Originally Posted: Sun, 14 January 2007
Can I ask why you choose to edit my posts? I wrote additional details in that reply that were deleted. I don't have the original, so I'm not even sure what else is modified. This has happened here to me on several occasions.
I have gone to the effort to post my detailed replies, only to find that my carefully chosen comments were apparently not important enough or to meet your standards. Or something. At least that is how it feels to me....Frustrating.
I feel your frustrations.
Why do I mess with your heartfelt writings? Because here you contribute to a larger, permanent, body of work- quite different from a casual e-mail or blog chat.
I edit many posts (with the new forum software identifying me, for everyone to see). On occasion, I delete whole posts, and, even more rarely, whole threads.
Just a reminder, very few widely published pieces of writing ever get past the editor unchanged.
Whether national best sellers, scribes for daily newspapers, or contributors to prestigious periodicals like the New Yorker or The Atlantic - many of them written by some of the best writers in the country- they all accept editing as part of the process.
Here are occasions when I will edit your contributions to the Mic Lab: arguments that are not made clearly, repetition, long-windedness, chatting off-subject, super-detailed explanations, and, the big one, bad spelling, grammar and syntax.
I feel responsible that the generally excellent contributions to this forum are matched by appropriate style, to make a concise, easy to read post. That level of writing is rarely found on any Internet user forum (check around!), and has gotten us accolades from the competition over the years, despite the fact that the volume of contributions here is comparatively small.
If you ever feel that I cut into the meat of what you were writing, please PM me. I will always consider your criticism, and will try to make it right for you.
But, unlike the hands-off policies seen on many blogs or forums, please do not expect that every word you write will end up on the forum.
P.S.: ...and guess, whose posts are the most edited and deleted of them all?