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“Edit” is not synonymous with “fix”

I just saw the umpteenth iteration of “If only this had been edited!” which I’m not linking to because why and also because it’s always and everywhere. You can’t swing a dead pixel without hitting some forum comment lamenting that There Are Errors Where There Shouldn’t Be.


The verb “edit,” when it’s applied to text, does not mean “fix.” I don’t care what the dictionary says, it doesn’t. It means “change.”

Obviously, yes, we hope the changes we make will be improvements. We’re trying to fix things when they’re broken, correct inconsistencies, smooth out sentence structures, fix verb tenses, switch out that off-key word with a clearer one, whatever. Edits are an attempt at improving things.

However, sometimes an edit creates a conflict with something else in the text. Sometimes it’s just a flat out error. What’s more, as a reader we can’t tell if an error was added in the first draft and missed in revisions or if it was added on the very last pass through.

Hey, mistakes happen, even when you edit.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.



May. 21st, 2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I get those writer-reviews from readers, too. Either I have too many characters or there were dull parts or whatever.

But a misspelling or misused homophone are the easiest things for readers to catch.