Correcting minor typos within someone else's quote box should be allowed

There was a thread a week or two ago where a moderator stepped in and issued a non-warning note after someone corrected someone else’s typo within their own quote box (“Bob Dylan” had been misspelled as “Bob Dillon,” and the second poster corrected the first’s so that it was the proper Bob Dylan.) I can’t find the thread and it’s not worth searching for, but:

IMHO, such corrections ought to be allowed. They are not changing the spirit of the other poster’s intent in the post, and enhance the clarity (if someone misspells Joe Biden as ‘Joe Bidne’ due to fat fingers on the keyboard, there’s no reason that it should be continuously quoted subsequently downthread again and again as Joe Bidne.)

Where such corrections would go wrong would be if someone is inserting their own agenda into the correction (i.e., changing “Bush’s war in Iraq” to “Bush’s war for oil” or, “The Universe is 8,000 years old” to “The Universe is billions of years old”) - that’s obviously unacceptable since it’s changing the poster’s intent. But minor typos should be perfectly permissible to edit.

Where do you draw the line on “minor”? It’s easier for all to have an ironclad rule.

I disagree. We should keep the rule to leave what’s inside a quote box totally alone. If I want to comment on a mistake or inaccuracy within someone’s quote box, I re-quote the passage OUTSIDE the quote box using quotation marks only and make my edits there.

And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue to appear that way.

My 2 cents. I’m outta here. Discuss among yourselves.

There was a time when I started correcting typos on Wikipedia. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole again. Let the typos live there own miserable lives.

It’s subjective, to be sure, but I think we can all recognize when it is or isn’t. If someone says “I was in New York during the 91/1 attacks,” it’s clear that he just misspelled 9/11, no harm in correcting it.

I’ve already had requests by people to fix spelling errors. The best method though, is message the poster to have them request a mod fix the spelling or mistake. This request can be by message to a mod(s) or by flagging their own post.

The clear problem here is that if the quoter makes a mistake and assumes that something is just an obvious clerical error but it isn’t, then it’s a big mess. If it’s true that everyone realizes it was just a typo, then no one will be confused by leaving it. It’s hard to say exactly where that line is, but at some point someone’s going to screw it up.

I am reminded of a poster who was here years ago whose username, “Tracy Lord”, was a reference to the character in The Philadelphia Story, but had to regularly correct people who assumed it was a reference to the similarly-named but differently-spelled porn star. Sometimes the obvious referent that most people think of is wrong!

I thought it was pretty clear who she was referencing but I’m sure it helped C.K. Dexter Haven was the first person on the Dope I interacted with and I’m a big Katharine Hepburn fan.

The people who thought she had misspelled the porn star’s name also thought it was pretty clear who she was referencing, but they were wrong.

Is that OK to do? Or, should it be:

As Pardel-Lux says, "Let the typos live there [sic] own miserable lives?


As Pardel-Lux says, "Let the typos live [their] own miserable lives?


I’m assuming you did that on purpose, to give us something to work with…

Well asumed, and to show you the rabbit hole I was talking about. So I laugh, I think it’s nice.

So, should it be “Well asumed [sic]…” :slight_smile:

Well that now was a genuine typo. I am still in the edit window, I guess, but I will leave it as it is not to make this conversation unnecessarily confusing. It is good enough as it is. Getting funnier, sorry.

Agree x 2. Often there is information about the intent or poster in the ‘presumed typo or misspelling’. Let me draw my own conclusions.

I’ve always assumed that’s okay, but personally it always seemed kinda tacky. In print media, I can understand why it’s done. But on a message board where you’re highlighting and clicking the quote button (as opposed to retyping the quote), I think we all understand that the person doing the quoting didn’t make the mistake.

Also, I always thought it was borderline insulting when I see [sic] used for bad grammar in interview quotes. For example, a newspaper article might quote someone that saw a robbery and it’ll read “Ms Smith, a bystander who saw the robbery in progress, said “I was just walking down the block and I seen him ran [sic] the other way””. You don’t need to call attention to their grammar. Either put the quote down and assume your readers are smart enough to know you didn’t type it wrong or paraphrase it so you can reword it.

The only argument I can see for correction is to fight ignorance if they actually don’t know the spelling. But that should be rare enough that you can just state the correction as a reply.

BTW, I’ve noticed my phone autocrrecting its to it’s several times. Sometimes ithe softeare figures it out and flips it back, but not most of the time. And I may miss the change when I’m typing. It can be embarrassing, but there’s no need to point it out.

No, they’ll get hundreds of grammar nazis complaining about their “mistake”. And with as poor as many people who pass themselves off as “journalists” write nowadays online, you’d be hard-pressed to know whose mistake it was.

I agree with you that putting “[sic]” in the quote can look bad for the person whose quote it is, but I think it needs to be there.

Why? The general function of [sic] is to emphasize that the error was in the original. We know quotes are copied. No one is going to think the quoter made the error.

That said, I’m fine with corrections in square brackets. That falls within existing rules on editing quotes.