1. The average word length in English language is 4.7 characters.(http://norvig.com/mayzner.html). If you use maximum edit distance=5 for spelling correction then the algorithm would return (too) many spelling correction suggestions, which have nothing in common with the input word.
  2. For optimum spelling correction quality you have to find a compromise between recall (many suggestion) and precision (only suggestions which make sense). For English language this is a maximum edit distance between 2 and 3.
  3. In Peter Norvig’s tests 76% of spelling errors had an edit distance 1. 98.9% of spelling errors got covered with edit distance 2. https://web.archive.org/web/20120827064359/http://norvig.com/spell-correct.html
  4. The smaller you choose the maximum edit distance the faster the algorithm works, because less candidates need to be generated.

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