“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Biosynthesis: Same as It Ever Was

Here is the link to my essay.  The essay was hypercorrected as follows:

(1) The title was changed. (The subtitle became the title.)

(2) p . 20 line 35 (paragraph 2 four lines up): "possible space" should be "possibility space." The hypercorrection sounds too vague. 

(3) p. 22, column 1 line 6: "when I try to show you number" (not "when I try to show you a number"). This simply makes me look like a fool. Sorry! I can show you numbers easily: look—2, 3, 4... 

In addition to making me look an idiot, these changes communicate to me that the editors (I believe the guest editor helps run this site) didn't quite trust me. Granted, my essay was a bit of a gadfly in the side of "next nature." But this shouldn't mean I am not trusted to know what I'm writing.

When I used to edit a big journal, I always used to query substantial changes, rather than simply make them. And proofs would, as I specified earlier, have fixed these problems. 


Awaking Lucid said...

Sadly, and even though it is not your first one, welcome to the sorry editorial state of architectural publications.

Dave Hallett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Hallett said...

OK, having been a professional editor for (oh dear) over 20 years, I feel qualified to comment.

If (and only if) I am reasonably confident that I know what the writer intended to communicate, and I think my change will say it better, then I will probably make the change. However, any change that could potentially alter the meaning *must* be flagged for the author's attention, or risk putting words in their mouth. And if I'm not sure, I'll just flag the problem sentence with "this didn't make sense to me".

To misrepresent the author's intent is about the worst professional sin an editor can commit, IMO. Sadly, the economics of publishing mean few publications these days employ proper editors.