Editors: How Do You Prioritize?

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Editors: How Do You Prioritize?

cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
With all the talk about the EdenTasks going on, I got to thinking about how I edit my reviews. I am starting to take more time on them to make sure I catch more things, but sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether something is just a personal peeve I have grammatically, or if it's something big that should be fixed. So, how picky are you, and what do you prioritize while editing?

*I'm asking which would be most important to you if you had to choose.*
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
I am picky and...
cherryredhead88 , Selective Sensualist , Sir , tim1724 , ZenaidaMacroura , DeliciousSurprise , joja , K101
8
I am partial and...
Grammar is my top priority.
cherryredhead88 , Selective Sensualist , Sir , tim1724 , ZenaidaMacroura , DeliciousSurprise , joja , K101
8
Aesthetics is my top priority.
cherryredhead88 , Sir
2
Proper style is my top priority.
Sir
1
Spacing is a priority (I see a lot of people double space after periods).
joja
1
Vocabulary is a priority.
cherryredhead88 , Sir , K101
3
Punctuation is a priority.
Selective Sensualist , Sir , tim1724 , ZenaidaMacroura , DeliciousSurprise , joja , K101
7
I like to see reviewers put forth an effort to improve.
cherryredhead88 , Sir , tim1724 , ZenaidaMacroura , DeliciousSurprise , K101 , Woman China , bradav , svalentine;)
9
Other
MamaDivine
1
Total votes: 40 (12 voters)
Poll is closed
06/06/2011
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cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
With all the talk about the EdenTasks going on, I got to thinking about how I edit my reviews. I am starting to take more time on them to make sure I catch more things, but sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether something is just a personal ...
I have to say it is pretty hard to choose just one or two, even in my own damn post. Lol

I dislike seeing people who have all their sentences ending like this....

Or huge run on sentences. Those are the hardest to correct because it is hard to fix without changing the person's voice.
06/06/2011
Sir Sir
I read the whole review, honestly. It's not a matter of priority, it's a matter of editing the entire review thoroughly and completely. As I read the review, I edit what needs to be edited and correct what needs to be corrected. Simple as that.
06/06/2011
ZenaidaMacroura ZenaidaMacroura
Quote:
Originally posted by Sir
I read the whole review, honestly. It's not a matter of priority, it's a matter of editing the entire review thoroughly and completely. As I read the review, I edit what needs to be edited and correct what needs to be corrected. Simple as that.
Same here. I edit all that needs to be, one at a time, section by section. I have a lot of pet peeves, like run on sentences, incorrect spelling, not capitalizing "I"...the list goes on.

I actually was taught in school to double space after periods and colons. It's not incorrect. The only thing I fix in regards to that if is someone is inconsistent. Like, one sentence is followed by one space, the next is followed by two, the next just one again, then two or three, etc.

It often seems to me that people rush when they write. And some people do their reviews on a phone where there is no spell check and it's easier to hit the wrong button.
06/06/2011
tim1724 tim1724
I'm rather picky about grammar but I don't correct the more esoteric problems (where grammarians often differ) or those incorrect usages which have become idiomatic. (In some cases the proper grammar is likely to be interpreted as wrong by the average reader!) Occasionally, strange grammar must be left untouched because it would be too difficult to correct without changing the original sentence to such an extent as to be unrecognizable. (But I'm certainly not adverse to changing an ill-chosen preposition, misplaced adverb, or incorrect verb tense if it clarifies the meaning of the sentence without infringing upon the author's intent.)

Unless EF is doing something funky, it shouldn't matter whether people use one space or two after a period. In HTML it renders the same on screen. (HTML collapses adjacent whitespace.)

I'm very picky about punctuation, so I end up spending quite a bit of time fixing that. I implore all reviewers to read the Wikipedia articles on commas and hyphens if unsure about the rules of punctuation. The vast majority of you understand apostrophes and quotation marks but there are some reviewers who don't seem clear on either concept. I've seen some horrible things done with colons and semicolons but most people wisely avoid them when unsure of proper usage.

Some punctuation marks involve style issues (e.g., British vs. American quoting styles, or whether to put spaces around em-dashes and ellipses, or even whether to put a comma after "e.g.", as I did in this list) but there are concrete rules for most punctation marks, which I try to enforce whenever possible. Occasionally some particularly odd punctuation is hard to replace without changing the author's intent, but this is very uncommon. (It is far less common than when ungrammatical sentences must slip past uncorrected in order to avoid changing the author's voice.)

I haven't proofread this post, so please be gentle in pointing out my own errors.
06/06/2011
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by ZenaidaMacroura
Same here. I edit all that needs to be, one at a time, section by section. I have a lot of pet peeves, like run on sentences, incorrect spelling, not capitalizing "I"...the list goes on.

I actually was taught in school to double ...
Same here about the double spacing after periods. That is correct, but they changed the grammar errors to make it "not a necessary action." So I leave them too, unless, like you said, they are inconsistent.
06/06/2011
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
I make certain that I can back up the placement of each hyphen, em dash, comma, semicolon, colon, etc., with a clear-cut grammar rule on a respected academic grammar website. (The Purdue OWL website is one of my favorites because it is so highly regarded in academic circles. They adhere to most of the rules in Strunk and White's iconic grammar book.)

I also check to make sure that words are properly punctuated, capitalized (if need be), and spelled; part of this includes watching out for malapropisms (a word that is mistakenly used for a similar-sounding word with a completely different meaning). As far as spelling, I make sure it agrees with a respected academic dictionary. (Merriam-Webster is my go-to resource for spelling, hyphenation of compound words, and mandatory capitalization of specific words. I also follow the hyphenation rules on the Purdue OWL website.)

Finally, I make sure that the sentence makes sense (at least to the best of my ability) and that it follows proper sentence structure (e.g., series of descriptions matching up with the sentence stem, no sentence fragments, no run-on sentences, no comma splices, etc.). If I have a hard time deciphering the meaning of a sentence, I ask the contributor what was meant in the notes section.

I don't think the proper placement of punctuation in a run-on sentence (or in any sentence) changes a person's voice because you are still working with his or her word choices. You are simply making the writer's words more accessible and understandable to the reader. Proper punctuation simply organizes words into easy-to-follow chunks of information with the goal of imparting the writer's meaning more clearly to the reader. So by providing proper punctuation, you are actually helping the reader hear the writer's voice more clearly!
06/06/2011
cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by Sir
I read the whole review, honestly. It's not a matter of priority, it's a matter of editing the entire review thoroughly and completely. As I read the review, I edit what needs to be edited and correct what needs to be corrected. Simple as that.
I read the whole review too, my question is more of what bothers you the most to fix I guess. I fix all the things I put up there, it's simply which one would you choose if you had to pick one.

I can't even pick one though, since the whole thing essentially matters.
06/06/2011
cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by tim1724
I'm rather picky about grammar but I don't correct the more esoteric problems (where grammarians often differ) or those incorrect usages which have become idiomatic. (In some cases the proper grammar is likely to be interpreted as wrong by ...
I haven't proofread this post, so please be gentle in pointing out my own errors.

See that's where I'm starting to get a little nervous about this whole editor thing. I have always liked to think of myself as having good English, but I still have a few of my own tweaks here and there. I just hope that people don't get really picky about forum posts and things, because I don't always capitilize and sometimes I will use slang.

I don't want to feel like I'm an obolete editor, I guess. Lol
06/06/2011
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by ZenaidaMacroura
Same here. I edit all that needs to be, one at a time, section by section. I have a lot of pet peeves, like run on sentences, incorrect spelling, not capitalizing "I"...the list goes on.

I actually was taught in school to double ...
"The only thing I fix in regards to that if is someone is inconsistent."

Yes, I definitely agree about the spacing. I follow whichever rule the writer uses. I only make changes if there are inconsistencies, using the style choice that is most prevalent in the review to make the style consistent.

As some have mentioned, there are some things that are simply style choices.

Another correction I make is when the majority of sentences in a certain section (such as the Care and Maintenance section) are in one tense and then one or two sentences suddenly switch to another tense. It does not change the writer's voice to change "was" to "is," for example; it is simply making the sentence grammatically correct and consistent.
06/06/2011
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
I read the whole review too, my question is more of what bothers you the most to fix I guess. I fix all the things I put up there, it's simply which one would you choose if you had to pick one.

I can't even pick one though, since the ...
Ahh, alright.

Then if I had to choose one, it would be grammar. Punctuation and other things can be tweaked accordingly, but grammar is always the same! But like you said, everything matters, really...
06/07/2011
cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
"The only thing I fix in regards to that if is someone is inconsistent."

Yes, I definitely agree about the spacing. I follow whichever rule the writer uses. I only make changes if there are inconsistencies, using the style choice ...
I remember a thread a while back, I think it was you who started it but I can't remember. It was about the whole double spacing thing. I don't mind it, but I am so used to one space after a period that I tend to automatically "fix" it when I am going through something.

I am learning a couple more things to look for, like tenses. I notice sometimes, but I have never looked for them particularly.

I absolutely HATE run on paragraphs ( I am calling them that because that is what they are to me, lol). That is the most common thing I see and it is a challenge to decipher one huge paragraph. Especially if you throw in the grammar errors, punctuation like "..." throughout, and mispelled or misused words. A lot of the time I have to go back and go through the review again just to make sure I didn't go in circles by the end of it.
06/07/2011
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
I remember a thread a while back, I think it was you who started it but I can't remember. It was about the whole double spacing thing. I don't mind it, but I am so used to one space after a period that I tend to automatically "fix" ...
Your last paragraph makes me smile. I've been there, too. Those are the reviews to which I was referring in the other thread regarding how errors you would normally never, NEVER miss seem to somehow slip through in your exhaustion from trying to make the review simply readable. The reader does not know how major of an overhaul you gave the review from placing punctuation in one continuous run-on sentence, removing emoticons and chatspeak, translating abbreviations into full words, capitalizing the first word of each and every sentence, correcting an entire legion of spelling errors, and just simply trying to determine what is being said so that you can then determine how to make it grammatically correct without changing the writer's voice.

The longest amount of time I have spent on a review was approaching four hours. Of course, a lot of that time was spent documenting the corrections in the notes section, formulating simple explanations, and providing helpful links. But at least half of that time was spent simply trying to determine how in the world to "fix it" while preserving the writer's voice. (I did not send the review back to the reviewer because I sensed that s/he was earnest and sincere in his/her her efforts, and I truly wanted to help him/her.) If I could just write it how I would say it, the editing process would go much faster. But, of course, I don't really desire to do this because I do value the writer's voice. I just feel tempted at times when I simply cannot figure out how to fix something. Those are the reviews on which I spend the most time.

Anyway, when it comes to reviews like those, it's somewhat like putting forth a lot of effort into lovingly repainting and repairing an old dilapidated house only to have the first person coming to see your renovation point out a couple of chips in the paint, focusing ONLY on that. If they could have only seen what you had to work with and known just how much work you put forth to help the contributor's voice be heard (and understood) in this community, then they might be a bit less harsh and a bit more appreciative.
06/07/2011
tim1724 tim1724
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
Your last paragraph makes me smile. I've been there, too. Those are the reviews to which I was referring in the other thread regarding how errors you would normally never, NEVER miss seem to somehow slip through in your exhaustion from trying ...
I have encountered those reviews while editing, too. On the one hand, it's a heck of a lot of work to hammer some of those into something presentable. On the other hand, fixing those nightmare reviews can be very satisfying.

I happened to get three or four particularly tough cases in my first two days as an editor. At first I was convinced that they were some type of test for new editors. One of them in particular had no capital letters and almost no punctuation whatsoever, not even periods! I was somewhat amazed when I finished editing it to find that it was a real review which showed up on the site once I approved it, having convinced myself halfway through that it couldn't possibly real and must be some sick admin's cruel joke. If the normal EF user could see a side-by-side comparison of the before and after versions, they might cut the proofreaders a little slack. On the other hand, they'd also see those rare cases where we don't need to do anything but click "approve" and wonder why we were getting points. But the hour-long editing jobs outnumber the five minute ones, so I guess it wouldn't be too bad.
06/07/2011
tim1724 tim1724
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
I haven't proofread this post, so please be gentle in pointing out my own errors.

See that's where I'm starting to get a little nervous about this whole editor thing. I have always liked to think of myself as having good English, ...
A forum post isn't the same as a review. I left that plea at the end of my post mostly as a joke. I didn't really expect anyone to start editing forum posts.
06/07/2011
cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by tim1724
A forum post isn't the same as a review. I left that plea at the end of my post mostly as a joke. I didn't really expect anyone to start editing forum posts.
Lol thank god... I just noticed the typo in that post. *Obsolete*

It's funny, I'm writing a paper for my soc class and the teacher told my friend to have a human read her paper (which she did, she just sent in the wrong copy by accident) and she had SO MANY typos in her comments to me.
06/13/2011
K101 K101
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
With all the talk about the EdenTasks going on, I got to thinking about how I edit my reviews. I am starting to take more time on them to make sure I catch more things, but sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether something is just a personal ...
It's actually wrong to try and change someone's writing style, even if it doesn't read like tip-top stuff. You are supposed to let a writer find their own writing style and overtime they will, and things will change as they grow. I learned these things from the editing course of my writing school. The same thing should apply/BE REQUIRED of editors here! I truly hope that other editors here do not try to change someone's writing style, no matter how much it may need to grow. It's a really important part, learning and growing as a writer and I believe that it is for someone who only writes reviews as well.
04/12/2012
MamaDivine MamaDivine
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
With all the talk about the EdenTasks going on, I got to thinking about how I edit my reviews. I am starting to take more time on them to make sure I catch more things, but sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether something is just a personal ...
Thank you for taking your time through the reviews when editing! There are some that I have seen that are just almost unreadable! One that I seen the other day said "Buy" instead of "by"...and I thought "What on earth? How did they miss that?" LOL.
04/15/2012
MamaDivine MamaDivine
Quote:
Originally posted by MamaDivine
Thank you for taking your time through the reviews when editing! There are some that I have seen that are just almost unreadable! One that I seen the other day said "Buy" instead of "by"...and I thought "What on earth? How did they miss that?" LOL.
On a different note, I think that as long as all the information is included in the review that needs to be, its well written, the writing style shouldn't matter. Long as someone can understand it. If its jibberish and written poorly, I would say something.
04/15/2012
Total posts: 19
Unique posters: 7