Taking the Red Pen to Your Comments


If you’ve commented on my blog, chances are, I’ve edited you.


Red Pen Comments - sig


Please pop your eyes back into your skull and know this: I do not rewrite comments. I edit. Or, more precisely, proofread.

Why? Well, for one thing, I can’t help myself. I mean, I can not help it. My OCD-ish tendencies notice typos like a giant slug in a rose garden.

When I see an extra space, I delete it. When I see a forgotten period, I add it. If you type ‘dp’ when you clearly meant ‘do’, I change the ‘p’ to an ‘o’.

That’s how I roll.

Second. If I know someone pretty well, know their writing, and see an error, I’ll correct it. It might embarrass them to have a misspelling. Eh. It might not.

But I have had plenty of people submit a second comment correcting their typo. “Oh no!” or “Sorry! I meant to write…” I trash that and just fix it for them. Unless it’s a funny comment. Then it stays. (Seems I’m not the only one with typo/commenting issues. Just saying.)

I wish people would do this for me. *sigh*

Third. If you leave a really long link, it messes up my mobile site and the page just sort of floats around making it difficult to read. So I turn your long link into a short link.

Instead of http://sarahbrentynflash. wordpress.com/ 2015/09/01/ legume-allergy- leads-to-domestic-troubles-2/

It neatly says: Legume Allergy Leads to Domestic Troubles

If you’re new to Lemon Shark, I won’t edit you. I don’t know you or your writing style.

You could be using slang or live in the UK and your ‘realise’ is not a typo but a right proper way of spelling ‘realize’. You could be the next e e cummings and like using all lower-case. It’s cool. Your little letters are safe with me.

I love my readers and their comments. I do. I appreciate the time it takes to read and respond to a post. I also have some kick-ass commenters at Lemon Shark who add so much to the discussions.

You might be a bit offended by this confession but do give me a bit of a break. (I’m trying to uncover my true colors—refer back to mention of OCD).

And, if it helps, I edit my own replies. All. The. Time. Especially from my phone. Damn auto-correct. Also, the cute emojis sometimes show up very differently once I hit “post comment”. I’ll put a frog face (no, I don’t know why I’m putting a frog face) and then it’s like… Wait. What is that? Edit. Change. Aw. A smiley face with its tongue sticking out. Much better.

So, if you’ve commented here, I’ve probably edited you. #SorryNotSorry


Have you ever edited a comment? Are you going to stop commenting here because of my confession?


(Someone please make my day and tell me you’ve found a typo in this post.)


74 thoughts on “Taking the Red Pen to Your Comments

  1. No typos that I can see. I guess I would appreciate your fixing mistakes since a lot of people (including me) are tapping out comments from their phones, and in my case, using a bit of time before my kids head off to school. Mistakes happen under those circumstances!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Um… ‘but a right proper way of spelling ‘realize”. Maybe it’s me but should it be either ‘a right way’ or ‘a proper way’ or even ‘a right and proper way’? Or is that New England Colloquial? Was that a thing? Did I fall for it?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’ve noticed the edits before. They don’t offend me, but I did rub my chin as if stroking an invisible beard and say, “Interesting.”

    I’ve never thought to edit comments myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! Love this Sarah. I tend to twitch a little at the two spaces after a period thing (even though I was taught that myself oh so long ago). I’m all for helping a person out with a well placed apostrophe and/or spellcheck 🙂 plus, where is my frog emoji?!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! The double-space twitch. Yeah. Well, I leave those and many other style preferences alone but, yes, I will help a Tweep out. If you, for instance, were distracted and wrote ‘its beautiful’, I would gift you your apostrophe for sure.
      P.S. 🐸

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for ensuring the correctness of my comments, Sarah. While I do reread my comments, edit and proofread before hitting the “post” button, I know some errors slip through. I’m embarrassed when I see them on posts and wish I was able to correct them, so your efforts are appreciated. 🙂 (I don’t know how to do a frog face on my Windows computer :()
    I will usually correct errors in the comments of others on my blog when they are quite glaring or reduce clarity; also when I know the author would not feel comfortable seeing them. However there are some writers who have stated that correctness is unnecessary. I leave their comments as written. If they don’t care, why should I? Is that mean?
    Thanks for raising this point. It is an interesting one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Norah. It is, apparently, embarrassing to some and not to others. Our differences make the world go ’round. (I don’t think you can make a frog face on the computer but someone might correct me on that one. Though that is a fabulous frog you’ve created with your keyboard!) Here you go: 🐸

      What you do…that is basically what I do. If it’s a glaring error and I know the person, I correct it. And, no, it’s not mean to say you don’t care if the commenter has made it clear they don’t care about spelling and grammar. Plus, any discreet “help” we might give a fellow blogger would certainly be noticed by someone who knows they made several errors and now it’s perfect. That would be awkward.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, another new web tip I’ve learned from you! I didn’t even notice the comment editing feature before. This could be a lot of fun!

    Confession: I have committed some of the worst auto-correct/typos on Twitter when I use my cell phone. One time I was thanking a woman for “sharing the word [about a movie]”, but instead I wrote “skating the weird”. Now, if you had a blog post on editing old tweets, I’d be all over that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’m glad. Although I feel like I’ve created a monster. (A Frankenstein’s comment-editing monster?) Eek! 😱

      Oh. That is awesome. “Skating the Weird” You should use that for a title of a post or something. If you don’t, I’m going to steal it. It’s brilliant. Some of the best ideas come from mistakes, right? Who said that? Someone super smart and famous… Or am I making that up? If so, I said it.

      Do NOT get me started on editing tweets. I’ve been complaining about the lack of that feature on Twitter for ages!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Sarah….
    I really, really, hate typos. I always check and double check my comments, before I press send to make sure that I did not out a word… *insert frog face* How’s that for irony?
    Oddest thing, I only notice the error as soon as I hit the post comment button and then all I can do is look at it and will it to self correct… why won’t WordPress let me edit my comment?.
    Sometimes, I post a duplicate but correct version of the comment hoping that the blog owner will notice and delete the offending comment. I can’t stand writing another comment asking for typo to be fixed, I would rather send an email, or keep my fingers crossed and will them to fix it….. mind control

    so long and thanks for all the corrections
    P.S. I also low key correct other people’s comments just minor things, you know, spellings and obvious auto-correct errors. I know some people enjoy reading my blog but they don’t want to become my museum.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t stop laughing! Oh, B… I feel your pain. I know! It’s like, “Okay. Done looking it over.” *click ‘post comment’* *see typo* What? That was NOT there! Seriously?! I sometimes think the computer randomly picks people to mess with. (I’m not going to fix your omitted word. I love it.)

      Ah. Now if you posted a duplicate comment that was the same but with a correction, I would definitely post that one. I usually post another comment saying something like, “Yah. Um. Of course by ‘ass’, I meant ‘as’.”

      You don’t have to keep your fingers crossed. I’m on it. But, just curious…is the mind control working?

      So long and thanks for all the comments. ❤️

      P.S. Exactly. I try to be low-key about it (well, except for this post) for that reason. A blog is not a museum. That would just be weird. Errors are human and beautiful. In small amounts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I sometimes think the computer randomly picks people to mess with

        I totally agree, OMG Maybe they are aware, the computers, watching us, judging…… never trust anything that thinks if you can’t see where it keeps its brains .
        Confession The omitted word was purely part of the plan…. that’s my story and I am sticking to it *sticks tongue out*

        The mind control thing works you edited one of mine did you not ha!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m English, so editing people’s comments feels a bit rude, no matter how poorly expressed they are.
    I hope mine don’t need editing as I read and edit before pressing the button.
    I also have the proof-reading gene. Errors just catch my eye, begging to be corrected. (The first version of that sentence said ‘egg’, not ‘eye’.) I’ve learned the hard way when it’s acceptable to correct and when not. That last is a lie; I’m still learning.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I will not edit your comments. Promise. 🙂 It would have been fun to see “Errors just catch my egg…”. Well, I do try not to be very obvious about it. I also don’t rewrite. Ever. I keep the words and voice of the reader intact. That’s important. It’s usually my own comments, quite honestly, and glaring errors (especially if I know the person well). I suppose I’m still learning as well. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love you Sarah! ❤ So many times I have to second-guess when I write – as in, is that English or American? I forget and slip into what comes naturally. Depending on my mood, ha! I switch all the time without realising (or is that realizing? 😉 Can I hire you as my permanent editor? Pretty please???

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t correct British/American. (I like most British spellings better, anyway.) ❤ You should write naturally. That's one of the things I love about this blog and the comments. It's like a conversation. It's "realizing" or "realising" (even though "realise" has a red squiggly under it). Color, colour, theater, theatre…it's all good. I don't know about being an editor, though. Yikes! Oh, right, I'm kind of doing that already…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG, I love this Sarah. Please do correct my typos and I’ll love you forever. (And now I know who to have proof read anything major for me. 😉 ) I have considered doing this on my blog, but generally leave things alone. For you though, I’ll make an exception. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve always said (to myself usually) I need a proof reader to read my work before I hit the submit button. I’m notorious dropping words and then reading it “there” when I go to re-read before posting (although I have a bad habit of not re-reading the comment), I for one am glad someone is coming in behind to clean up my rambles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So…should I add “for” in your comment where you dropped the word? 😉 All bets are off with this post! I don’t know what people are doing. I’ve completely lost control! 😀 But it’s nice to hear that you’re all in for someone “cleaning up your rambles”. I don’t find them rambling. I like your comments. And, honestly, most people read quickly and add the word while they’re reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love that you do this, too!
      Oooh… You must sort out those long links. (As a matter of fact, I just changed the one in this post because it was driving me CRAZY. When I read from my phone, my blog was floating all over the screen.) Don’t obsess about it, though. Get some sleep. Then edit. 😉


    • Yes, I always proofread my comments but, somehow, something gets through. Usually on a larger blog where lots of people will see it. *sigh* Thanks. I’m glad to have another appreciative writer. 🙂 I’m often tired or distracted when I’m reading blogs and commenting so it’s easy to miss an apostrophe or something. (Speaking of your website link… It’s not working.)


  12. I love this post. It’s always refreshing to learn about another blogger who edits comments too. I think it’s a courtesy to the one who left comment and I would love it if the person did same for me if I’ve left a typo on their comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah! You edit, too? That’s awesome. There should be a club. You know, as much as I do this for me and my blog’s formatting (which is important), I agree. It’s a courtesy. Especially if you know the person well, know their writing, know they would be bothered by it. And it takes no time at all. (I would love it if someone fixed a typo in my comments!)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sometimes we all are short for time and are eager to hit that ‘send’ button. I’ve done it myself too many times and THEN reread, lol. And I end leaving another comment, asking to please correct the original. Perhaps we should all take that extra moment to reread before hitting the magic send button. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read before I hit the ‘post button’ but, like you said, if I’m in a rush, it’s often missed (or I correct is as I read). I usually leave another comment, too. 😀 I’ve also received comments on my blog asking for a correction or just saying “What I meant was…”

      A LOT of people care (which is really interesting to know and one of the reasons I wrote this post) but, truth is, some people just don’t. They say they’re bad with spelling and/or grammar and really don’t care. I leave their comments alone. It would be weird if I “corrected” their comments as opposed to just fixing a typo for someone who would be embarrassed.

      Liked by 1 person

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