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Old 01-26-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
jmfieldz
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editing/proofreading

I am amazed at the number of grammatical errors there are in stories that were supposedly proofread or edited. Some of these glaring errors are listed below:

The following words are frequently misused;

except and accept
your, you're and yore
their, their and they're
to, too and two

There are others but I cannot remember them all. There is also a tendency to use words that don't exist, i.e. the past tense of grind is ground, not grinded.
I hope the editors and proofreaders will do better in the future.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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These are among the most difficult to catch with the naked eye and spellcheck won't catch them. There also are some computer programs that will "correct" such words to the wrong one automatically if you haven't turned the features off.

It's not arms and legs, though. Have someone else read something you wrote and think you've perfected. You'll most like get some surprises. I know I get some shocks whenever one of my stories comes back from the editor.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmfieldz View Post
I hope the editors and proofreaders will do better in the future.
...So you started up a forum ID just to complain about it?

Mister, I'm not sure where you think you've stumbled upon, but this is Literotica. We do not offer a "Satisfaction Guaranteed Or Your Money Back" clause, because 1) we don't charge money, and 2) everyone here, with the sole exceptions of Laurel & Manu, does what they do for free. They write what they want to, the way they want to, submit it if they want to, and if they don't they go home. There is no quality control here. Content control, yes; L&M reject certain stories that violate the site's guidelines. But quality is as unmonitored as it is at Amazon's ebook section.

Now, you are right: the state of English is deplorable and people should take more pride in their work. I tell them that as well, quite frequently. They should spend more time and be more careful. But guess what? They don't want to, because they're lazy fucks. They want to have fun in the playground, but when it's clean-up time they wimp out and go home. They're lazy fucks... who are, nonetheless, motivated enough to write things down for free and let you read them without asking anything of you at all.

If you wrote the authors of those stories with corrections, good for you--that's where some good will get done. If you wrote the Editor's Forum because you think we're letting things slip through the cracks, fuck you. We caught them too, but we can't make writers change their story. We did tell them that "to," "two" and "too" are not the same, but they did not listen to us, and when we saw the story go out to the public with such elementary mistakes still included we threw up our hands and wondered why we even bothered. The editors may be the closest thing to "quality control" that the site has, but what you need to realize is that not all writers want to have quality. Most of them just want pats on the back, and happily ignore any attempts to educate or improve them. You can lead a horse to wisdom, but you cannot make him think. We've tried.

So thank you for alerting us, but we know. Tell the people who don't know. Tell the authors. Maybe they'll actually listen to you.

[/frustrated-editor rant]
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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The reader didn't just sign on to note this. Joined nearly two years ago.

And I've found that folks just naturally don't realize how hard it is to beat "issues" out of a manuscript (and not to have made them to begin with--or to see them in a review). There's really no such thing as perfect copy, and never has been.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:07 AM   #5
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I work in publishing and can tell you how difficult proofreading can be. The more errors in the original manuscript, the more that will be missed by the proofreader. The eye just doesn't see them. It's best to have more than one proofreader, and then to have the copy proofread more than once by each, if possible.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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To change the topic a little: I'm wondering what is expected from an editor?

I'm actually considering to try some editing; never done it before though. So I wonder what is expected.

Basics for me would be:
- basic grammar/spelling check. The stuff that the spell checker misses, mainly (let's not talk about grammar checkers).
- punctuation, layout (as much as applicable here) and formatting.

But how about:
- content suggestions like to expand certain parts, explore alternative story lines, or even outright cutting bits.
- character/scene continuity and consistency.

Anything else that may be expected from editors?
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_would View Post
To change the topic a little: I'm wondering what is expected from an editor?

I'm actually considering to try some editing; never done it before though. So I wonder what is expected.

Basics for me would be:
- basic grammar/spelling check. The stuff that the spell checker misses, mainly (let's not talk about grammar checkers).
- punctuation, layout (as much as applicable here) and formatting.

But how about:
- content suggestions like to expand certain parts, explore alternative story lines, or even outright cutting bits.
- character/scene continuity and consistency.

Anything else that may be expected from editors?
If you haven't edited before, you might want to google it and see what editors do. You also might want to familiarize yourself with some basic punctuation, grammar and style rules/guidelines (again, just google and you'll find quite a bit).

The way I see it, there are little "e" editors and big "E" Editors, and many (most?) of us here who edit are editors, not Editors. We are not professionals, and are going by what we know and what we have learned, but that doesn't mean we are always right.

As for what's expected, that'd be between you and the writer. Editing for content -- sometimes called beta reading -- is different than copy editing. So just ask the writer. Perhaps they want one, or the other, or all of it. To me, the most important thing is to talk to whoever you're working with. Find out what they want, when they want it, what they think their strong or weak points are in writing, or of their story. Try to let them know your limitations, from what time you have to what you think your weak or strong points are -- perhaps you are great at catching plot inconsistencies, but not so good at punctuation, or vice versa.

There's no one thing that's expected of an editor here, except perhaps the courtesy of communication.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_would View Post
To change the topic a little: I'm wondering what is expected from an editor?

I'm actually considering to try some editing; never done it before though. So I wonder what is expected.

Basics for me would be:
- basic grammar/spelling check. The stuff that the spell checker misses, mainly (let's not talk about grammar checkers).
- punctuation, layout (as much as applicable here) and formatting.

But how about:
- content suggestions like to expand certain parts, explore alternative story lines, or even outright cutting bits.
- character/scene continuity and consistency.

Anything else that may be expected from editors?
I would flip the "character/scene continuity and consistency" up to your first list and say this is what should be expected in a basic edit. Plus some plausibility fact checking (someone driving a 1990 Cadillac in a story set in the 20s, for instance). The other list should be agreed on as part of the edit before it was performed. Exploring alternative story lines begins to get into the "the editor should be writing his/her own story" zone.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Exploring alternative story lines begins to get into the "the editor should be writing his/her own story" zone.
That's still part of the "content suggestions". Not to be done by the editor.
More like "this character makes some intersting remark, anything to do with their background?" Not everything has to be explained of course, just sometimes there may be hooks for interesting expansions.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_would View Post
That's still part of the "content suggestions". Not to be done by the editor.
More like "this character makes some intersting remark, anything to do with their background?" Not everything has to be explained of course, just sometimes there may be hooks for interesting expansions.
And I was saying that I think it's pretty much beyond what an editor is supposed to do on someone else's story. These are central matters to writing a story. If you can't take responsibility for that yourself and need someone else, they either are functioning as at least a coauthor or should be writing their own stories, not yours.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:38 AM   #11
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It's not the editors who let these mistakes go through. You have to understand that there really aren't a lot of writers who send off their work to be edited for whatever reasons. When they do and we go through the trouble of sitting down for a few hours to make sure we do our best, the authors tend to keep the original wording/grammar and ignore the advice given to them. I've only been edited for a little while and have had this happen. So the thread should really be pointed at the authors themselves.

I don't mind editing or the time spent helping others to make their work better. However, I do make it a point to let them know that if they choose not to take my advice/changes into consideration, then they should not put my name as editor.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:47 AM   #12
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Agree. The author is the last one to handle the story here and it's the author's privilege here to accept or reject any suggestions. I ask all authors I've edited for here not to put my name on their story when they submit it--and I see some stories that credit editors by name that would make me cringe to be called out as the editor.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:10 AM   #13
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I see some stories that credit editors by name that would make me cringe to be called out as the editor.
Agreed. Some of the very worst stories (writing-wise, didn't get past the first few paragraphs so no idea on the story itself) credited an editor. And they were full of punctuation errors, they're/there type of errors, weird grammar, etc. Made me wonder how that made it to publishing.

And thanks for the other comments/experiences. I still consider trying some editing, not sure if I'm good enough though, will have to see. Not being a professional but a "mere volunteer" doesn't mean I'm happy delivering shoddy work :-)
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:54 AM   #14
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Replying particuarly to CWatson -- Bravo! I'm neither writer or editor, but it doesn't take either to figure out what a treasure trove Lit is. So many stores -- and many great ones -- and it's all free! I've checked other sites and they don't even come close to what Lit offers readers -- and this avid reader takes full advantage. Thinking of maybe doing volunteering editing, but am not ready for that commitment yet. Have the background -- both education and professional...guess i know the perils too well. Thanks bunches to editors and writers...entertainment for me is merely a click of the keyboard for me!
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmfieldz View Post
I am amazed at the number of grammatical errors there are in stories that were supposedly proofread or edited. Some of these glaring errors are listed below:
Have you tried writing a story? I haven't looked. The outlay of time, even for a short story, is unbelievably long. For the editors as well, time involved is significant. If they're good, probably 50% as long as writing it, depending on the quality they receive the piece in.

They're volunteers. Some of the editors simply have a good sense of the language, but perhaps not as technical as may be required. Everyone is doing the best they can. Many are learning and this is a great place to do it. I'm not saying it's an excuse, but it is a process and we'd all do well to sprinkle encouragment with correction, and make it specific rather than generic.

Granted, some of the writers are using it as a form of creative release. People are different. Look for good writers and follow them. You'll find them here.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:22 PM   #16
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I have edited in the past and may use editors myself again in the future (as I am writing so much more than I used to for work, I'm yam noticing little errurs slip bye - LOL) and my feeling is that some grammatical errors I see here may be intentional. When I have my characters speaking, I try to "hear" them in my head. I would never use "like" they way the kids do today, like, you know - but my characters might. All I know is that LIT has a pretty good selection and you have to weed out the good from the bad.

Best regards

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettJ View Post
I have edited in the past and may use editors myself again in the future (as I am writing so much more than I used to for work, I'm yam noticing little errurs slip bye - LOL) and my feeling is that some grammatical errors I see here may be intentional. When I have my characters speaking, I try to "hear" them in my head. I would never use "like" they way the kids do today, like, you know - but my characters might. All I know is that LIT has a pretty good selection and you have to weed out the good from the bad.
There is a difference between narrative and conversation. Conversation, to sound natural, is often made up of incomplete and grammatically wrong sentences. That is simply how people speak, the words are made up while they go, and sometimes in the middle of a thought you realise you want to say something different and there you go. Twisted sentence. These grammatical errors are just a natural part of speech.

Then there is the rest of the story, where it should simply be correct.

Homophones are the worst. Really easy to slip up on while writing, hard to pick out (spell checkers won't warn you), and extremely annoying for a reader that does notice them.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #18
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I agree with you on homophones although I have seen spell check programs that will catch them. I believe there's one in Open Office, it looks at the document contextually and will see the little slip ups. My pet peeve is YOUR and YOU'RE and I am surprised how many people don't know the difference. TO, TWO and TWO is another and CENTER and CENTRE (although I am told that may be a British / Canadianism)

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
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agree with you on homophones although I have seen spell check programs that will catch them. I believe there's one in Open Office,
My version (LibreOffice) does not seem to do this.

Quote:
it looks at the document contextually and will see the little slip ups. My pet peeve is YOUR and YOU'RE and I am surprised how many people don't know the difference. TO, TWO and TWO is another and CENTER and CENTRE (although I am told that may be a British / Canadianism)

BrettJ in Canada[/b]
yes, the last one is simply US vs UK spelling. And spell checkers will pick that one up, provided you have set them to the correct version of English (which would UK in my case). There are plenty of words that are spelled differently between those two versions.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettJ View Post
I have edited in the past and may use editors myself again in the future (as I am writing so much more than I used to for work, I'm yam noticing little errurs slip bye - LOL) and my feeling is that some grammatical errors I see here may be intentional. When I have my characters speaking, I try to "hear" them in my head. I would never use "like" they way the kids do today, like, you know - but my characters might. All I know is that LIT has a pretty good selection and you have to weed out the good from the bad.

Best regards

BrettJ in Canada
You might want to consider using a font that's easier to read on screens. The bold isn't attractive.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #21
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I have always used bold because I can't see very well (on the computer) and the bold type makes it easier for me to catch my own errors when making posts. Very few complain about it. It was simpler than typing all in caps.

Sorry if it bothers you, but after some 15 thousand posts, I'm leaving it as is.

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Old 06-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayedEhCdnBeef View Post
Have you tried writing a story? I haven't looked. The outlay of time, even for a short story, is unbelievably long. For the editors as well, time involved is significant. If they're good, probably 50% as long as writing it, depending on the quality they receive the piece in.

They're volunteers. Some of the editors simply have a good sense of the language, but perhaps not as technical as may be required. Everyone is doing the best they can. Many are learning and this is a great place to do it. I'm not saying it's an excuse, but it is a process and we'd all do well to sprinkle encouragment with correction, and make it specific rather than generic.

Granted, some of the writers are using it as a form of creative release. People are different. Look for good writers and follow them. You'll find them here.
Wow. Nicely put.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:52 PM   #23
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"Not sure, but for someone who made a big deal about deep-throating just nowó" Annabelle teased.

For the above, I wonder if I should have instead edited the sentence to read like this:

"Not sure, but for someone who made a big deal about deep-throating just now...." Annabelle teased.


Anyone care to advise?

Last edited by rexbrookdale : 06-23-2013 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Please delete this message; I posted it to the wrong forum. Sorry!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by rexbrookdale View Post
"Not sure, but for someone who made a big deal about deep-throating just nowó" Annabelle teased.

For the above, I wonder if I should have instead edited the sentence to read like this:

"Not sure, but for someone who made a big deal about deep-throating just now...." Annabelle teased.


Anyone care to advise?
Depends on what cut the sentence off. The em dash is for an interruption; the ellipsis is for when the sentence just tapers off without being finished.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:24 PM   #25
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Depends on what cut the sentence off. The em dash is for an interruption; the ellipsis is for when the sentence just tapers off without being finished.

Thanks! Yes, that's exactly the point, and I do see what you mean. So, would the dialogue statement be problematic to have immediately follow the em dash:

"Not sure, but for someone who made a big deal about deep-throating just nowó" Annabelle teased.

Maybe an em dash should never be followed, and thus should always end on its own, like so:

"Not sure, but for someone who made a big deal about deep-throating just nowó"
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