The Trauma of Being Edited, or Why it Looks Worse Than It Is.

You’ve spent hours, days, weeks, or in the case of a book or doctoral thesis, perhaps years creating your masterpiece. You’ve coddled it, dreamed about it, lost sleep over it, and now, finally, the finished product is ready and waiting to show to the world.

And then you send it to the EDITOR.

Deep down inside, you are almost certain that the file will come back almost the way it was sent. OK, perhaps the editor will find a few extraneous commas, or there may be a case where you accidentally wrote “to” when you meant “too.” But overall, you are absolutely certain that your brainchild is almost perfect.

A couple of days later the file arrives and WHAM! You can’t believe your eyes! Your precious document story is rife with red blue (or other color) text (or other color), some underlined and some deleted crossed out.

Your first reaction is deep depression, or perhaps anger.

After you’ve had a small glass of wine, you will sit down and start examining those changes and perhaps realize that your writing really wasn’t all that bad!

Just changing a letter from cap to small, or joining two words with a hyphen,  causes WORD to delete one word and add another.

Moving a sentence from one place to another, even without changing its content, leaves one long line of red (where it ends up), and another long line of crossed-out text where it used to be. But all the Editor did was rearrange the text.

Here is an example.

Original

Many of my high school teachers had only a certain amount of time to focus on certain aspects of a particular subject that they were teaching their students. They could not spend a longer period on a certain section even if it was of interest to them or the students. They often complained that they were unable to spend a long time on an issue that was of interest to the students because they were required to teach students a certain amount of subsections or issues of a particular subject in order to specialize them in that subject as a whole.

Final

Many of my high-school teachers had only limited time to focus on the subjects they taught. As a result, they often complained of being unable to spend sufficient time on an issue of interest to the students, because they were required to teach a set number of subsections of a particular subject in order for students to specialize in that subject as a whole.

As you can see, the idea is the same, and most of the word are even the same. Note that all the text that hasn’t changed is italicized, and the bold shows the added words. You can compare them to the bold words in the original to see how the editing has tightened up the wording. True, a fair bit has been taken out. (As a general rule, authors tend to use too many words, because they are so emotionally attached to what they have written.) The final product is nice and concise!

However, this is what the text looks like with tracked changes. It looks like the Editor rewrote almost everything!

With tracking/color insertion

Many of my high high-school teachers had only a certain amount of limited time to focus on certain aspects of a particular subject that they were teaching their students. the subjects to be taughtthat they could not spend a longer period on a certain section even if it was of interest to them or the students. they As a result, They they often complained that they were of being unable to spend a long sufficient time on an issue that was of interest to the students, because they were required to teach students a certain set amount number of subsections or issues of a particular subject in order for students to specialize them in that subject as a whole.

Quite daunting! But if you realize how shocking it looks compared to what really happened, perhaps you will put the vodka back in the cabinet!

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