Open main menu

Wiktionary β

Category talk:English misspellings

i once saw a dictionary that had irresistable instead of irrisistible as the preferred spelling. anyone else?

The correct spelling is irresistible, it has "resist" in the middle, whether irresistable is an acceptable alternative to irresistible is a different matter, but google gives 2,070,000 for -able, while 17,100,000 for -ible, so I think -ible is still the "more correct" version. Conrad.Irwin 18:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

harmful categoryEdit

The existence of words in this category is harmful, because it makes almost impossible to use Wiktionary as a set of possibly all correct English words, for example in automated checking of the spelling. You can't take all English sections from the Wiktionary, because some of them are misspellings. You can't even remove content of this category, because some of the words (antisceptic) are at the same time misspellings in one etymology and the correct spellings in another one. It may be misleading for human readers as well, because if you check a misspelled word in Google, you get the English Wiktionary result, and either you think it is correct, or you think the Wiktionary is a bunch of crap. It would be better to remove all the "misspellings" sections, together with this category. Olaf (talk) 06:58, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary is a descriptive, not a prescriptive dictionary. If it's in use with a given spelling, we include it (labeled as a misspelling when necessary). Wiktionary shouldn't be used for automated spellcheck applications without checking the individual entries, anyway. Chuck Entz (talk) 12:58, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree with your first two sentences: we actually do distinguish correct spellings from incorrect ones, and we only include misspellings if they're common. But I agree with your last sentence; I'd be rather annoyed with a spell-checker that accepted spellings like queene and immanant, but obviously they're completely within our remit. —RuakhTALK 18:13, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you do distinguish them for a human reading a particular entry, but it's very hard to process it automatically and compose a list of properly spelled English entries. In order to check if a particular entry is correctly spelled in English it's not enough to remove the category "common misspellings", you have to parse the whole article and check if there are any meanings without "misspelling of" template. You may feel it's not a problem, but it makes the Wiktionary not truly open for an automatic processing.
And for a human it's a problem as well. If I type for example "abhored" in Google, I receive in the first link: abhored. Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Jump to: navigation, search ... Despite something in him that abhored backing down from any position, . If I trusted Wiktionary, and tried to check the correct spelling, I could stop here, assume it's the correct spelling and feel cheated afterwards. Olaf (talk) 00:49, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Re: "Yes, you do distinguish them for a human reading a particular entry": Sorry, you seem to have misunderstood my comment. I was replying to Chuck Entz, who claimed that, due to our descriptivist principles, we include any spellings that are in use, regardless of whether they're correct. I replied that that's not true: despite our descriptivist principles, we do not include misspellings, unless they're common. —RuakhTALK 03:30, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I think this is an atrocious response. If a word exists, in the sense that it is used, it is included. It doesn't have to be "official": if it's a nonstandard spelling document it as such and it's fine. But if a certain spelling is common enough to be part of wiktionary (certainly a subjective threshold, but it should at least be backed with sources) it must be not because it's "statistically common" but because it consistently belongs to a certain dialect or register, in which case it should be clearly stated it's nonstandard with a proper entry, and not a mere label as a spelling error.
Trying to cover all variations over standard spelling rules is not only impossible (there are as many spelling errors as speakers and sources are necessarily scarce because, after all, they are incorrect) but pointless. The key distinction here is consistency. Most misspelling errors are not consistent linguistic elements but simple accidents, even if many arise from failed phonetic transcriptions that are more likely to happen in the same way as people share the same intuitive rules about their language. If people need their spelling to be corrected there's Google to ask them "did you mean...?". Otherwise we're just polluting the wiki with useless entries and turning it into urban dictionary. 11:09, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
"The existence of words in this category is harmful, because it makes almost impossible to use Wiktionary as a set of possibly all correct English words". Under no circumstances is Wiktionary, or will it be a complete list of all correct English words. Note the OED says the same thing on its website: it categorically says it does not contain all English words. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:41, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
If someone wants to collect a spell checking list from en wikt, they can: 1) collect all items from Category:English lemmas and Category:English non-lemma forms‎, 2) from the collection remove items from Category:English misspellings. Easy, isn't it? --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:46, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
I admit antisceptic makes it a bit more tricky. I wonder what evidence we have that "antisceptic" is a common misspelling of antiseptic: frequency data is going to be counfounded with the other sense of antisceptic. --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:49, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Like antisceptic, the English entry apart and the Portuguese entry trás are defined as both a normal entry and a misspelling of another entry. If we proceed as you described, these normal entries would be excluded from the spell checking list.
Plus, as I said in the BP, I oppose having misspellings in either Category:English lemmas or Category:English non-lemma forms in the first place, because these categories are our "indices" of a sort -- automated programs may be able to exclude one category from the other, but I don't think it's so simple for human beings navigating the category. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 22:34, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Category sizeEdit

Today on 8 October 2016, there are 2,334 items in the category. --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:41, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Return to "English misspellings" page.