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Question for Editors and Editees

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 02:23 pm
A friend of mine runs a very high-end graphic design business. She used to work for some major players and now is freelance. She put her website in her FB profile and I looked at it just now. It's gorgeous, I'm impressed.

Her "about me" page is pretty long. The content is good. But there are many, many grammatical errors. Some of them are pretty glaring.

I saw her comment to someone else that she needed help on the editing front -- she seems to be aware that's an issue. I'm happy to go ahead and send her a message (privately) with editing suggestions. Is that too obnoxious though? I really think the errors negatively impact the professionalism of her website.

What do you think?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 1,843 • Replies: 19
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 02:57 pm
@sozobe,
Oh my.

Would an intermediate step of asking her if she would like you to make editing suggestions be safer?

Only you know the "rules" of the friendship, of course....but you're hesitating for a reason, presumably.
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 03:01 pm
@sozobe,
Could you paste the page to a Word doc, on which you can track changes and she can accept or delete them as she likes? You can simply show your suggestions without possibly offending her by overexplaining them in a forced attempt to sound congenial. And stuff.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 03:02 pm
@dlowan,
Well, she's someone I'm still getting to know. Our kids are the same age but haven't been in the same class until this year, and they're only just becoming good friends. Girls becoming better friends = more contact with her, and we're becoming better friends too.

Yeah, I think I should broach it in person probably... I just wonder if there's a halfway point. If I say "hey, not sure if you know I'm an editor, I'm happy to help with your website if you'd like," that begs the question of why I think she needs help.

Maybe I can riff off of that comment I saw earlier on Facebook.

Eh, too much trouble. The payoff is potentially big, in terms of really doing her a favor, but the risks are too high. I think I'll lay off and then just see if there's an opening. (Like, I can generally praise her website -- it really is graphically fabulous -- and then if she says something self-deprecating about her grammar then I can jump in with a casual hey, I'm more than happy to help if you'd like...)
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 03:10 pm
@sozobe,
Yes.

Sounds good.


Sigh. We peepuls be weird.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 03:14 pm
if it comes up casually in a conversation, i'd bring up the editing offer..

also, nothing wrong with mentioning outright: "hey, i noticed you were looking for an editor...and i'm one, anything i can help you with?" i wouldn't go to all the mistakes you noticed on her web if she's not a friend... totlly depends on the conversation of course.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 03:20 pm
@dagmaraka,
nods with Dag... be sure to mention, after all the appreciation of graphics, etc., and noticing her comment about an editor.. that you are one, anything i can help you with?
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 04:57 pm
@sozobe,
why ask me, I can barely sple my own name. Its not good to have a service that depends on design and accuracy. I think she could turn this into a positive if she has a two phase report on FB. Her "Heres me" page allows you to read and see the mistakes. Then the same page repops up with all red circles around the typos and sentence corrections like an editor would do. Then the third page is seen all cleaned up. FINAL PAGE
WE CAN DO YOU TOO!!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 05:23 pm
@dagmaraka,
I really like this approach
dagmaraka wrote:
also, nothing wrong with mentioning outright: "hey, i noticed you were looking for an editor...and i'm one, anything i can help you with?" i wouldn't go to all the mistakes you noticed on her web if she's not a friend... totlly depends on the conversation of course.


she made the comment about needing an editor on fb - it's not a secret - and there does seem to be some kind of culture to talking about stuff you've seen people mention on fb - I'm just starting to 'get' that

I'd also stay away from making any comments about her website unless, and until, she mentions that to you specifically.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 05:41 pm
@ehBeth,
Didn't she post the website on fb for people to see? I don't mean soz should mention the myriad of text mistakes, but surely she can mention looking at the site and liking the graphics. All this in person..
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 06:10 pm
@ossobuco,
Yeah, she just changed/added it today, so there was a flag on my home page -- "XXXX changed her website" -- and a link that took me to it.

That said, I agree that bringing up the comment she'd made elsewhere about needing editing would be a good segue.

But again I've decided I'm not going to try to shape the conversation, will just follow up if it comes up.

This was kind of a quickie in terms of wondering and then deciding but you did help, thanks people. (I also like Gargamel's idea if it does get to that point.)
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2009 07:10 pm
@sozobe,
If it isn't already in your own Facebook profile, you could always add that you do editing, or make a change so it evokes a notification to her. You could then say something like "hey, I noticed you made some changes to your profile page. I like what you've done. I'm trying to improve my own profile page presentation too. Maybe we can help each other by sharing tips, you with graphics and layout and me with writing and editing."
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 04:38 pm
You've gotten some good advice here, soz.

I want to add a word of caution. It's been my experience that often when I edit something as a favor, I live to regret it. Don't know why but I get an argument over every change. This doesn't happen when I edit professionally. And it doesn't happen on every favor. Just most of them.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 04:52 pm
@Roberta,
My experience too....though of course I have not YOUR editing skills...you and Soz's.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 05:10 pm
@sozobe,
This week someone twit (sent a message on twitter) a typo correction on our company's new site to Nick who then twitted it to me.

I'm always grateful for the editing I get, but copy is something some people get weirdly attached to. When I generated copy for work I often hated the edits that were made to it, and ended up putting less effort into copy when I knew it was going to be heavily edited (it's hard to care about the perfect flow when you know it's going to be chopped up and changed so much).

So if anyone ever sees copy on any of my sites that needs improving I'd love it. But if it's copy that I've put a lot of work into (which is very uncommon these days) I may already like it and not want to change it. But most of the time I'm doing so many other things on the site that the copy is rushed and I always like when readers help me polish it a bit more. I often don't have the time to get around to it and my first writing takes are pretty ugly.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 09:32 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Well, I appreciate the work of whoever wrote the "onomatopoeic" duplicate post notice!




Editing someone's work is as fraught as pointing out to someone that, unless they do something drastic, when driving with them, you are both going to die...eg when they are about to pull out in front of a huge truck or suchlike.


Most people, I deduce, would rather die (and kill you) than have their driving skills traduced.

I have ONE friend who gratefully accepts advice like: "You are about to drive us off a cliff."

I won't correspond with my ex, who is an aspiring writer, because, and only because, despite my clear communication about it, he insisted on continuing to send writing for me to criticize.

I was ok with READING it...though it didn't really interest me, and oohing and aahing and such, but he'd be all disappointed unles s I critiqued it, and then huffy and distressed if I DID critique it. I was prepared to put up with this when in a relationship as such, but not in a post-relationship friendship.

However, this is human nature. I cast no nasturtiums upon the man, except for not getting the message no matter how clearly I spelled it ou.

Hell, I feel huffy when my court reports are changed....although I desperately WANT good editing because, let's face it, one does not want ANYTHING wrong with a goddam court report.

Actually, everyone here feels huffy when their reports are edited.

We seem hard-wired, or something, to view these inky exudations as our babies, and to perceive any hint that they are not perfect as though it were a threat to our ego's very existence.

Here be Dragons.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:11 pm
@Roberta,
Roberta wrote:
It's been my experience that often when I edit something as a favor, I live to regret it. This doesn't happen when I edit professionally.

I guess few people appreciate the favor of being told, "I looked at your baby as you asked me to. It's ugly. I fixed it." When you edit professionally, your job is to tell people that somebody else's baby is ugly. Big difference.

Edit: Or in other words, what dlowan said.
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 12:40 am
@Thomas,
I did have an author who told me that she thought my job was to "dull up" her work.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 01:34 am
@Roberta,
Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
0 Replies
 
proofreadmyfile
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 12:08 am
@sozobe,
Hi Sozobe
Agreed with you, your friend's website will get bad impact of grammatical errors because if the user find the mistakes in it then user will not trust on site due to these mistakes so your friend should rectify error from the website pages.
0 Replies
 
 

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