Editing for Meaning is Tough!

So I’m an aspiring editor and sometimes writer. I’ve taken a couple courses in editing, edited newsletters here and there, even had a hand in writing and editing policies and procedures for the last company I worked for.

But I’ve always had a problem editing for meaning. I can pick out grammar and sentence structure errors just fine. Typos and misspellings are rarely missed. But what the author is trying to get at? A little more difficult.

What I’ve noticed is that when I read over something that’s missing information or doesn’t make sense, I fill in the missing information. Whether it’s from my own knowledge or my own assumptions, I mentally fill in the blanks and move on. Even if it’s not what’s on the page, my brain automatically tries to make sense of it. Only if the sentence is seriously out of whack do I pick up on it.

I guess this isn’t what you’d want to hear from an aspiring editor, but there it is. At least I know about it and can work on it. Along with the 10,000 other problems…

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