Constructive Critism and Corrections

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  1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
    Orderly Confusionposted 12 years ago

    Is there a reason why hubbers do not accept constructive criticism and/or corrections? Am I the only grown-up on this site who takes corrections as a means of making my hubs better and myself informed? I, not wanting to let a hubber I started to follow look like a fool, decided to correct this person, ending my comment with saying that it was a cute hub. The hubber decided he/she was better than me and proceeded to trash me. What's the point in writing a hub if you can't accept when someone is trying to help you?

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image81
      Uninvited Writerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I've had people comment on my hubs about a mistake and I appreciate that. Some people seem to think their words are gold and should never be changed or critiqued and how dare someone criticize them.

      However, there have been times I've seen mistakes in the title and I'm afraid to let them know. I mentioned in the Extreme Makeover forum to someone that he was using apostrophes wrong and had a few misspelled words. He fixed the misspellings but ignored the apostrophe suggestions. You can only help people who want to be helped.

      Hopefully they are just hobby writers because that attitude won't get them anywhere.

      1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
        Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for your response!

        I know for a fact I make mistakes (especially with apostrophes), so I make it a point to use spell check smile If someone finds a mistake I (and spell check) missed, I appreciate the correction. No one is perfect, but you are right: "Some people think their words are gold".

        Thank you again and have a nice day smile

    2. kschang profile image87
      kschangposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Some people are sensitive and don't like their feathers ruffled. As they used to say, "huge chip on their shoulder". They identify too much with their writing and criticism is like stabbing their "baby" or "darling".

      Don't bother correcting people like that. They got too much ego and their writing will remain crappy.

      1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
        Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for response!

        True. Unfortunately I though the person was open enough to accept a few cultural related corrections. Guess not! Lesson learned! I'll stick to the generic "great hub!" and "awesome" comments from now on.

        Thanks again! Have a nice day! smile

  2. Danette Watt profile image83
    Danette Wattposted 12 years ago

    There are probably several reasons why -- maybe that person has a big ego problem. Maybe they are misreading the tone of your correction/comment. It's like email - hard to read the intent sometimes, there are no body cues to follow. Or maybe they felt embarrassed and as if they were being put on the spot and felt uncomfortable so they lashed out at you instead.

    There have been a few times when I have privately emailed the person to alert them to something they should correct, like using the wrong word or not getting a link correct.

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image81
      Uninvited Writerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      They could easily have denied the comment and then no one would have to know they were a jerk by trashing the OP smile

    2. Orderly Confusion profile image73
      Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for your response! I guess the person was just having a "bad day".

      And thank you for the suggestion of sending a private email instead. I will definitely keep that in mind if I ever decide to correct anyone again.

      Have a nice day smile

  3. Rastamermaid profile image65
    Rastamermaidposted 12 years ago

    Everyone writes for their own reason,some for fun and recreation and some more serious and in depth. Everyone wants to be heard so they put it out there,what they're feeling,what they stand for,their outlook etc.

    When you're writing for self it's how you feel,your thoughts and opinions. They are not looking to be grammatically correct,or sentence structure they're expressing their own  view.

    No one has the right to tell you how you feel isn't correct or isn't correctly spelled,or in the correct format.

    I would have just denied the comment,and if I wanted to write on a professional level I would research and find me an editor and use spell check.

    No one writes an article to be put down or corrected,their just trying to be heard.

    1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
      Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for response smile

  4. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 12 years ago

    However, I found the hub and the OP and someone else commented that the pictures used were incorrectly titled. If someone comes looking for that they would not be happy.

    Her reply was rude and uncalled for. I am sorry but if you write for the public you have to accept that some might point out errors...mostly to help.

    1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
      Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I missed any responses after the rude comments because I immediately unfollowed the hub and hubber. No loss on my end.

  5. R.S. Hutchinson profile image73
    R.S. Hutchinsonposted 12 years ago

    Personally and professionally I don’t think public criticism (especially that which can be deemed derogatory)is warranted unless:

    1. It's a class setting and is expected/required
    2. The author specifically requests it

    I do agree if you would like to help someone by offering your 2 cents then doing so via email or otherwise privately is the way to go.

    I think someone that gives a public critique is just as unprofessional as that which they might be critiquing -EVEN if I would agree with their critique.

    With all due respect, your original OP clearly illustrates that the critique was more about YOU than the actual piece itself. Consider:

    "Am I the only grown-up on this site who takes corrections as a means of making my hubs better and myself informed? I, not wanting to let a hubber I started to follow look like a fool, decided to correct this person, ending my comment with saying that it was a cute hub. The hubber decided he/she was better than me and proceeded to trash me. What's the point in writing a hub if you can't accept when someone is trying to help you?"

    I declare that it seems (at least by the op) that you were more worried about how YOU would look by following someone that had incorrect such and such. I would ask you why that would matter? Surely if you felt so inclined you could just stop following them. But rather you decided to correct them (probably giving yourself a sense of accomplishment) and when your correction (though it might have been accurate- I don’t know) wasn't well received YOU decided  it was THEM (and not you) that was wrong by not accepting your (unsolicited) critique.

    Now, if they in fact DID solicit a critique, then by all means whatever you wrote should not have been met with malice no matter how much they disagreed.

    Critiques should really be given and presented by qualified and respected individuals in that field. And to whom is qualified and respected is solely up to the person asking for the critique! I am an accomplished writer so yes I take offense when someone I've never met and (presumably) is not an expert (to my respect) writes something counter to what I have written.

    Moreover, the writer might be writing to make money. And by you writing something critical could be diminishing his reputation as a writer -in front of people reading it- and thus causing him to lose money. Of course he could have opted not to publish it, but that is irrelevant to this post because in order to answer or surmise that we would have to ask the writer specifically why he chose to publish the critique.

    1. R.S. Hutchinson profile image73
      R.S. Hutchinsonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      lol I didnt realize that was so long. grr.

      1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
        Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        lol. Yes, that was rather long, but hearing what you had to say was appreciated smile Thank you for your response!

        Why does anyone follow another hubber? Because they liked something the hubber had written earlier.

        I guess it was my fault for thinking the hubber was open enough to accept corrections from someone who is of the culture he/she was talking about. I now realize it would have (possibly) been met with more openness had I sent the comment/message in a private email.

        On the other hand, the hubber could have easily denied my comment if it was so negative for that hub.

        Thanks again for your response! It’s definitely a learning experience.

        Have a nice day!

    2. J Burgraff profile image71
      J Burgraffposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      If you are writing for an audience, then I think you have to be willing to take criticism.  Can it be polite?  Absolutely.  One of my biggest pet peeves is a misspelled word.  The second is poor grammar.  If you are reading one of my hubs and you come across a misspelled word, please email me.  If you are reading one of my hubs and you come across a sentence that sounds awkward or poorly structured, please email me.  I you disagree with me or I've blatantly written something untrue, please comment and put it out there for everyone to see!  You have to tuck that ego into a closet if you want to become a better writer.  Or maybe, even into the attic.

      1. Orderly Confusion profile image73
        Orderly Confusionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for your response!

        Corrections are great for people like me who like to write, but don’t do it professionally. Having things be so open like this gives more people the opportunity to point out flaws and give pointers on improvements. I know my hubs are not perfect and I appreciate when someone points out things to me because if I should decide to write professionally in the future, I will be ready. Yes, it can absolutely be done in a polite way. I prefer when people come right out and tell me things because I can correct it as soon as possible, whereas if the person is beating around the bush, it’s hard to pick out what the person is trying to say at times.

        Thank you again for your response and have a nice day! smile

    3. Lisa HW profile image63
      Lisa HWposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      R.S. Hutchinson, we meet again on yet one more thread about criticism  lol.

      (I have a Hub on constructive criticism, but I don't remember if it specifically addressed Hub-writing). 

      Here's my take on things:

      I welcome comments that disagree with what I've presented.  That gives me a chance to present clarification or reasoning; or if neither is needed, then it offers the chance for debate.  I enjoy that.

      When it comes to someone call me names on my Hub, I think they're jerks; but I don't mind it.  I figure, that's part of the deal with writing in public.

      I'm also fine with something like, "I hate this Hub.  This person doesn't know what she's talking about."  To each his own opinion.  I approve the comment happily and enjoy presenting some balance with my Hub.

      If someone points out a typo I appreciate it, because I don't want typos.  At the same time, I see it as pretty small minded of them.  That's I guess, because I feel as if I put so much into so many pieces of writing, a typo is such a minor thing in the scheme of things.  To be honest, if I don't find a typo in all the words I write in a Hub; while I'd prefer I did, I can't really care about it all that much either.  My Hubs aren't loaded with typos, and although I take my Hub-writing seriously up to a point, there's only so seriously I take this particular kind of writing.  My "thing" is that if anyone looks at my stuff he'll see that I take online writing/Hub-writing far more seriously than a lot of other people do. 

      Pointing out perceived grammar problems:  That would be a case of one or two things:  Either I made a grammar mistake (very possible, but something I do a lot less than a lot of other people), or else I chose to take a liberty with grammar for my own purposes.  For the most part, my grammar mistakes are most likely to involve, maybe, semi-colons or commas.  As with typos, I can't say I really care.  While I may make one choice or another about a comma or a semi-colon, there's never a time when someone won't get what I'm saying because of my choice.  I'm at least that skilled with grammar.  So, again, I see such nit-picking (on a site like this, anyway; it would be different if I were submitting to the New England Journal of Medicine) as small-minded.

      Maybe I've chosen to do something in my writing that someone else thinks I should have done differently.  Well, I do things the way I think they should be done in my own writing.  Sometimes I even do things the way I want to do them for my own purposes, regardless of whether that's how they "should" be done.  The way I see it, my writing (and any flaws in it that I, myself, haven't found and corrected) is an expression of who and what I am, in all my non-robot-like imperfection.

      The one thing that irks the heck out of me, however, (and this has absolutely nothing to do with ego) is when someone is presumptuous enough to think I want help.    I have no problem with the fact that of all the words I write, I'm going to have some errors in there.  I prefer they not be there; but, again, in the scheme of all of life, I don't even take my "real" writing as seriously as I take so many other, more important, things in life.  This is a spare-time thing for me.  I take it seriously, but I don't see it as life-or-death thing; and it's not my "real" job.  I have to keep a healthy perspective, because I have so many other more important things to worry about in life than whether I wrote something that someone else didn't happen to like for one reason or another.

      I mean...   I don't want a medal or anything, but half the time I'm on here writing stuff that I think may help, for example, a couple understand one another a little better; or that may help a new mother understand her child a little bit better.   I enjoy using my writing skills to try to offer something helpful to at least one other human being in some meaningful way.  I don't force my "help" on them.  I just put it out there in case they find it and in case it might help.

      I'm not too thrilled with my whole collection of Hubs as compared with my portfolio of outside writing, but I think they're generally decent grammar and usually written reasonably well.  That has to be enough for me, because, to be honest, with all the other stuff I have going on in my life, it's kind of a miracle that I not only work and have a life, but skim off some spare time to write some Hubs.

      I'm 50-plus years old.  I got all my A's in English decades ago, and I've been writing for most of that time (so I haven't forgotten the grammar rules).  Whatever I haven't learned about writing I don't care about learning at this point.  I've done OK up until now.  So basically, although I know it sounds obnoxious, I don't want "help" at this stage in the game.  Besides, when/if I do want help I'll go looking for it; and I'll choose someone whose expertise I trust.

      So, I don't mind the actual criticisms most of the time.  I just see them as small-minded and assume the originator of them hasn't got much else to worry about in life.  What I mind is someone else's presumption that a) I'm interested in his "expertise" and b) I want unsolicited help.

      To me, the person with the ego sure seems to be the one of the person who can't grasp why someone else wouldn't be interested in his opinion of, or help on, their work.  I read people's stuff and think, "Oopsie, a typo.  They'll find it," or even, "Whoa.  That was a poorly structured sentence."  Still, I just move on and assume the writer will either find his own errors later, or else that he doesn't really care all that much.

      Really - I'd love to see what would happen if, for example, I decided to go to any of the names of this thread, send them an e.mail, and say, "Hi, there.  I just thought I'd come by to tell you that I'd be glad to help you learn to write better, or write the way I think you ought to be writing."  I'm fairly certain that kind of move would get me a pretty frosty (if polite) reply from some people.   smile

      There's really nobody who could have a "smaller ego" than I have, so it isn't ego.  I don't want to sound like a "crusty old soul", but I think it's often more a matter of having been through enough in life to truly not be all that bothered by someone else's misspelled word or typo.  I see such things as "their business and their problem" (and minor matters to boot).

      As much as I value and enjoy using the English language; I just don't see it as all that important in the scheme of life.  I don't want to be a big downer, but on these very forums there are people (Hubbers) who would give their lives and right arms to have problems as minor as typos and grammar flaws.  There's one that I think of every day and wonder how things are going.  So my thing is, "Don't send me your e.mails about my typos.  I just don't care."  I put a whole lot into most (not all) of what I write on here.  Sometimes when someone asks a question on a more serious Hub, I'll share more about myself than I would otherwise prefer because I think that doing that may help a reader know he's not alone; or else know that I'm trying, in this limited way, to be kind of a friend to him.

      There's only so much caring a person can do, though, before he just has to draw a line on a lot of the "stupid" stuff (like punctuation or typos).  I give people credit for figuring out their own errors if they want to, and I respect them enough to respect their right not to obsess over them if they don't want to.  When you see other people as equals, and when you respect them as capable human beings, you don't appoint yourself their "teacher" unless they ask you to.

      All that aside, people are just different.  Some people like to "be all in with everyone else, and all working together to make each better".  Other people work best alone, for good or ill.  It's sometimes just differences in natures and has nothing to do with ego on either side, and everything to do with one side not being able to imagine being like the people on the opposite side.

      (I know this is a big "overload" of answer to the question posed in this thread, but this is a question that comes up over and over again; and the answers are always the same and about how people who aren't interested in "constructive criticism" have ego problems and how writers need to be able to accept whatever criticism comes their way.)


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