What is Hub-etiquette for correcting grammar/spelling in published Hubs?
What is the Hub-etiquette for helping fellow Hubbers who have great content but are weak in grammar and/or spelling in their published Hubs? I have great respect for my fellow Hubbers, and I love the content I've read so far, but am quite consistently distracted as a reader by muddled or confused (I'm trying to find synonyms for the deficiency-centered adjective, "poor") grammar and/or spelling. Fellow Hubbers, you all have great content that deserves not to be judged based on mechanical issues!
I think that first and foremost, we need to focus on the content of the hub. We don't need to become grammar and spelling police here. All people make mistakes. Most of us are also new to writing online, and are getting better over time.
If you do find an excellent hub that has an error that makes it hard to understand, then you can send the Hubber a polite message letting him or her know. Be sensitive to the Hubber's feelings. Personally, I would prefer to get a message so I can correct my errors.
If there is a pattern of errors, you can flag the person and let the HubPages team deal with it, but I personally don't flag people for spelling and grammar.
I am not aware of any etiquette. I would just tell them as constructive criticism.
It drives me nuts. I just made a comment I can't edit where I left a word out. It's driving me insane.
Something that's poorly written--whether it is merely bad typing skills or grammar or spelling--drives me nuts. I don't bother with it. I don't want to offend the writer by saying, "You need to buy a copy of Strunk & White and a dictionary." I merely think it and move on.
That doesn't help the writer develop. I don't see it as a winnable battle. Either someone points out their problems and they fix them or they get offended. When it is spelling/typing errors...well, there's a spell checker built into the text editor. If you don't like that one (and I surely don't), just copy and paste into your editor of choice and look it over.
I end up reading my stuff over and over most of the time and am still saddened by the stupid mistakes I make and don't notice through several readings. Way back one of the professors I had in a Technical Writing class said that she used to photocopy anything she wrote because merely seeing it in a slightly different medium made the mistakes stand out more clearly. That never worked for me. I just reread until my brain finally processes it and I go, duh, I'm an idiot. I just used the wrong word (I just typed world, because that's what my fingers, not my brain, wanted me to type there) or am I grammatically illiterate, or what...
I would contact them by email and not leave any criticism, however well-meaning, on the hub itself. Some want help, others just want to write and not feel as if they are being judged or schooled. It is hard to judge. I do wish Hubpages has some standards.
You can always tell me. In the comments, in email or write it in the sky - I want to know when I screwed up.
Thanks to all of you for answering this question!
@Just Ask Susan: I will do as you suggest in the future!
@DougBerry: I'm nowhere near perfect either, in spite of the many tools at my disposal. I'm an editor and proofreader, so IMHO, the author's job is to write and create content; the polishing and error correction: that's the editor's/proofreader's job, to make sure the final copy is clean, not the author's. I don't judge the author's worth or value as a writer based on these mechanical issues. (BTW, there are never any stupid mistakes! Making mistakes is the only way to master anything. The beauty of writing is that we approach mastery asymptotically.) I don't mind it, either, if people let me know exactly where I've erred, publicly or not.
@Pcunix: I will definitely let you know, if you return the favor - :-) (how I've come to detest that phrase!) - and let me know when _I've_ screwed up, in minor or major ways!
@duffsmom: I think you're right, in hindsight; today, I did exactly the opposite, mainly because the Hub was super-interesting but it took some doing to follow what the author was saying; I figured I should let the author know in order to make the piece better. It was not my best idea. People do tend to take it personally; I just forget that, as I do not. As for HubPages having standards, from what I've read in the Tutorials and the Learning Center materials, there supposedly are standards; readers are supposed to flag unprofessional writing, or writing that seems like blogging. However, flagging people for mechanical issues just seems rude!
@Millionaire Tips: I absolutely agree with you about focusing first on the content. As a reader, this is what I do. But as a publishing professional, if I'm not writing, then I'm either the editor or the proofreader on any given project; the entire process is a give and take until the piece is all polished and perfect. That is Hubbing to me - a process of give and take. Like you, I prefer people tell me; that's the only way I feel I will actually learn...not overnight, mind you, but eventually! I, too, refuse to flag anyone for mechanical issues; it just seems rude!
@Jesus was a hippy: Thanks for validating my sense that constructive criticism, the give and take of the process of writing/editing/proofing/polishing our articles, is the best way to master our craft.
It seems we have gotten off to a bad start by some strange twist of fate or maybe a cleverly designed set of synchronicities, well what ever it was I would like you to know that I do apologies, I had gone off into a tangent that don’t normally happen but being me I just had felt well just go with it and let it be so, in a manner of speaking.
Now it all could just be that I had a few glasses of wine that night that didn’t agree with me, well I had explained that point in my comment but again looking back on this, well this morning I was taken aback by my very deep rant and reply.
Yes it all could be me having a very off day combined with a few glasses of wine and for some unknown reason I had acted out of character, I personally take it all with a pinch of salt and well, try to stay true and be honest in that moment and leave it there.
But it is worth agreeing with your valuable points and it is true that I do lack in the department of good grammar and spelling, it is my weakness none the less and I do admit it, well I couldn’t hide it either could I.
Your criticism was fair and just and on any normal day I would just thank you for highlighting that fact and would take it on board, but for some strange reason that day’s events had turned out the way it did and well here we are.
Now I personally would like to say if you have any advice on improving my weakness that I would appreciate it and to also say its all good with me, we all have bad days and good days and if it would please you that I deleted my comment because you might feel it was inappropriate then you only need to ask.
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