# Can we have a spell-check and grammar-check to improve posts?

Can we have a spell-checker and grammar-checker on Math.SE ? so that could fix all the errors that some users have because they are not native english speakers. Whether on their questions, answers, comments, etc. about mathematics.

I think we all have observed the grammar mistakes that lots of posts have, since the beginning of Math.stack. See for instance an attempt to fix this problem: Should we have an FAQ with basic math-specific English? from 2012. The last comment (yiyi's comment) in that link suggested a "spell check" feature when submitting a question or answer.

I think that would improve a lot Math.stack.

There will be no more grammar/spell mistakes when posting a question/answer/... from now on, none of us would have the need to edit such grammar/spell mistakes from now on, we could take the correctly written posts as an example* to fix all previous posts.

example*

I once edited a title of a question using convergence of when it should have been used convergence for, but I chose of because I based my edit on an older question's title that was linked to it..

EDIT

Considering some remarks from Roddy MacPhee's answer,

1. Maybe the checker should not fix the 'wrong' word but suggest to fix the 'wrong' word. (underlying, with a different color and not with a straight line, the suspicious word).
2. This feature could also have: punctuation-checker.
3. Regarding the english dialectic, could be American english or British english, as a community we could vote to chose one of them.

Considering URL's comment,

This feature should not be considered as 'you must have it' but as an optional feature, so that it can be turned on or turned off at any time.

• math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30918/… and all post using the spelling tag. – Roddy MacPhee Dec 15 '19 at 2:00
• Checking spelling is one thing, checking grammar strikes me as being several orders of magnitude more difficult. Is there any software that comes standard with a grammar checker? – Gerry Myerson Dec 15 '19 at 4:49
• Some related discussions can be found in Meta Stack Exchange question Please add a spell checker to the Markdown editor and some of the posts linked there. These ones touch also on grammar: Spellchecker / grammar checker, Automatic grammar fixing in questions and answers. – Martin Sleziak Dec 15 '19 at 6:34
• Well intentioned, but this might come out as invasive. – URL Dec 15 '19 at 8:16
• @URL invasive? what do you exactly mean? – Bellatrix Dec 15 '19 at 20:48
• @MartinSleziak thank you for the information. I definitely need to check Meta Stack Exchange before asking here – Bellatrix Dec 15 '19 at 20:50
• @GerryMyerson I don't know. But I think there should be one that detects and suggest to fix both issues on Math.stack – Bellatrix Dec 15 '19 at 20:59
• @ellisaba People generally don’t like being corrected, even though they’re wrong. – URL Dec 15 '19 at 21:54
• @URL I really doubt that someone wouldn't like to see their own post looking good respect to the grammar and spelling. – Bellatrix Dec 15 '19 at 22:02
• @ellisaba Of course, but forcing it isn’t likely to be well received. Moreover, if someone has a poor enough grasp on English, an autocorrect might be more annoying than helpful. – URL Dec 15 '19 at 22:15
• @URL you're right. This could be an optional feauture such that it can activated or deactivated. – Bellatrix Dec 15 '19 at 23:39

• Different dialects of English
• Correcting to the wrong word
• MathJaX \text command
• Markdown markers
• Different math contexts
• Punctuation check needed
• Compute intensive string searching
• etc.

I've made a FaR script in PARI GP before. It's not fun, and grammar is more complicated.

• 1. We could take the standard english // 2. It could be a suggesting correction not an automatic one. // 3. ? // 4. ? // 5. see 2. // 6. Could be an additional feature. // 7. ? // 8. that doesn't count as a point. – Bellatrix Dec 16 '19 at 21:44
• Regarding your last line, it would be for the benefit of Math.stack, and maybe other SE sites as well – Bellatrix Dec 16 '19 at 21:45
• 1) american English or British english ? 3) unless it peeks inside that it can't correct spelling I can type text right against the first brace so it all looks like 1 word 4) see previous 5) suggestions need to depend on context 6) needed to be a grammar check 7)Vec(Str(x)) in PARI to see why 8) having made a find and replace script before is such a point. – Roddy MacPhee Dec 17 '19 at 0:16
• 1) well if I had to decide, I'd say American english :) // I still don't get 3) whence nor 4) // 5) so what? what's the problem? 6) aha. 7) PARI ? 8) if you said so. – Bellatrix Dec 17 '19 at 0:30
• 7) PARI GP is a computational number theory programming console. 3/4) you need to be able to get around those markers to correct it. 5) the problem is, a pair (x,y) can be ordered, unordered, a gcd computation, a relation, a function, input to an operation, part of a geometrical figure, and more. a lot of math is like that. – Roddy MacPhee Dec 17 '19 at 0:38
• Oh and the scunthorpe problem shows up. – Roddy MacPhee Dec 17 '19 at 1:16