Caution: machines wielding red pens!

Today, blogger Sue Vincent (Daily Echo) has an excellent post about the potential risks when using an editing program to improve one’s writing. If you use such programs, or think you may do so in the future, you should read “Aliens and guillotines – 6 reasons to break the editing rules.”

She isn’t advocating some sort of free-for-all, flap-your-fingers-at-the-keyboard-and-call-it-done approach to writing, however; she is absolutely not saying “Don’t edit.” Instead, she’s pointing out the various ways that some (if not all) computer programs intended to “improve” writing actually ruin it if writers take the programs’ suggestions as unbreakable law, because there is no way (with current technology, at least) to create a computer program that can understand the nuances of language and the intended purpose of a specific piece of writing as well as a live human can.

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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4 Responses to Caution: machines wielding red pens!

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Thank you for the mention. You have it in a nutshell there, Thomas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. milliethom says:

    Very wise advice from Sue, and endorsed by yourself, Thomas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Editing programs probably have more value in a business environment, but all of them to date have made me grind my teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

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