I'm sort of an editor by instinct, and while I never catch everything, and I certainly don't catch everything in my own writing, I often noticed the overlooked typo or common grammar error when reading other people's work.
How do most of you feel about receiving corrections? Obviously I wouldn't communicate such edits in the comment section but would most hubbers appreciate other hubbers sending a quick email to call mistakes to your attention?
For the record, I would, so please feel free to let me know if you see my mistakes :-)
I can't speak for others but I don't mind getting them by email. I did get comments in one of my hubs and even though I made a mistake I would have rather been told privately
Posting corrections in the comments section makes them a permanent record, and therefore is inadvisable. It is difficult for some people to own up to a mistake, but we all make them, and if called to our attention quietly be email these mistakes can be corrected for posterity, thus making a substantial improvement to any hub. It's human nature, however, to be embarrassed by such emails, so I would only do so with hubbers with whom I have some kiind of relationship -- and that I know would appreciate it.
You can delete a comment.
At another place (somewhat calamari flavoured) I enjoyed reading this 'lens' and there was a smelling pistake that really didn't need to be there. Unfortunately the author had their contact disabled. But they did have a Guestbook.
Now I don't usually correct people unless I know them and really like them. And I didn't actually know this person, but I felt that they would benefit from the correction. So I posted the feedback in the Guestbook pointing out the error and also told them to delete my Guestbook entry once they were done.
There are many problems with Hubs I read. I know I don't care if there emailed to me. I try to reread it and fix it. I never told a Hubber about there mistakes because I don't want to be a nag or tick anyone off. It's a happy community so I don't dislike anyone in hopes of the return result is no one dislikes of me.
HubPages is supposed to be a showcase for writers.
Unfortunately, many writers here who have great ideas and present wonderful subject matter don't proof what they write.
HubPages and other applications like Word have spell checkers. Start there. Why not use them?
Given that some writers here do not have English as their first language, I can understand the mistakes. But those who do own up to English as their first language should take more care.
As for words misspelled like *there* and *their*, this is a matter of taking the language seriously if you want people to read you seriously. Get a good grammar reference. There are many on the market, and many are free. Spend time educating yourself.
As for others pointing out your mistakes, take the criticism as a kindness, because someone wants you to make your writing more fluid. As for pointing out the mistakes of others, William is right on about the private email.
About private email to me, HubPages email does not reach me, because I do not have a gmail account, and refuse to get one only for HubPages. So, if you see mistakes on my part, please email me at email@example.com. I will be grateful for your kindness.
Funny, I never noticed that Hubpages had a spell checker in the text modules. As for the other, not everyone uses word processors like Word. I use Notepad for all content creation. It does not have a spell checker.
I wouldn't mind if someone brought my attention to a typo in one of my Hubs. Grammar is iffy though. You do not need perfect grammar to convey the substance of what you are trying to communicate and I generally find the grammar obsessed to be less kind than you suggest they are being.
Totally different rules for forums too. Spelling and grammar corrections in forums almost always lead to flame wars
darkside, I'm glad you do.
I brought this issue to HP's attention a long time ago, and received a response from the team. Apparently, comcast.net is not on their list of IP providers for whom they can make the necessary adjustments. Please, let's let this be the last of this concern in this thread, which is about much more than email accounts. I just want Hubbers to know they can reach me another way.
I'm always happy to be told. Ifind it embarassing when I don't pick it up myself. Why?
Because my mom taught me better, and if she ever figures out how to use a computer she might read it and be appalled.
Spellcheck Hubber. LOL.
I'm with you on that, DJ. Since the first time I put crayon to lined paper, and whenever I write now, I know I'm only as good as my mama taught me to be. As I think and write, I hear her voice and see her red pen, and they guide me well. Then, if the piece is really important, I'm lucky enough to be able to ask her to proof it for me.
But only after I've read it over and over first! An honest mistake is always forgiven - but a careless one? THE SHAME!
HubPages is full of better writers than myself, and I'd definitely welcome any help they took the time to send my way.
Write on, everybody!
(from someone who hasn't published a hub in HOW long?)
I agree with the Hubbers here. I was a professional tech writer BC (before children) and there's a lot to writing. Most people who self-publish on the internet aren't professionals. Even though I would assume my language and spelling skills were better than average, I know my weaknesses, which include some spelling errors and a tendency to overuse commas. Anyway, I would appreciate any corrections people want to send my way. I'm pretty thick-skinned that way, having toughened up by on-the-job editors. A good editor always makes your writing look smarter and more polished. Count me in if you find a typo. My wireless keyboard sometimes drops letters, too. (Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!)
Sometimes my eagerness to get something published overshadows the quality control issues.
But I also agree that other people can be sensitive to this type of criticism. So it just depends on how you approach the person.
Thanks for all of the replies, and I must admit I'm not really surprised :-) But I got used to the red pen in high school, thanks to my first journalism instructor, and sometimes people do react more sensitvely than I predict.
Now, if I could only remember which hub had that typo that made me think of this post....
Dineane, the red pen is the absolute worst communications tool to use with a young student. Your teacher may have meant well, but when the red color was used, it was a slap on your face.
When editors have a good relationship with writers, they may use the red pen with no recrimination. And writers understand that. But when editors and writers don't have a good relationship, or the writer is particularly incompetent, the red pen deals blows with a vengeance.
So, about critiquing Hubbers' works, stay away from red. Purple is OK. And I wish your high school teacher had used it instead of red.
Aha! This illustrates a critical writing/editing rule: Always read the whole thing before you pass judgement.
After reading the first paragraph, I was ready to whimper "B-b-b-but I got the red pen all the t-t-t-time! W-w-w-as I wrong to like the red pen?" But after reading the second paragraph, I feel that much closer to and protected by my own favorite editor.
I assume most of us are here because forming and manipulating written words touches us in a deep, powerful way. No wonder we illicit such passion out of each other sometimes!
I proofread 90% of the time in my job as a documentation analyst/techwriter. I don't go looking for errors, but they almost always jump out at me when I'm reading. I've even spotted a few in published books, newspapers and magazines.
When I got my first home computer some thirteen years ago, and got involved with chatrooms, I let myself go. I started dropping punctuation, capitalization, using acronyms, and even let blatant misspellings go. Forget proper grammar, and even my poor old dangling participles went by the wayside. It was just much more casual and I wasn't on here to impress anyone. Also, I think part of that was because I do do so much proofreading forty hours a week, I felt this was a time to just relax.
I have emailed one or two hubbers and they very graciously thanked me. I have to admit though, that I was very hesitant to do it, but their hubs had very good content, so I just took my chances.
As Sally mentioned, it truly is a kindness. My intent is not to criticize, but to educate.
I'm one of those who would appreciate a private email if I had a typo or some other error in my hubs. Although I take time to painstakingly proofread them, a thing or two sometimes goes by unnoticed. The sooner they are corrected, the better it will be for my credibility.
wannabwestern, a good editor makes you a better writer. It's not the editor's job to make you look more polished or smarter.
Don't think for a minute that the editor is saying, *Gee, what a great mind, I think I'll polish the presentation and make the writer look smarter.*
The editor is adhering to the rules of the publication and to the rules of English, on the writer's behalf, because the subject matter is good. It is always the editor's goal to educate the writer, so that the next time the writer submits words for publication, the editor's job is easier. The goal? The writer learned something.
Polished belongs to fingernails.
Thankfully, I think, I am in the majority with my ability to know proper english(or should that be not know). I try to get my writing as close as I know how, so please, if anyone can help me improve, please feel free.
I know about the delete key for comments, so any way you choose is fine.
One thing I would like to tell a couple of you here. It might not be proper writing skill to make very short paragraphs (2-3 sentences, 4 max) but with computer screens it makes it tremendously easier to read. This is especially true for those of us whose older eyes start to fuzz after looking at a white screen.
A short rant I will never understand why everyone insist this small print be the norm. There is plenty of room on most screens for twice the size. Then many such as myself would not have to squint. So all of you help me change the internet standard. (-;
Hi, Health Conscious. If you're having trouble reading text on your screen, you can increase the size of fonts by holding down Ctrl and rolling down the wheel of your mouse.
I have one of them advanced fancy mice (and it doesn't eat much either) that only take a push of the scroll button but unfortunately the browsers are not yet ready for that to work right. The letters go into everything and you have to scroll. It is a pain. :-)
My sight is not that bad and is getting better but after a couple hours those letters go to fuzzing up on me.
Hey cool, while writing this I just remembered that the new firefox I just downloaded said something about improving text size changing and it works great. I used to get everything changing places and running over boundaries. The submit would be a couple of inches from the button.
Any way thanks for the help
That is true-- about the short paragraphs-- I once wrote for a paper that had rather narrow columns. More than three or four sentences made it hard to read. The same is true here. Big blocks of type are hard to plow through.
DJ, give your mother the respect she deserves, and fix whatever you need to fix.
Dineane, aren't you glad you opened up this can of worms?
I rarely post corrections in a comment, but funny: I've done it twice recently. I did it once to someone I knew wouldn't mind. The other time I did it was because the hubber used my name in the article and misspelled it.
I don't think it is very rude to make corrections, as long as you aren't going crazy with it, for a couple of reasons. Two of the main reasons:
1. Comments are not permanent. The author of a hub can choose to show, not show, or delete a comment at any time.
2. Even print newspapers and magazines receive corrections from readers, and often publish those corrections.
However, there have been other times that I've simply sent someone an email instead of leaving a comment. Not everyone makes it available to receive the emails, and some people simply don't get them.
If there is a lot of bad grammar in a hub, article, whatever, I wouldn't comment or correct simply because I wouldn't even make it past the first paragraph.
I learned so much from an editor I worked with-- she was quite kind about it, and always rated my writing above my grammar. My spelling has also alway been a little below optimal (Hoooray for spell-checkers!) As a copy editor, the person who approved my articles for publication, made my work looked really polished and even taught me the basic but oft mis-use of it's and its-- can't believe I got through college without knowing this.
Then again, there are confusing words like there's, theirs and their and they're-- I am quite good at posing replys, or even replies, WITH NUMEROUS typos-- usually I'm a bit better in my hubs-- but they are their... er they're...there, as well.
Private emails are fine-- I don't mind being called out on posted comments either. It doesn't mean you are stupid if you make stupid mistakes , , , but sometimes it does make us LOOK that way. (Hooray for competent, compassionate editors.)
I would appreciate it. Constructive-type comments that is.
Naw luk... eye dun mest up thees hear sintinsis. Kin sumbudy pleese gimme sum heulp?
Sorry... I'm from South Carolina. A lot of people really talk like that around thees hear paruhts!
While I try to "be the best I can be," but sometimes my being isn't the best. I welcome all constructive-type comments/criticism, etc.
Naw I ain't tha yellerist lemin own the tree, but I shure dew no howta klik D-leet.
(After I take all of your great constructive-type comments/criticism to heart of course.)
If we'd all start to do this, we could make HubPages a better community.
Hubbing like there's no tomato plants in the garden, (not that I have a garden)
See, Sally's Trove, this is exactly why I asked the question in the first place. I've never felt anything but gratitude for that teacher's red pen! I wouldn't want to inadvertently discourage anyone who wants to write, but for me, the weekly corrections and suggestions in high school literally taught me how to do better. It was in part the repitition, and the red pen stood out on the page! That particular teacher was actually one of my favorites.
Thanks again to everyone for responding! I'm glad to know that a quick email will be appreciated and not perceived as a slap on the face...I promise not to use a red font :-)
Dineane, you are so lucky to have had a wonderful relationship with your teacher, and to have had an upbringing that did not render you hyper-sensitive to red ink.
Please don't misunderstand my thoughts regarding the importance of constructive criticism. We are all better writers for it, and I know I welcome it. It's only the choice of ink color that I object to, specifically for young or inexperienced writers, or writers you don't have a positive relationship with, not the laying down of the ink itself.
I do have a confession to make about red ink.
Years ago, in an assignment where I managed a team of four writers, we practiced the peer review process as a matter of business. There were only two rules we all had to follow: 1) Reviews had to be constructive and include solutions to problems, and 2) NOBODY got to use a red pen except ME. It was a colorful year. The writers chose their favorite colors (purple, green, pink, and orange), decorated their cubes accordingly, and often dressed to match. Then, because they were so darned smart, one day they switched colors specifically to confuse (to get back at?) me. When I left that assignment, I handed over the red pen to the lead writer in a ceremony that included (don't tell) several or more glasses of bubbly.
This is a really good question and interesting debate. Sometimes I'm itching to correct somebody's typos or grammar but opt out at the last moment! I have done it once, but via private message. I don't think it's fair to write it publically - we're not in school.
For the record, anybody is welcome to correct any errors on my hub (via comment or pm - whichever is most convenient!).
Finally, we haven't even talked about the difference in American and English spelling - perhaps I should request a hub on the topic - if anybody would like to tackle this interesting topic please contact me and I will return the favor...or should that be favour?!
I rarely post to forum comments, but I'm surprised that my hats off to the editors in my life has offended you, Sally's Trove. I think it is complimentary to feel that an editor's work has the end result of making a writer's work look more polished, even if you feel that only belongs on fingernails. This result doesn't make the editor's work superficial or meaningless to the writer. I believe you read some things into my comment that weren't there.
I learned a lot from the editors I worked with on the job and I thank them for helping me become a stronger writer. If someone wants to commit the time to helping me make my writing better, or catches a spelling, grammar, or usage error, I won't look the gift horse in the mouth. I love language. I am learning a great deal from this experience AND enjoying the creative outlet and opportunity to work on my writing here at HP.
Wishing everyone well. I am going to have a baby any day now so will be taking a break from HP for a few weeks, so I won't be commenting on this thread again.
wannabwestern, I am not at all offended, and I did not miss the hats off to the editors in your life.
You had said, "A good editor always makes your writing look smarter and more polished." I had said, "...a good editor makes you a better writer." There's a big difference between making a writer "look" smarter and making a person a better writer. I believe the editor's goal is the latter, and by your comment above, it appears you agree.
You are right. I did read some things into your comment. And here they are...
As a professional writer and editor, I can't tell you how many times I have been asked to "pretty up" someone else's words, to "polish" a presentation, to "make" someone "look smarter". (Has this not happened to you?) I believe that using these words devalues the editor's and writer's professions (as well as the cosmetician's). I have been diligent in keeping these words out of my vocabulary and vocal about my position. I have gone so far as to tell clients who use these words that we are not in the cosmetics business.
I wish you well at this wonderful time in your life. All the happiness in the world to you and your family!
Dear daughter, Dineane, please feel free to edit your mama as usual;o) And, to WIMC, Dineane is the reason I am a writer today. Her expert and brutal editing helped me get my foot in the door. Now I have my fifth book being released later this year and I owe it all to Dineane's red ink. I say, Yeah for RED ink!!!! Or purple, something that I can see is all that matters to me.
I guess I should thank Mrs. Welborn, too, for teaching you so you could teach me.
Thanks everyone for not picking on me and my typo Obviously water under the bridge on forum posts!
Actually, Mama, most of my recent editing for you has been highlighted in yellow with MS Word's "track changes" feature
I let someone know that they had a broken link because of a typo and I gained a new fan.
As a cost-saving measure "The Columbus Dispatch" laid off their newspaper proofreaders months ago. The many typos are really disconcerting and readers write into the editorials page about it. No changes yet. Corrections in hub comments are fine, I think, unless they are joined with profanity.
Every now and then I don't mind it, but when the same hubber corrects the typos in every hub that I publish, it gets annoying.... Luckily that stopped. lol
I think primary factors for determining whether or not to point out mistakes in hubs lie in the stated (or obvious) purpose of the hub and in the quality of it to begin. If it's just a silly thing and clearly not meant to have a life beyond some ephemeral quip or passing rumination, why bother? If it's just not written particularly well for any of a number of reasons, why bother "fixing" it at all? Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear or however that saying goes.
On the other hand, if it's obviously intended to be taken seriously, and if the work is clearly quality to begin, then I don't suppose it's out of line to point out errors if they might cost the author credibility or acclaim. I do think that an e-mail or some other discrete method is probably the better choice, but if comments can be deleted at the hubber's choice, there's no harm posting publically at all. I'd just advise not making other interesting comments that might be lost in the writer's having chosen to preserve a sense of topical authority.
Feel free to point out my mistakes if you run across hubs you feel are worthy your time. I wouldn't mind in the least.
I spent 4 hours proofreading an article that I liked on hubpages for someone unknown to me. I privately sent the amended script to the author and kept my fingers crossed. That writer's response was curt. I shall never make this mistake again.
While I hear your point, Sally, I have to say the essence of language is meaning. Semantic debates can take place over diction, but I think the point of terms like "polish" and making a writer "look smarter" is intended to convey what good editing can bring to a writer's work. I don't believe there was any malice in Wannabe's choice of words at all, and the essence of meaning seemed perfectly clear and made with language that is widely used. I can't see how commenting that editors contribute credibility and style to a piece through the work that they do can be construed as something negative to say.
Shadesbreath, you are so right: Editors do indeed contribute credibility and style to a piece, and they do that in the process of conforming to the publication style they are currently using. Not only is this contribution different from polish and looking smarter, this contribution is the model that the editor offers to the writer, who then has the opportunity to learn.
About semantic debates: Our language is rich with words that evoke multiple interpretations depending on one's culture, education, and daily life experience. Since words may have more than one connotation, and thus impact different readers differently, should the writer write with consideration for those differences, or should the reader read with that same consideration and thus "read into" what the writer is really trying to say? Who should be deconstructing what to the benefit of whom?
Of course there was no malice in wannabwestern's choice of words.
I think you and I are off the track of the point of this forum thread, but ours surely is an interesting discussion!
Firstly, I want to thank Susan for pointing out how the size of fonts can be increased. Now, finally, I can see the type.
Several hubbers have mentioned that comments can be deleted. Yes, they can. However, I would not delete a comment that I believe was meant to enhance the discussion of the hub unless it was absolutely necessary. Just today I approved a comment that contained profanity, which I find to be inappropriate on HubPages. But the comment was part of the conversation, and, aside from the profanity, was worthwhile.
Most hubbers on this thread say they would be happy to receive corrections relating to their hubs; however, I'm certain there are many other hubbers (who do not read or contribute to the forums) who would feel offended. Correcting the spelling of one word would be one thing, but some hubs would call for a long list of corrections that would undoubtedly offend less professionally minded hubbers (even if they didn't say so outright.) Not everyone has professional training, or a professional attitude about such things
For hubbers who fail to review their hubs carefully for errors, the spellchecker won't be much help. The spellchecker works best for typos, but if you have trouble with words like their, or there or they're, the spellchecker is useless.
Correcting grammar is far more complicated. I've been a writer for virtually all my life, and I still have lots of trouble with many constructions. But I am very careful to use the word that conveys the exact meaning I'm seeking. Often that requires referring to a dictionary or a thesaurus to review the connotations of several similar words and their synonyms.
I am one of those hubbers who truly appreciates being told of an error in my hubs, and despite my careful efforts to seek perfection, I often do not succeed in attaining it.
I don't mind the odd typo as I read a web page. When people are in full flow dumping their brain contents onto the page, it's easy for the odd slip up to sneak in unnoticed.
My concern is when the wrong word is used, completely changing the meaning of the article.
A common example of this is when authors mix up then/than. A HUGE number of writers simply don't KNOW the difference between the two and the resulting article can have the opposite meaning to what was intended.
Almost as common is loose/lose.
Put a number of these bloopers into an article and it can become almost impossible to understand what the author is really trying to say.
Unfortunately, even the most accurate spell checker would let these examples sail through without a problem.
So it would benefit the author to know of a mistake like this. Not sure how many would actually appreciate it though!
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