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People seem to have forgotten editing

Lynne Thompson

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Honestly, it may be because I am older. Things have changed a lot since I was in school. I didn’t diagram sentences or anything (it was the 1960s and they were trying different things I think). But we did learn how to write and sort of how to edit. We were aware of both, anyway. My English teachers gave me careful feedback on my papers, helping me understand how to structure my thoughts better. I still have some of these papers from high school and I love reading the comments. I am truly an English nerd.

I know teaching fads go in and out, who knows really what they teach today. Well, I kind of know, because even though I am older, my kids are in their early 20s and I remember them having to edit and re-submit their papers in high school. They learned to edit.

I am a professional technical writer, and I have to admit I had to learn grammar as I went. It’s true — you can pretty much write and make grammatical decisions “by ear” if you are a native English speaker, but as a professional writer (and that includes editing), I needed to fill in those grammatical gaps I had.

How did I do it? I looked up every grammar rule I wasn’t 100% sure of and read it. Over time, I learned them. Even now, many years later, I will look something up if I am not sure (when to use that or which still gets me, e.g.).

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Lynne Thompson

I always wrote (first poem at 6 years old). Tech writer by trade. I have a podcast The Storied Human: see my linktree — https://linktr.ee/StoriedHuman