Texas outline

Speling and Meckanical Turk[sic]

22 May 2009

Yesterday I spent a good couple of hours trawling through my list of categories & exemplars, looking for spelling mistakes and capitalization errors. See, the plan is to use the word lists I got from that first experiment as input to the next two — giving Turkers words and asking them to label them with categories, or giving them word/category pairs and asking them to rate the typicality. Useful, hopefully, but very dependent on the quality of data I put in.

Anyway, manually going through and correcting the spelling mistakes and general weirdness of a couple hundred well-intentioned Turkers really opened my eyes to a whole new world of spelling. A test! Quick, how do you spell the seed on a “s_____ seed bun?”



Yeah, ‘sesame’. But are you sure you wouldn’t write it ‘seasame?’ Or perhaps ‘seaseme?’ Maybe even ‘seesamie?’

Anyway, enough carping. I actually learned a few things — that a ‘Cuba libre’ and a ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ are cocktails, for instance — and had to laugh out loud at general wise-assery a couple of times. To some anonymous turker ‘sex roleplaying’ is the first thing that comes to mind for ‘games’; for ‘craft’ someone wrote down ‘warcraft’ and ‘starcraft’’. Needless to say, I had to cull a few exemplars from the list.