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If you're here, it's probably because I mangled some of your deathless prose in an article. So before you post a nasty message to me, I'll explain my rationale for editing articles. You may disagree with my rationale, but at least you'll understand why I did what I did.


First, my qualifications. I spent three and a half years doing copyediting full-time for a small firm that published reference books. I know spelling. I know grammar. I know the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style. I also know that editors (including myself) can do things for purely subjective reasons.


Second, I once owned the Bronze Age Marvel comics. All of them, from the late 60s to the late 80s. Except for one longbox, they're gone now, but the sense of wonder still lingers.


What I do when I copyedit an article:

  • fix the obvious errors in spelling and grammar.
  • prune the excess verbiage.
  • take out duplicate information, i.e. facts that are mentioned elsewhere in the same article.
  • make the formatting consistent with other articles I've already done. It may be wrong, but someone else will notice and fix it. That's part of the magic of wiki.
  • add links to other articles, on the first mention only, and remove subsequent links to the same article.
  • Likely Cruncher #1: they're called articles (I assume) because they contain facts. Opinions don't belong, and the stronger the opinion, the less it belongs. Someone will eventually take them out, and I'm not afraid to be the one that wields the hatchet.
  • Likely Cruncher #2: word-for-word dialogue or blow-by-blow descriptions of battles don't belong either. If someone wants that much detail, they should get the relevant issues.
  • Likely Cruncher #3: information that is off-topic doesn't belong. If the article is about the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland, and it says that the March Hare is a great gardener, that's not relevant. There should already be a link to the March Hare's own article, where the user will find that information, assuming s/he cares enough to follow it. We can't assume that the user cares about the March Hare, though, simply because s/he's bothered to look up the Mad Hatter.


The longbox? Cerberus, Micronauts, and Master of Kung Fu, in that order. Not sure why. If I'd guessed in 1990 that the Internet was so close, I might have tried harder to keep the rest.

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