I noticed someone recently edited one of my answers (along with the question for which the answer applied). The only edit this person made was to change the word 'wifi' to 'Wi-Fi'.

I understand that the wikipedia entry prefers 'Wi-Fi' as the proper terminology, but it also says it can be spelled 'wifi' (as well as 'WiFi' [no dash]).

Editing an answer simply to change wording is questionable at best, since the editor is not actually clarifying anything with the edit.

And I would argue that it makes the question and answer worse, because almost anyone would first search for 'wifi' before trying 'Wi-Fi', if they even think to search for the term with a dash at all. I tried a search with just 'wifi', and the question and my answer no longer show up.

Should these edits be reversed? Or does it make sense to change all 'wifi' to 'Wi-Fi'? If the latter, could the search engine be revised to smartly search both terms?

I do realize that the preferred 'tag' in SE is 'wi-fi', with the dash. However, I think most users will search for 'wifi', no dash.

  • 1
    I think most search engines will handle wifi and wi-fi synonymously.
    – Flow
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 11:36
  • I think most users will search for 'wifi', no dash. full ack. And even if Wikipedia prefers a different spelling -- I'd say the most common spelling is WiFi. As to @Flow's comment: Sure they do. So there would be no need for the described edit, right? Should such edits then be rejected?
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 13:30
  • 1
    @Izzy Yes, any suggested edit that is too minor should be rejected with the "too minor" reason :P. Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 23:31
  • @MatthewRead, what would be the best way to reject the edit? I have never seen such an option (likely since I am not a moderator, or lack the rep requirements). However, if I edit all the posts again to change "WiFi" back to their original spelling, that would just be another useless edit on top of the already useless edit. Should all the changes be flagged for a moderator?
    – Stephen S
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 17:26
  • In this case, Sachin has enough reputation that his edits don't need to be approved. You also need 2000 rep to approve suggested edits. I'm not sure if you can approve edits to your own posts before that, but when you view the post it will show edit (1) rather than the normal edit link when something is pending. Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 17:34

4 Answers 4


I see no problem with editing "wifi" into "Wi-Fi". If it changes search results then that should probably be brought up with SE ... hyphens should not be considered for web search IMO.

However, edits should always be substantial. If that was the only change then it was a bad edit. See http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-editing/


Alternative spellings are good, because they provide different search paths.

Editing a post just to change "wifi" to "Wi-Fi" would seem to me to be the very definition of a "too minor" edit. Like a lot of tech terms, there is no universally accepted spelling. (Not to say that there aren't style guides that try to standardize on one or the other, but we don't adhere to one of those.)

Now, if you'd spelled it as "wife" (as I've done more than once) then it should definitely be fixed. Otherwise you've got a question better suited for marriage.stackoverflow.com.

Similar to how we don't change posts from British spellings, I think for the most part this should just be left alone.


I usually prefer wi-fi. But seeing that most people prefer WiFi, I will consider this in my next edits.

Off-topic, I don't edits just to change the wi-fi text only. I also consider if the sentences can be rephrased, or added with punctuations for easier readability.


I prefer WiFi as it looks much cleaner. I believe they should be edited to WiFi.

  • 2
    Though I also prefer WiFi, I see no reason to edit a post just for that. Of course, if there are other corrections to be made, we could fix this along the way.
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 13:32

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