[R] A strange issue with GSub

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Sat Jun 15 18:31:12 CEST 2013

On Jun 15, 2013, at 7:46 AM, Ali Arslan Kazmi wrote:

> Greetings, 
> Apologies if this turns out to be a very silly question, but because I am the only person learning/using R at my workplace, I have no choice but to ask folks here.
> I have been using Gsub to change some expressions in my Corpus object. After applying the gsub function, say
> newCorpus<- gsub("game","war",newCorpus, fixed=TRUE)
> an object of class character is returned by the gsub function, as is understandable, like so:
> [1] this is the text of the 1st document....[1000] this is the text of the 1000th document.
> However, all such text is enclosed as such:
> [1] "c(\"this is the text of the 1st document.\", \"\\a\")" ...[1000] "c(\"this is the text of the 1000th document.\", \"\\a\")" 
> The worst part is that I tried recreating the problem with another example to post here, but I face no such problem with the example. So, after banging my head against the computer for two days now, I still remain clueless as to why this is happening. I was wondering if somebody had an explanation to why this happens? That will be very helpful.
> The only thing I can think of is that I had initially converted MS word documents into txt files, and then imported them using R's plain text reader. Could this be the issue?
> Thanks. 		 	   		  
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]

You are misspelling the gsub function name. You are not describing your process with enough detail to replicate it. You are using packages that you are not naming. I suspect you are using gsub with an item of a class for which it was never intended. Consider this:

> mydf <- data.frame(a=c("this is a test", "another test"), b=c("athird", "a fourth"))
> gsub("test","tester", mydf)
[1] "c(2, 1)" "c(2, 1)"

Please read the Posting Guide. Please make your example reproducible.


David Winsemius
Alameda, CA, USA

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