How to deal with incorrect editing?

Subject: How to deal with incorrect editing?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 13:03:01 -0500

Rachael Lininger wondered: <<The first piece of writing I gave to my manager was changed to be ungrammatical. I tried to point this out, but was afraid to push very hard. I've since checked my references to make sure I'm right, and I am.>>

Push, but not hard. We editors are only human, and sometimes we screw up--particularly if we're new to the job, but even we grizzled veterans occasionally have our moments. The key here is to understand that writer-editor relationships should be collaborative and supportive, not adversarial, and it's worth going the extra mile to avoid outright combat.

Talk to the editor, and start by thanking them for what they did right--you can be appropriately and honestly grateful for that part of the work. Then raise any problems, explaining your position and why you feel you're right. Ask what bothered them about the original writing, then propose a solution that addresses their concern. Even if your original text was correct, this gives the editor a clear message that you want to work with them, not against them, and that the goal is to give them one less thing to correct next time. Most editors appreciate authors with an open mind.

Of course, not all who dress as editors are really editors, and some people who fall into the role without adequate training don't have a clue about the notion of collaboration. If it's truly a question of making something that's right into something that's wrong, and the editor won't admit their error, sometimes you must enlist an arbitrator to help them see the light. Much though I advocate cooperation, I've occasionally gone to the mat with an editor over errors that I simply couldn't accept. Try negotiation first, but don't back down if they're wrong and will cause problems by that wrongness.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca



RoboHelp for FrameMaker is a NEW online publishing tool for FrameMaker that
lets you easily single-source content to online Help, intranet, and Web. The interface is designed for FrameMaker users, so there is little or no
learning curve and no macro language required! Call 800-718-4407 for competitive pricing or download a trial at:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

How to deal with incorrect editing: From: Rachael Lininger

Previous by Author: Re: How to deal with incorrect editing
Next by Author: TW and/or information designer?
Previous by Thread: RE: How to deal with incorrect editing
Next by Thread: How to deal with incorrect editing

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads