Re: Editing Marks - Please Help!!!

Subject: Re: Editing Marks - Please Help!!!
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 09:49:55 -0800 (PST)

In article 5020701 -at- axionet -dot- com, bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com (Bruce Byfield) writes:
>janiceg wrote:
>|We include these marks in our internal style guide and
>|I am always happy to explain a mark if a writer is
>|unfamiliar with it. There's no need for them to
>|memorize the marks if they have a handout or easy
>|reference source to look up those with which they
>|are unfamiliar.
>And if they are willing to look up what they don't know, or to admit
>their ignorance about a subject that they don't know much about.
>Unfortunately, not everyone will do these things. After four years as a
>teaching assistant and another seven as a sessional instructor spent
>beating my head bloody trying to get people to use and understand these
>marks (okay, maybe I exaggerate just a little), I've come around to the
>position that it's more important to deliver editorial comments in a
>form in which they are useful to the recipients than to insist on any
>particular system. I'll use the standard marks if the person I'm editing
>understands them - and why not? They save time. But if people won't make
>the effort to understand them, I'm just wasting my time,. Maybe it's
>creeping middle-age, but I don't really care to do that.

Perhaps if I had run across people who were having a lot of
trouble with them, I would change. But as I said below, I
never have. I just edited a 350-page book written by an
engineer who had never been edited before and he only asked
me about one mark, and even then he'd guessed what it was
and was merely asking me to confirm that he was right.

>|Huh? Is there a better method and more succinct way
>|to indicate edits that you know about?
>Only better in the sense that verbose comments may be better understood.
>Succinct? Definitely not. With many people, the choice seems between
>communicating and being succinct. When forced to make that choice, I
>choose communication. I don't especially like the choice, but after four
>years, etc. beating my head bloody, etc. etc.

I didn't realize it was a choice. I certainly expand on
what I mean by a mark if it needs more explanation than
just a delete sign or something, but I'm still a bit
confused on how you mark up text without some sort of
marks system. And if you're using one, why the standard
one would be any more confusing than a made-up one.

>|Also, I've
>|been using the same marks for over 20 years -- I've
>|never had a writer feel that they got in the way or
>|were difficult to understand.
>Maybe I've been hanging out with the wrong people. Even writers don't
>seem overly familiar with the marks these days, unfortunately.

Even if they're not, aren't most of them relatively self-
explanatory? Where are people getting confused?

Sorry to drag this on but it fascinates me that something
that I've never seen or experienced as a problem is such
a big one for other people.

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janice -dot- gelb -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | this message is the return address.

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