A Quick Note on Comment Edits

This is another one of my “stick it up there to refer to it later” posts.

On occasion, after I’ve posted a comment, I’ll sometimes go “Oh, wait, I want to clarify that,” or “Oh, wait, someone else posted a comment I didn’t see and want to respond to, but I don’t want to post another message,” or “Oh, wait, the grammar of that comment makes me look like I’m a drunkenly hitting the keys with my face.” In which case I may go in and edit my comment, because I have an edit tool and I can.

When I make an edit, this is how I tend to do it:

1. If it’s an edit to correct grammar or to clarify a point without substantially changing the point, or to add a response to another comment without editing the original content of the comment, and no one has responded to the comment before I edited it, I generally don’t note that the edit has been made.

2. If it’s an edit where I substantially change the comment’s content and no one has responded to it yet, I’ll usually note I’ve made an edit.

3. If I see there’s something I want to change in a comment but someone’s already responded to it, I leave it as it is and post a response comment.

My point is that if you see a comment change, it’s not me trying to change what I’ve said after the fact to cover up my own stupidity, it’s me trying to look like I know how to spell and/or trying to clarify something I think is ambiguous or poorly written.

If at any point you note an edit that I’ve not flagged that you believe represents a substantial change to my original comment, please to feel free to call me on it.

Incidentally, this post was not promted by anyone complaining about my comment edits, I just noticed I’m doing a fair amount of comment editing the last couple of days and wanted to be sure you guys didn’t think I was trying to be, like, sneaky about it or anything. Sneak, sneak, sneak.

16 Comments on “A Quick Note on Comment Edits”

  1. Looking like an idiot is default with me since the Internet doesn’t transmit my humor well. Such is the burden.

  2. So should I not comment on ‘promted’ (sic) until you get a chance to fix it?

  3. I always assumed that the typos and such show up when Scalzi is writing the blog himself — and his muse is off in the kitchen eating Cocoa Puffs straight from the box. I mean, Scalzi is everywhere and you expect a classical muse to work 24/7?

    Dr. Phil

  4. Johne:

    Generally not, although there’s been at least one case where some jerkward was trying to make the argument that I had no right to ban or edit his comments, and I refuted him by pulling every single comment he ever made out of my system (which was actually remarkably simple to do). Which settled that discussion, and in my opinion generally improved the aggregate intelligence of the comments on the site.

  5. I typoed in the Bainbridge entry. I put “aree” instead of are. If you could fix it, that’d be great, Scalzi. (But tonnes is correct, I promise.) I also give you leave to correct my typos at any time, because I wish I would be able to myself.

    And speaking of typos, look at the title bar of Whatever. I do believe it’s “ginseng”, not “ginsing”. :) Unless it’s a joke I’ve missed/will never get, lol.


  7. But what if you’ve actually been drunkenly hitting the keyboard with your face? Do you edit later? Isn’t that DISHONEST?

  8. I think there’s a WordPress plugin which allows people to edit their comments.

    On a related note, you could hold a contest in which you post a comment you made to another blogger’s post, and the commenters provide their edits of your comments.

  9. Sneakin’, sneakin’! Hobbitsess always sssooo polite, yesss. Ehm..nice Hobbitsess. Smeagol brings them up ssecret ways, that nobody else can find. Tired he is, and thirsty he is and he guidesssess ’em and he searchesss the path..yess. And then they say: Sneak!”

  10. Hello!

    I’ve been reading your posts for a while, because my husband is a huge fan and, frankly, you’re hilarious, but I just finished Old Man’s War for the first time and… damn.

    Seriously. Damn.

    So incredible.

    Now I’m a huge fan too…


  11. I’ll never whinge abour someone editing their blog. It is, after all their blog. When you own something, it’s yours to do with as you darn well will.

    However, once you did make me chuckle quietly – therefore your edit policy is obviously quite groovy. There seems to be some dissonance in the blogosphere about commenters seeming to think they have some kind of ownership of a blogspace, because they’re commenters.

    This, frankly, is lunacy.

    Anyroad. Yes.

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