Comment Editing Etiquette #GuestPost

Posted on 10th October 2011 in #guestpost/ blog comments/ comment etiquette/ Editing/ Grammar/ Her Melness

Is It Wrong To Change Someone’s Comment On Your Blog?

This is not as wicked as all that but, while I make mistakes with the best of them, I do have a ‘thing’ about grammar and spelling. I don’t go as far as to correct a commenter’s grammar per se, but I do occasionally…once in a while…all the time change a spelling mistake if I catch it. Now, one of the members of The Gibberish Generation who is related to me thinks this is outrageous. Something about human rights and the long struggle for the right to misspell words. Not sure, since I stopped listening after the second “OMG, Mum!!”

But is it wrong to change a commenter’s spelling on your blog to maintain the quality standards you might have set for it? I don’t think so. Unless it is obvious the misspelling is there for a purpose, I am very happy to change the word ‘complement’ to ‘compliment’ when the clear meaning is to give someone a polite expression of praise or admiration. (Don’t worry, my children call me a ‘saddo’ later on this post, so don’t feel bad that you just thought it.)

However, I am being told it is far better to not print the comment rather than change the words of someone else. Now, that doesn’t work for me as I tend to print all comments I receive unless they are particularly offensive for the sake of offence. Even then I might change the gratuitous use of the word fcuk to, say, duck and publish away, but mainly to piss off the spammers sending me fcuk clothing adverts all the while.

When I make the odd spelling mistake on another writer’s blog, I am grateful when they correct any misspelling in my comments. It keeps the quality of their blog alive and makes me look less like a fool who cannot maintain her own standards. I find this far less stressful than posting a second comment correcting the first comment and then making a mistake in the third comment which was correcting the second comment. By the time I get to the fourth comment correcting the third comment, I’m a sweating, gibbering idiot who can’t remember if it’s ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’, or should that be accept it’s ‘i’ before ‘e’ and not after ‘c’? Oh, God! Who cares?

Well, the point is, I do, and as ‘saddo’ as that makes me (thanks kids for the new word to add to my vocabulary), I am a saddo who freely admits she would prefer to split hairs on this subject rather than split infinitives. How sad is that?

Guest post from HMS HerMelness Speaks (@HerMelness)

E&OE ~ Errors and omissions excepted…or should that be expected?

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  • Reply mutteringsofafool 10th October 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I’ve never edited someones spelling before, but I did have a person who was clearly commenting on my entry to one the weekly memes just so that she could post a link to hers. After she did it a couple of times I just edited out the link. (feeling the pressure to spell properly now though!)

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 10th October 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Yes I get that too on certain weekly linky posts, I don’t really mind it though I don’t do it myself.

  • Reply Expat Mammy 10th October 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I suppose there is no harm in it, however It could be taken as a bit rude too. The person has clearly taken the time to comment, especially if the bloggers is saying it’s not up to their standards.I think I would probably take offence but that’s cos I’m terrible at spelling and grammar. Really paranoid now tho, hahaha, where’s that spell check when you need it!!

    • Reply CoffeeCurls 10th October 2011 at 6:20 pm

      I don’t think it’s rude to correct someone’s spelling, as @HerMelness said I think I’d be grateful if someone corrected a typo of mine. It’s a different matter if you remove something they’ve put or change the meaning x

  • Reply HerMelness Speaks 10th October 2011 at 6:19 pm

    The beauty, though, is if your commenter can’t spell they probably won’t notice when the thing is corrected! 😀 Don’t be paranoid, we all have our ‘thing’ and most people’s thing is probably not spelling!

    The only other thing I caution my kids with about spell checkers? They’re bloody useless if you can’t spell since you won’t know of the options presented which is the correct choice. (I just made things worse, didn’t I? Sorry.)

  • Reply Him Up North 10th October 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I guess one is free to do what they want with their blog, including editing comments to make them conform to their “quality standards”. After all, a newspaper or magazine letters editor would do the same.

    Personally though, I wouldn’t do it. I like to think MY grammar and spelling is up to scratch but I don’t impose the same rigour on those willing to take time to comment. The variance in comment content is what makes a blog a blog in my view.

  • Reply GrammerConciousGuest 10th October 2011 at 9:11 pm

    If changing a spelling mistake does not change or alter the intentions of their words in any way then i believe its OK -would rather be understood than incorrect and passed over!

  • Reply HerMelness Speaks 11th October 2011 at 7:29 am

    Some stand out comments and totally agree with GrammerConciousGuest (cute, btw!). I wonder how many people would leave their name misspelt in a comment for instance? Or would tolerate the Letters page in a favoured newspaper or magazine riddled with spelling errors? I do find it an interruption when reading and as vices go, I could do worse. No?

    It doesn’t happen often, but it did spring some interesting conversations off and online, which is all to the good.

    While writing, huge thanks to Lisa for hosting this Guest Post. HMS! 😀

  • Reply Skippy 11th October 2011 at 9:29 am

    I’d definitely prefer for someone to edit my errors than leave them. I can spot spelling mistakes and typos in something written by someone else – but not any anything I have written!

    My worst bug bears are ‘of’ instead of ‘off’, ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ and of course ‘toy’s, game’s, gift’s’ instead of ‘toys, games, gifts’.

    Don’t even get me started on exclamation marks……

  • Reply onlydads 11th October 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Interesting post. On our websites (not the blog) we post up questions to our experts as they are written. No-one has ever commented about that.

    As someone who can’t spell anyway it would be an impossible task to start correcting them!

    That said, I remember asking (pleading) with Lisa to check the spellings on a guest post that I did for her yonks ago. I knew even with spellcheck spelling errors would still creep in. I was concerned for Lisa’s blog though, not my own sense of worry about getting words wrong.

    On my own blog, I do try and get things right; but luckily I have people like @relucthousedad who will point out howlers for me. I am always grateful.

    It is difficult commenting on blogs when you can’t spell. I am always aware that the blog owner may dislike comments with spelling mistakes as it may be seen to lower standards. I don’t think anyone would mind if these errors were corrected. As stated above, we probably would never notice :-)


    • Reply HerMelness Speaks 11th October 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Oooh…no. Absolutely not. I don’t ‘dislike’ comments with spelling errors, I just correct the misspellings almost on auto-pilot. It also does seem a shame sometimes when someone makes a really good knock-em-out point, but then it loses in the translation because of a typo. But no, no, no, I don’t judge or look down on anyone because of it. I make mistakes as well, and I certainly don’t look down on me! 😀

  • Reply Kate, WitWitWoo 12th October 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I think that if I were to have a huge amount of comments to my blog (checks spelling so far …) then that would just be one more task I can do without. However, I don’t. So I think that if I did notice a typo I’d change it. But then I’m really hot on grammar. I didn’t think anyone else (other than Coffee Curls herself) was like that. I’m in good company it seems.

  • Reply Mrs Teepot 16th October 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve never thought about doing it before actually but it does get to me! If someone has misspelled a lot I’ll spam the comment but I never think to correct! Great idea! I’ll join the saddos club!

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