I just closevoted a question asking about the meaning of the highlighted "word" in parents seeking to secure a good Mure for their children.

As a native speaker (with poor eyesight! :) I could easily see that Mure was some kind of transcription error for future. But I'm fully aware that non-native Anglophones may find this sort of thing much more difficult.

Noting that ELL Meta has dedicated pages for "[approved] resources" (dictionaries, style guides, etc.), I wonder if it might be useful to have a page here with some guidance on how to easily check for the possibility of a transcription error (both to establish whether it's likely such an error has occurred, AND in hopes of finding out what the real text should be).

So if you think this question might become a useful resource, please upvote it. Maybe we should even migrate "transcription error" questions from the main site to Meta, then closevote them against this, I dunno.

And if you can articulate useful guidance here for how to recognize and resolve problems of this type, please post anything you've got as a (community Wiki?) Answer.

  • I wouldn't wait for the upvotes; I think you should just write a meta question entitled: How can I spot an OCR error when I find one? (or something like that). That meta question would contain the helpful tips you've left here and in the comments under that other question. I think it's an excellent idea and would be a helpful resource.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 14:20
  • I looked at your earlier Handling scant “What does this mean” questions post - which covers some of the same ground, but I think this is different enough to justify a separate post. Maybe I should change my title here to How can I spot an OCR error when I find one? I deliberately avoided getting into the specifics of "What to do?" myself, thinking it might be better if any suggestions (and phrasings thereof) came from others. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 14:27
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    One post on meta won't prevent future OCR questions from trickling in. But, when that happens, at least we'll be able to point to a very helpful post that everyone can learn from, packed with more information about how learners can recognize these sorts of transcription errors on their own.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 15:10
  • That was all I was really thinking of. It seems a bit "round the houses" to migrate any such questions to Meta, but I can certainly see myself including a link to a Meta question like this (if it can be "prodded into shape") when closevoting questions on the main site that simply turn on transcription errors. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 16:02


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