the whole "new word" thing--like "USian". I have no problem with people who want to introduce a new word to the language. They'll likely not succeed, but if they do, why should I try to stop them?

    That's why things like "they're vs. their" bug me a lot worse than "alot" which bugs me a lot worse than "USian" (which really doesn't bug me at all). "they're vs. their" can seriously affect the meaning of a sentence, so that even if it's obvious what the author meant, it requires my brain to go back and reparse the sentence. "alot" is easily translated into the correct form, and it merely connotes an uneducatedness on the part of the poster. "USian" is simply an attempt to get a word in the English language to fill in what the author obviously considers a hole, and I see little difficulty about this.

    At any rate, I agree with your sentiments, but I just don't feel that the last half-dozen or so elements in your lovely little list have a whole lot to do with grammar and spelling--simply pet peeves of your own, rather. Not that I don't have pet peeves myself (most notably being when people say "My mother saw Betty and I" which makes my teeth grind), of course, but please try not to ramble.


    [ Parent ]
    Giving an "F" for USian (4.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Karmakaze on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:05:04 PM EST

    Actually, while I have an issue with the all-or-nothing approach of failing a paper for a single offense, I don't have any problem at all with grading a high school paper down for the use of "USian".

    This lack of objection has nothing to do with my personal dislike of the term[1]. It has to do with the fact that high school teachers are (theoretically) trying to teach formal written English. You want to make up a new word? Use it in conversation. Use it in a web posting. But if you're handing in a paper that is supposed to be in formal written English, leave the slang out.

    The entire point of high school essays is to learn the formal, strict structure. You don't actually think anyone cares what you think of the symbolism of Miss Haversham's wedding dress, do you? I would grade down a high school paper with sentence fragments in it, too, despite the fact that I'll use them freely in less formal writing.

    [1] I think it's stupid. I think it looks stupid. I think it sounds stupid. I think it's as stupid as the so-called word herstory, the use of which also drives me up the wall. No, I don't have to be rational about this.

    [ Parent ]

    Marry Me (none / 0) (#62)
    by pwhysall on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:16:48 AM EST

    Someone who's hacked off by ALL THE SAME STUFF AS ME!

    The presence of any of these errors in a story will result in a commentless -1, regardless of anything else.

    If YOU can't be arsed to rid your story of these trivial errors, *I* can't be arsed voting +1.
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    [ Parent ]

    Ironic mispellings (none / 0) (#92)
    by ucblockhead on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 03:52:49 PM EST

    If YOU'RE trying to be pendantic or PC...
    The word is "pedantic". :-)
    This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
    [ Parent ]
    I was wondering (none / 0) (#93)
    by finial on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 10:42:04 PM EST

    I was wondering how long it would be before someone found that.

    [ Parent ]
    Spelling and Grammar (2.50 / 2) (#44)
    by djve on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 03:20:11 PM EST

    I tend to try and ignore errors. I've improved my own spelling and grammar over the years but it's still poor. I, like you, worry about it but a lot of it is experience.

    Some people are better at English and languages and languages in general. Others are better at maths, some at arts. My speciality is drinking.

    So find what your good at and try to improve what your not good at. But don't get too worked up over areas like this. When people post lists of common errors and don't explain themselves they are only showing how good they are and not helping the rest of us. Let me explain finial's posting:

    * They're is the contraction of "they are" as in "they are in opposition".
    * Their is to do with ownership as in "their nature is to be anal retentive".
    * There is the location as in "be there on time"

    I drank what? Socrates (469-399BC) [philospher]
    Irony (3.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Eimi on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 01:23:09 PM EST

    Am I the only one absolutely stunned by the irony of a comment explaining the differences among "they're"/"their"/"there" and containing the sentence "So find what your good at and try to improve what your not good at."? (Hint: "your" is possesive like "their", and "you're" is a contraction of "you are".)

    [ Parent ]
    Very interesting concept (3.83 / 6) (#48)
    by ennui on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 04:07:59 PM EST

    There are two main issues and a sub-issue that I can see. The main issues: How do you prevent content changes by diff, and how do you manage the diffs (voting for diffs, maybe?) The secondary issue is that that sort of system may encourage even sloppier article submissions than yours, assuming those of us who can occasionally spell and have a grasp on grammar will service pack your submissions.

    I would love to be able to editorially overlay (where appropriate of course) portions of some of the articles posted with XML-ish tags like the following:

    I recently posted an article that people voted down because of it's bad <EDIT type="spelling" correct="grammar">grammer</EDIT>. I notice it's the same people doing it over and over. Emerson said <EDIT type="misquote" correct="A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds">consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds</EDIT> but I'm going to resubmit this story anyway. <EDIT type="editorial" reason="opinion">Civil rights are no longer the most important issue to most Americans</EDIT>. Even though <EDIT type="editorial" reason="unsubstantiated">over 500,000 Iraqi children have starved to death due to imposition of trade sanctions</EDIT>


    Then when you look at it with my filter the software could add anchors, images with alt text or javascript so when you moused around or whatever you could see my commentary and editorial changes, you could then vote to incorporate my changes or dump them.

    "You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
    I know what you mean (2.00 / 4) (#50)
    by lvogel on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 05:31:18 PM EST

    I didn't think "goat sex" was spelled as goatse.cx either, and the picture on their website certainly didn't help either.

    And what's a slashdot, anyway?

    Speaking of bad grammar/spelling... (3.66 / 3) (#51)
    by lvogel on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 05:36:49 PM EST

    Has anyone seen the kuro5hin ad I just saw that pronounced "you're friends will be worried"? I can't believe that made it through ANY editing process.I can feel my "grammer nazi" insides roiling...

    I don't agree (4.25 / 4) (#52)
    by karjala on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 05:38:51 PM EST

    Under your proposed alteration, a poster would be able to log in as a different user just before he got the turning votes, change the story completely, and have a story on the front page which is totally different than the story the people voted for. Alexander

    Only allow trusted users to edit... (3.50 / 2) (#55)
    by khym on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 07:12:13 PM EST

    It could be set up so that only trusted users could edit and create diffs. If someone wanted to completely change a story when it was about to be voted onto section or front page, they'd have to go to the effort of creating a second account with trusted status, and that account would be deleted once it was found that the article had been tampered with like that. Since getting an account up to trusted user status is a non-trivial task, there'd likely be very little abuse of the process.

    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
    [ Parent ]
    Restrict diffs to a certain percentage of content (none / 0) (#59)
    by hillct on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 11:40:05 PM EST

    You could prevent the scenerio the previous poster describes by restricting the percentage of the article each diff could change, and the number of diffs each user could submit for each article (probably to just one per article). This way only small changes would be permitted, after all if a moderator finds more than maybe 10% of an article to need editing, then the article probably shouldn't be posted at all anyway. I'd think these sorts of limits would effectively prevent manipulation of the system.


    --Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
    [ Parent ]
    The "editorial queue" ... (4.66 / 6) (#56)
    by Dlugar on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 07:29:52 PM EST

    My personal idea for the editorial queue--have it be an exact duplicate of the submission queue, except:
    • The author can change the story/article at any time while it is in the submission queue.
    • There are only two voting options:
      +1 editing is finished
      -1 spam
    • Spam is immediately voted down; for anything else, the voters are instructed to abstain from voting until the story is, from a grammar and spelling point of view, to their liking, at which point they vote the +1.
    • When the story/article hits a very modest threshold score, perhaps something like 10 or 20 or so, it is moved directly from the editorial queue into the submission queue.
    How does that sound? Is that viable?


    native language (4.00 / 2) (#65)
    by starlight on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 07:24:20 AM EST

    I know how difficult it is to get the right spelling - at least if english isn't your native language...

    Misspellings and bad grammar. (4.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Rainy on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:55:15 AM EST

    Why do we, grammar nazis, react so harshly to misspellings and such? I see some people are surprised - after all, it's not that hard to figure out whether an author meant "than" instead of "then", and so on. That's true but it's not a matter of not being able to understand a post, it's just that I personally get a bad vibe from these posts. There's a lot mixed in this feeling - I feel that the poster isn't serious about his post, he doesn't care much whether it's *taken* seriously, he isn't polite or considerate enough to present his readers with a well thought-out and polished argument (note - 99 out of a 100 times, misspelled posts with bad grammar are also badly written, researched and presented).

    I think the meaning of social norms like politeness, quality of language, grammar, and so on is to make it easy to spot people who aren't worth listening to. You can read just one sentence of a post and immediately see that the poster doesn't care enough to write it carefully. This is simply a time-saving trick. Sure, you may miss one or two posts that are good but were misspelled for some odd reason (maybe the author was using a new keyboard), but none of us have the time to read all posts, anyway. So, this is quite useful to cut out all the noise and focus on the posts written by intelligent, serious adults who have something interesting to say.

    You might say that this is elitist and in fact, there is no correlation between quality of the post and quality of its language. I don't think it's elitist because I *do* see a correlation. If you don't, then, I guess, you shouldn't pay any attention to the grammar or misspellings.
    Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

    Problems and Solutions (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Surial on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:56:56 PM EST

    One of the most serious problems with this concept is that it's possible to change the semantics of the submission (the meaning) *after* people have committed their vote.

    Spammer creates an intelligent post and 2 accounts. posts as one account and monitors the voting results carefully. when the score is at 79, he uses the second account to create an enormous diff that changes the entire thing in a piece of advertising, and votes it up. to 80. spam is posted.

    So, giving the author final say (logical and reasonable to me) doesn't help this particular problem. Allowing people to change their votes is also not a solution unless you wait for every voting user to reconfirm their vote after every diff, which is tantamount to just resetting all votes, which in turn leads to the solution where an author can elect to vote his own article down and out of the queue.

    A solution which will (might?) work better is where each diff can be voted on by each user. Only diffs with a certain vote will make it through. very few negative votes are required to drop the diff off. The author is allowed to cancel any diff. There should also be a history of diffs so that the original article can be recovered.

    Editors are allowed to undo a diff. When this happends, all votes placed with the diff in question applied are nullified. It's either this or instant removal off queue, because sometimes a diff might slip through that does change semantics, and that's something I feel should be avoided at all costs.

    Whether or not this functionality is required is up to popular opinion; I don't think it's really required. Though, I do like the concept where the author can always vote his own article off the queue to prepare it for retransmission. Nothing as annoying as seeing your own story post just when you have a slightly edited replacement ready.

    The biggest issue is as usual the time and interest of the coders of scoop. Perhaps given enough encouragement you can stick it on the scoop site?
    "is a signature" is a signature.

    This Is A Simpler Solution (4.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Nater on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:06:15 PM EST

    A much simpler solution exists for your spelling problem. You can learn to spell correctly. I never spell check and have never had a single complaint about spelling. Nor grammar, for that matter.

    i heard someone suggest that we should help the US, just like they helped us in WWII. By waiting three years, then going over there, flashing our money around, shagging all the women and acting like we owned the place. --Seen in #tron

    Recommend spell check even for those who can spell (none / 0) (#95)
    by Topher Tune on Sat Nov 10, 2001 at 11:50:38 AM EST

    Spell check the post interactively in form or on submit.

    [ Parent ]
    Open editing process | 95 comments (82 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:


    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!