Thursday, January 05, 2017

How to Handle Corrections

People send me corrections to blog posts on a regular basis, either by email or in comments. Almost all of the time, I acknowledge the correction with thanks and fix the post. I try to leave an UPDATED notice and indicate what I've corrected, in the interests of, well, the truth.

Okay, I don't bother to note when I've fixed a typo or added a missing word. Those don't usually affect the meaning of a post in a material way.

I did write one significant silent correction, where a friend quite rightly emailed me to say I'd been unnecessarily nasty to someone. The edited post was a lot better than the initial version.

Yesterday, I found an error on a blog I've been reading for a couple of years: a photo caption that incorrectly identified a street visible in the photo. I wrote a polite comment noting that street X was actually street Y, and that street X was not visible in the photo.

The author removed the photo, didn't publish the comment, and didn't acknowledge me or note the change. Oh, well! Not how I would have handled it, but it's not my blog, either. I wonder how many unpublished comments are out there. At least the author acknowledges on the blog that comments might be edited, which has happened with me.


Michael Strickland said...

I don't bother with UPDATED notices because I'm trying to be accurate, but mistakes creep in and it's nice to correct them for the historical record. And it's wonderful to have friends chime in with editing suggestions, pointing out typos, etc. It's hard to write things AND proofread on the fly, so it's more of a service than a criticism when somebody points out an error. Having said that, there are people with thin skins who take any suggestion as an attack on their personal integrity, but I try to stay away from them.

Lisa Hirsch said...

(Yes, trying to catch up on blog comments I never replied to!)

Oh, I try to do UPDATED notices....this blog post written because the other blogger was an asshole by not publishing my comment and not acknowledging the original error. I realized recently that he's an asshole for other reasons, which I won't publish here but can tell you about in person some time.