Monday, June 4, 2012

Editing and Revision

Question: How are editing and revision similar in function?

Answer/Quote: “Composition researchers in academia and communication professionals in the workplace both use the term editing to describe some aspects of revision.” P. 322.

Quote:  “Cooperation between  composition researchers and practicing editors to develop a common definition of editing that reaches across both disciplines has tremendous potential for bringing a greater consistency to research, a much needed precision in terminology to the practice of editing, and perhaps most important of all, a substantial advance in bridging the gap between theory and practice so often talked about by theorists.” P. 331.

Comment: I’ve always considered editing to deal with “surface” features that do not affect meaning and revision to affect meaning. However, “surface features” often affect meaning (plurals, “the ‘student’ vs.’ students’ in avoiding sexist language), so that that definition of editing is not clear cut. As a practical matter, I don’t think the definitions of editing and revision matter. Why not include editing and revision under the heading “revision”? The purpose is the same: to polish writing so that the reader begins to read, and continues to the end without interruption, whether from lack of correctness or from unclear meaning. RayS.

Title: “Coming to Terms with Editing.” Diane Haugen. Research in the Teaching of English (October 1990), 322-333.

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