Correcting an error in someone else's hub

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  1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
    CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years ago

    I always appreciate it when someone lets me know about a typo or an error of fact in my hubs. I have also given a heads-up to others and they have been appreciative. When I tell someone about an error, I send them a private email. What is the proper thing to do?  Ignore what looks like an error or let the hubber know about it? If you let him know about it, what is the best way to do that?

    1. Victoria Lynn profile image87
      Victoria Lynnposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I would appreciate it, but through a private email. I have let people know of obvious ones before, like in the title, and they have been appreciative. I probably wouldn't bother with a hub that was riddled with errors, but for those hubbers that have an otherwise spotless hub, I would let them know, as it was certain to be an oversight.

    2. colorfulone profile image77
      colorfuloneposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I am always more than pleased when someone takes the time to let me know that I have an error in an article. That just happened to me last week where I had two typos on one of my hubs. Now, they have a friend in me, and I certainly will do the same for them if I see an error they might miss.

    3. tsmog profile image83
      tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      A humorous article could be written about the antics of critiquing a article. Maybe pointing out an error as small as a typo is not thought to be critiquing as the 'messenger', yet it boils down to the recipient. My philosophy is the messenger is always killed if not maimed, unless an angel. In other words criticism is always refuted by criticism. Sometimes it is not communicated. It seems to be human nature.

      Yes, human nature can be tamed, yet it is always there. A manager learns this real quick. The old pros just keep going on like the energizer bunny rabbit beating their drum. They may change their tune, but they keep on running. The newbie . . .

      (I remember when a newbie and still today how many offered their editing service to me giggle + giggle and hint, hint smile )

      Are there any tricks to the trade that work best? Even with best friends when an article is praised with an issue presented the issue will be remembered first, not the praise. That is simply how we remember IMHO. It is called interference theory of forgetting of the study of memory within psychology. One memory competes with another. Or, criticism competes with praise. Most likely when criticism is reacted to with change it remains the memory as the praise is forgotten. 

      Humorously when I am critiqued I giggle + giggle while silently think, "I bet so and so does not know how to set up a seven stage clutch in a top AA fueler. What does so and so know anyway?". (Consider the controversy of where to place the question mark - within the quotation marks or not. Should there be a period following? . . . I really dun'no but it looks correct smile ) Then, I muse over the critique and offer a kind reply while taking note of it. And, then I keep beating my drum running along. Maybe respect becomes the issue. I simply dun'no . . .

      1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
        CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        If someone got angry at me for a polite effort to be helpful, I'd say good riddance. When someone helps me, I am so grateful that I make an extra effort to read and comment on their hubs. Taking issue with my premise or ideas or giving a detailed critique is not what I am talking about here--just pointing out a typo or small error of fact like an incorrect date..If someone says I made an error and I disagree, I would just leave my text unchanged and maybe explain why.

        1. tsmog profile image83
          tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Noted and thank you smile

    4. Tuan Tran Anh profile image35
      Tuan Tran Anhposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hic. I still have one themselves, to do so more. Hic. Are any other track and not comment?

    5. CrisSp profile image66
      CrisSpposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Nobody's perfect and I'd appreciate some gentle tap preferably by email.  I wouldn't be hurt and would certainly be grateful for the honesty.

    6. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you everyone who responded.  After reviewing al the replies, here is my take on it.  Most people appreciate a tactful correction of a typo or error. Most people do not want a critique of their entire hub.

      The easiest way to offer a suggestion might be in a comment which includes "Please feel free to deny this comment after reading." Then use another comment to praise or discuss the hub. A suggestion could also be done by going to the person's profile, clicking on "fan mail," and then clicking on "send an email."  No one wants to be embarrassed by being publically corrected.

      If you get a correction, thank the person who sent it. If you send a correction, and do not get thanked, don't correct that person again.

      I found this exchange to be very helpful. Thanks again to everyone who participated.

      1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
        CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I just had a worrying thought.  If your comment id denied, does that count against your hubber score?

      2. Millionaire Tips profile image88
        Millionaire Tipsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not sure I would discount people who don't respond, for two reasons.  One is that they may be wary of letting others know their email address, since there is a warning from HubPages that replying will show your email address.  The other, more important reason, is that I doubt I will remember who did and who did not respond.  I don't plan on creating a record-keeping system for that.

    7. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      If I know the Hubber, I'll email them, because that's what I would want someone to do if they find an error on one of my hubs.
      But not everyone is receptive to being corrected

  2. Melinda Longoria profile image67
    Melinda Longoriaposted 9 years ago

    I personally would be so happy and grateful if someone pointed out an error in one of my hubs so that I could fix it.

    1. kenneth avery profile image78
      kenneth averyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hi, Catherine and Melinda,
      I WANT you two or anyone to tell me in comments or private mail about errors in my Hubs.
      Sometimes I hate NOT being perfect.

  3. misterhollywood profile image90
    misterhollywoodposted 9 years ago

    I would welcome the feedback as long as it was given in the spirit of helpfulness.

  4. Millionaire Tips profile image88
    Millionaire Tipsposted 9 years ago

    I think you have to be careful about pointing out errors, because some people take it very personally.  It is possible that you might catch them at a bad time, or, especially now, they are working on fixing a long list of hubs and simply haven't gotten to that one yet. It is also possible that you may be wrong, or simply have a different opinion.

    Having said that, I always appreciate being told of any errors, so I can correct them before anyone else sees the hub.

  5. ecogranny profile image83
    ecogrannyposted 9 years ago

    I am deeply grateful whenever someone takes the time to point out a mistake in my work. No matter how many times I proofread, inevitably, something gets by me somewhere along the line.

    If it's a typo, broken link or grammatical error, I wouldn't mind receiving a note in a separate comment that includes a "Please delete after you read this." That saves us both time. But if the error requires more explanation, then an email is fine too.

    Thank you for bringing this up. I agree with Millionaire Tips that not everyone appreciates such notifications.

    Also, do be careful of wording. I once notified someone I admired very much about a little thing I would like to have known if it were my page. Unfortunately, I was interrupted before I finished writing the email, and when I came back, I failed to notice that I had left out a key phrase, which changed the meaning entirely. Short on time, I hit send. Oh. My. Goodness.

    That person took great offense, understandably, once I realized my error, and no amount of apology or explanation would salve the hurt. I do believe that mistake spoiled our relationship for years afterward.

    1. Victoria Lynn profile image87
      Victoria Lynnposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Very true. I have only let people know about major issues, such as in their title.

  6. WriteAngled profile image73
    WriteAngledposted 9 years ago

    I will eventually find any typos I have made by myself.

    I research every topic carefully before I produce an article and only write about topics I can approach critically, therefore factual errors are not an issue.

    If I wished for editorial input, I would seek this from a qualified and experienced person and pay for the input. I have no desire to plagued by "corrections" proffered by random readers.

    1. Jayne Lancer profile image91
      Jayne Lancerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Even if it takes two years or more.

  7. janshares profile image92
    jansharesposted 9 years ago

    I think it has to do with each person's comfort level with pointing out someone's errors. I've done it once or twice in the comment section in a way that was discreet by saying something like, "check your artichokes" instead of saying, "you spelled artichoke wrong." The hubber really appreciated me pointing it out and the way I did it. I sent another hubber an email about some mistakes and did not get a reply.

    I see lots of minor typos in hubs and have decided to let them be. Most of them are right after the hub was published so I trust that the hubber will see the mistakes and correct them in time, after it gets featured. I personally don't mind if mistakes are pointed out to me. I just don't point them out anymore to others. I think finding your own mistakes is a part of the process of editing and updating your hubs.

    A great way a couple of veteran hubbers pointed out errors for me when I started here was by writing it in the comment section and adding, "now delete this comment by hitting 'deny' after you read it." I thought that was brilliant and very generous.

  8. Ann Hinds profile image67
    Ann Hindsposted 9 years ago

    I have a lens I am very proud of so when I went to make it a hub today, I found a stupid grammar error. It has been there a long time and I wish someone would have told me long ago. I don't get offended when my errors are pointed out. I for one say, "Please let me know".

    1. Millionaire Tips profile image88
      Millionaire Tipsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly - I would wish to know so I can correct it before anyone else sees the error.

      I think the key is to be sure that you mention what you like about the article as well as pointing out the error.  If you simply say "hey you spelled something wrong" you may want to say that you liked the entire article and there was one slip in it, so it is clear that you aren't saying this is one of many issues with the article, or saying the person doesn't know how to spell.

  9. Nancy Hardin profile image59
    Nancy Hardinposted 9 years ago

    I was always told the best way is a private message. But sometimes that isn't possible, for instance on FB when someone isn't on your friends list. How we'd handle it here, I don't know. We need to find out if there's a way to contact fellow Hubbers.

    1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You can contact hubbers privately.  Click on "fan mail" in their profile and then a little to the left is "send an email."  At least I think the emails are private. someone correct me if I am wrong on this.

  10. Scarlettohairy profile image60
    Scarlettohairyposted 9 years ago

    Yes, please let me know too if you ever see a typo or error in one of my hubs. I appreciate the heads up!

    1. Nancy Hardin profile image59
      Nancy Hardinposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I would also want to know about errors. But again, as others have said above, you must approach anyone's errors in a tactful way. Some folks are naturally blunt, and it's hard for them to be subtle. I have one FB friend like that, but she's a real pearl of a friend, and I'd never take offense at what she says because she's plain spoken. No beating around the bush. On the other hand, if someone I didn't have a friendship with reproached me for having errors (typo or content) in a brusque, "better than you" attitude, I would probably take offense at that. The people who have known me for some time know that I am grateful to have someone tell me if they spot something wrong. It would be better to tell someone privately I think.

  11. SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image84
    SANJAY LAKHANPALposted 9 years ago

    It is better to tell the person in fan mail. Hub comment would appear indiscreet and pedantic.

    1. Nancy Hardin profile image59
      Nancy Hardinposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      @Sanjay, I thought fan mail only worked when you "follow" someone. But then, I'm still a newbie!

    2. Cardisa profile image87
      Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You must also remember that "fan mail" is also viewed by the public. A private email message is best.

  12. SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image84
    SANJAY LAKHANPALposted 9 years ago

    Nancy Hardin, when you click on fan mail tab on profile page of someone, the message " Post Fan Mail' appears when you follow someone. Otherwise "Send (name of hubber) an email" pops up.

    1. Nancy Hardin profile image59
      Nancy Hardinposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Sanjay, I did not know that. I guess I'm still finding my way around HubPages. (smile) Thanks again!

  13. Patsybell profile image81
    Patsybellposted 9 years ago

    I consider it a professional courtesy. I have a group of writer friends who are quick to point out typos. I saves me the embarrassment of looking like a bad writer. We start an email to point out the mistake with the subject line "pssst."

  14. Shades-of-truth profile image82
    Shades-of-truthposted 9 years ago

    Over the years, I have gently pointed out typos to many others, on their websites, articles, hubs, lenses, etc.

    Without an exception, everyone has been gracious and thankful.

    While "tweaking" my own lenses that became hubs, I found a couple of my own. Resisting the temptation to email myself, I simply fixed them.

    My experience has always been that the person who penned the text is grateful if someone catches an error in information, or a typo. After all, we are supposed to help each other, aren't we?

    P.S. If you find any typos caught on my hubs, please DO let me know.

    1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Shades: I laughed about emailing myself.  I have to resist the urge to smack myself because I am so mad at my lousy proof-reading skills.  I always begin by saying that I thought the hub was great (if I thought it was lousy I wouldn't bother contacting the person) and I add "I hope you don't mind, but I feel confident that you wouldn't want your great hub marred by a typo."

      1. Shades-of-truth profile image82
        Shades-of-truthposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Glad I made you smile!

  15. Barbara Kay profile image73
    Barbara Kayposted 9 years ago

    I don't let them know, because I worry they will take offence.Maybe I should be.

    1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I was trying to get a sense about how people feel about being corrected. I think the comment about helping each other was right on target and it makes me feel more confident about sending an email pointing out something that needs to be corrected.

  16. Shades-of-truth profile image82
    Shades-of-truthposted 9 years ago

    Barbara Kay, I won't be offended. Whenever I read something that has misspelled words or a link that is broken or anything similar, I notice it.

    Spell checkers cannot pick up the difference between "to" and "too" and "two" being used correctly, or "your" or "you're", etc., and people want others to appreciate what they write and pay attention. I'll gladly take the risk of offending someone, if I can help them correct a typo - besides, I have thick skin! smile

  17. joanhall profile image84
    joanhallposted 9 years ago

    If the writer is someone I know pretty well, and I know that they have strong grammar skills, I will point out a glaring typo.  On the occasions that I've done it, the writers have expressed appreciation.

    If it's someone I don't know, I leave it alone, probably out of fear of being viewed as nothing but a nitpicky criticizer.  (The text editor here if redlining the word "nitpicky", so that's actually a typo!)

    But I welcome any feedback from anyone alerting me to mistakes in any of my hubs (please wait until January to notify me about any issues of ugly formatting since I'm still working on fixing things up from the Squidoo transfer).

    You can go ahead and leave the feedback in comments and I'll delete after I correct the error.

    1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Good idea Joanhall.  I don't want all future readers to know I messed up.

  18. junecampbell profile image69
    junecampbellposted 9 years ago

    I greTly appreciate it when someone points out an error in my hubs. I have l sent private messages on occasion if I see a glaring typo. Sometimes I get a reply and sometimes not.

    1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      June: So far, everyone has thanked me for pointing out the error and if I go back I find it is fixed.  I'd like to be corrected (via email) even if it is a small thing.

  19. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
    DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years ago

    A few times I've pointed out mistakes of one sort or another in someone's hub.

    I don't make it a practice to go around looking for mistakes, but as someone who does proofreading, typos and grammatical errors just seem to leap off the page and attack my eyes! wink

    In such cases, I will always send a private e-mail, for two reasons:

    First, I don't want to embarrass the person in public.

    Second, so the comment mentioning the correction won't still be hanging around after the mistake has been fixed.

    I've never had anyone be anything but thankful, as I do try to be tactful when pointing out the problem.

  20. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 9 years ago

    I'd rather - if someone is one of those people who feels the need to go around correcting other people's stuff - people just point out typos in comments, so I can, maybe, address any  True, I have comments shut off on a lot of my older Hubs, but they're beyond worrying about anyway. 

    If someone has a question/disagreement about some fact or point I've made (again) I'd rather they put it in comments (either for discussion,, clarification, or correction).  That lets readers see any questions other readers may have had.

    Although I, personally, go with the thinking of my late father when I was a kid (which was, "You worry about YOU, and let the other kids and their parents worry about THEM."), I'd just rather anyone put their questions/concerns in comments.  Not only does it allow for correction/clarification in/on the Hub, but I don't want to b be getting e.mails about typos in Hubs that are a zillion years old.  Besides, in the scheme of all flaws and weaknesses in online writing, and in the scheme of having zillion of pieces of writing somewhere online, I pretty much see the occasional typo or grammar flaw as the least of anyone's problems.

    I have no problems having my own imperfect/questionable stuff pointed out.  I have a big problem with what I see as "being a busy body" about other people's stuff, work, life, etc.

    And, I find it insulting when people think other people are so sensitive and childish that they "can't take criticism" that they think doing some obligatory praising before the criticism isn't transparent and just particularly insulting.  Maybe some people are baby-enough to be THAT insecure, but grown-ups aren't.  Also, I don't really think a lot of those people who said "thanks so much" for having some little flaws pointed out really meant they appreciated it.  A lot of them just don't want to be seen as "unable to graciously accept criticism".

    (Note:   If I have typos in this post it's because I can barely see my mini-laptop, which is now sitting atop my PC, which needs service.  When you're a "mind  your own business" kind of person you're particularly careful to explain any typos in something like a forum post)    hmm   hmm    )     (Note to self:    Maybe consider addressing the service problem in the very near future.  This keyboard-on-keyboard/long-distance trying-to-see thing is getting to be a real drag.   roll   )

  21. SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image84
    SANJAY LAKHANPALposted 9 years ago

    Carsisa, the fan mail does not appear unless it is approved.

  22. sunilkunnoth2012 profile image62
    sunilkunnoth2012posted 9 years ago

    Sending a private message via email is the best option ane conveying it politely

  23. sunilkunnoth2012 profile image62
    sunilkunnoth2012posted 9 years ago

    Sending a private message via email is the best option ane conveying it politely

  24. Rachael Tate profile image67
    Rachael Tateposted 9 years ago

    Agreed, please feel free to correct me.

  25. Shades-of-truth profile image82
    Shades-of-truthposted 9 years ago

    As I stated earlier, please feel free to correct me too - I make it a habit not to take myself too seriously!

  26. Jodah profile image91
    Jodahposted 9 years ago

    I invite any readers of my hubs to point out errors because to me there is nothing more embarrassing to have a hub that has been published for months and suddenly you find errors and realise that others have been probably seeing it and not saying anything out of politeness. I'd rather fix it right away, and I don't care if they let me know in comments or private email.
    I do realise that others are more sensitive and may prefer to be told in private.

    1. LongTimeMother profile image91
      LongTimeMotherposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ah, Jodah, spoken like a true Aussie. lol. Like you, if I received mention of a typo via the comments section, I'd be saying 'Thanks, mate.' (And, like you, I'm here on the computer at nearly midnight local time.)

    2. Shades-of-truth profile image82
      Shades-of-truthposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ditto, Jodah and LongTimeMother!

  27. Lionrhod profile image79
    Lionrhodposted 9 years ago

    If there's a typo in one of my hubs, I absolutely want to know about it!

    After spending days on writing something, it's easy to miss something in your final edit, just because your brain is weary of the subject (even when it's a subject that excites you). I often go back a couple days later with a fresh mind and find things that need a tweak. My own greatest sin is sometimes changing the way I approach writing a sentence and then forgetting to fix it, so that there are extra words that no longer belong.

    IMO I'd much rather get a message in comments with the suggestion to delete after. LOL my email is so full that I might not find it there.

    Which reminds me that I need to figure out how to stop HP from sending me mail every single time there's a comment on a page or forum post I'm following. (I LIKE notifications, but I dislike the constant emails.)

    Having grown up in community with other writers, I see zero problem with tactfully pointing out a typo.

    What I won't do though, is address someone who's command of the English language is so poor that their entire page is one giant typo.

    Unless they specifically ask me to help them, I figure they're not going to be pleased with me suggesting they go back to grammar school. I played with the hub hopper and found some truly scary stuff that makes me terrified about the fate of our school system.

    1. CatherineGiordano profile image78
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Lionrhod: You can turn the comments off. At the top of the comments section, there is a bar that says follow/unfollow. I am glad I discovered that one day.  I usually follow the comments for about a week and then unfollow.  Otherwise I'd have a couple of hundred notifications a day.

    2. Millionaire Tips profile image88
      Millionaire Tipsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think anyone has the  time to edit a whole hub, but when you see a typo here and there on a good hub, it is certainly worth pointing out.

  28. aminebombom profile image73
    aminebombomposted 9 years ago

    Me too, i really appreciate it when someone alert me about some error in my page, i know i make error specially that English is my third language, so i am not that good, i believe im good enough, but not that well.
    if you are free check out my hub and tell me what do you think,

    1. kenneth avery profile image78
      kenneth averyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with  you and millionairetips on the correcting error on other's hubs. But with me, I seldom have the time to edit anyone else's hubs. I read them and enjoy them. I guess I do not have my "Editor Mindset" on at the time.
      I admit it. MY hubs would probably win a coveted "typo award."
      Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you and ALL of My Wonderful Followers.

  29. sweetpikez profile image67
    sweetpikezposted 9 years ago

    Being corrected will not make someone little. It will make someone to be more knowledgeable. Personally, I loved to see people checking on my articles and leaving helpful messages that would make me as a better writer. However, correcting someone else hub or typos needs to observe proper channeling. It would be underrating for someone's credibility if we correct them in their hub's comment box. For me, a private message or fan mail would be the best way.

  30. Titia profile image91
    Titiaposted 9 years ago

    As English is not my native language, I am always more than pleased when people would take the effort to point out my mistakes, typos or grammar.

    It doesn't matter to me how they tell me, I'm not ashamed of making mistakes and if they call me a stupid cow for making them, that's their problem, not mine and I will still thank them politely for letting me know.

    I'm always grateful, because it helps me to learn more about the language. For instance I always forget how/ when to use 'on' or 'at'. I try to remember through memory aids, but sometimes I forget those too. I think in this case it's: you put something on the table, while you're sitting at the table? Correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image89
      Rochelle Frankposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You are totally right about the table -- and I think you have an admirable attitude about learning. Let the insults fly back into the face of the insulters. Never let anyone discourage you in your efforts to improve. You should be applauded.

    2. Lionrhod profile image79
      Lionrhodposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I can read/write/speak several languages at maybe kindergarten level. Probably not even that well.

      That minor accomplishment is nothing.

      I don't know what your first language is, but I can guarantee that based just on your post, you have a far better command of English than I do of your language whatever it is. And perhaps sad to say, you have a better command of English than many native-born speakers that have grown up in our travesty of a school system.

      May we also remember that English is one of the hardest languages in the world for non-native speakers to learn.

      I applaud your concern and your desire to take correction. My Dad  (fluent in 7 languages) was an immigrant from Poland, and only in his last few years did he begin to THINK in English language. It took me until adulthood to understand why his speech was slow and halting.

      Correct others? Sure. But let's try to do it with gentleness and respect.

  31. word55 profile image67
    word55posted 9 years ago

    You said it right. Do it privately via fan mail or something. Don't bust corrections or typos out in comments.

  32. Dan W Miller profile image73
    Dan W Millerposted 9 years ago

    Oh, I've recieved some excellent advice from very nice people who are quite experienced in writing. SO grateful that many took the time to patiently guide me.
    I had started out with a pitiful score in the 60s and was horribly upset. Now it has been as high as 90 now.
    These folks are pros and took a complete rookie under their wing. Most appreciative because HubPages only provides the forum with some instructions but the real tutoring was from the site's authors.
    Yes, and they used constructive criticism tactfully.

  33. Marckerr profile image58
    Marckerrposted 9 years ago

    Can you guys check out  nice read on my hub age, It's my first one

  34. gungjucorner profile image40
    gungjucornerposted 9 years ago

    Check my first hub about making money ideas (base on my experience)

  35. ergonomic profile image69
    ergonomicposted 9 years ago

    It is a great idea to let Hubbers know about typos or errors in their hubs. Given the costs of hiring proofreaders, l would really appreciate such a kind gesture. Personally l would have loved a thread where l could post my hub for proof reading by volunteers before l publish it. We are a community and correcting errors before they go public would maintain the professionalism Hubpages is known for. l think people are more receptive if you let them know of typos on their hubs and there are are likely to be issues when it comes to grammatical errors. Keep up the good work.


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