December 03
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MAY 17, 2009 3:20PM

Let us be able to EDIT our comments, please

Rate: 16 Flag

I often comment as I read a lot. And sometimes I write these long, excited comments where my two fingers race with my mind to keep pace and as is to be expected fail to do so.

 End result - full stop missing (e.g. Alex's blog: ... What David Ehrenstein says is right - that is the marriages were arranged in ancient times in India and babies were born and raised in a number of ways)

David said nothing about Indian marriages, I did not think or attempt to imply he had.

I meant to write this:

What David Ehrenstein says is right. That is,  marriages were arranged. (to secure wealth).  In ancient times in India esply.  And babies were born and raised in a number of ways...

A  missing fullstop and missing commas can make such huge difference in the  sense  of a is often exasperating when you have to repost another comment to correct the first one and send another after the second to correct that one....

There is a cancel option besides post. There is another Delete option within Manage Posts Menu. 

Now Deleting your comment from here does not make that errant comment disappear from the blog! It merely disappears from your own List of comments.

Cancel and Delete are both the same basically - and I think too drastica measure.

Life would be easier if we could leave some space for learning to happen? If there was some way we could go back and REDO/EDIT our mistakes and get on with life instead of trying to bury it with a Del/ or forget it with Cancel,  life would be so  much pleasanter. People could sleep easily at night.

Learning - textbook definition would tell you it is change in behaviour.

So it makes sense to allow for an EDIT function in the comment box too. I dont care that there isn't a reply function. I do care that there isn't an EDIT function.

Life is hard as it is - why make it harder on a personal blog, yaar?

Our comments reflect who we are, what we believe in, what our values are. So they are important isn't it? We all care about how it comes across, how it gets posted and we want to make sure it is exactly worded the way we want it to be, that it is exactly close to what I wish to say.

Also, it would be unfair to expect people would write in Word and then post a comment after they have carefully edited it on the wordprocesor. Who has that kind of time? 

Also, lack of punctuation, complicated syntax, spelling error etc obfuscate the meaning of what we say.  So we are  wasting our reader's tme when we write comments in a way that is hard to understand.

 To respect Reader's/ Users' time, to value what Readers/Users value, out of respect for what might be good for them, save people from getting into embarrassing situations bec of errors that are unintentional, it might be a good idea to introduce the EDIT function for comments.

Considering the fact that it is after all a social thing, the act of blogging, and it is COMMENTS  that add spice and life to a post and add value to the site too -  it seems a  good "add-value" measure  to provide for an EDIT option in addition to Cancel, Post functions.

Knock, knock - is anyone listening? Is anyone with me,  on this? Have you faced the same situation as I have and bit your toungue in exasperation?


Out of 20 comments on this post, 15 votes are for : EDIT/ EDIT within a Time Limit / DELAY / PREVIEW function.

3 votes  suggest  EDIT prior to posting (EPToP) - write it down somewhere before you post. Are not against EDITING as such.

1 vote probably says a straight NO.  Her  apprehensions are similar to BBE and Singpretty's. And am sure we all agree this fear is justified.

I did consider  using EPToP, or the option of  "write it down somewhere before posting", only this might be time consuming. 

Some people might be shy and may not be comfortable with or be deterred by the  laboriousness of the  process.

It can however be done:  in very serious cases, for instance,  where one is participating in a school debate, and you know your views are recorded and votes are counted.

Most of the FACILITIES we are developing in the contemporary world are designed to make life easier, free time, take into account human frailties.

Am thinking  of a simple case like washing machines. These days it dries clothes too.  One can easily argue, why do you need drying? You can easily take it out and hang it out in the sun. 

However,  this would work well for people who live in sunshine zones of the earth, with people who have the time and hands to hang it out, then collect it after it dries, or run and get it if it starts to rain.

It may not be easy for a person with full time career, or where there never is enough sunshine, or space is a problem etc etc.

The same way, that "write somewhere",  "edit prior to posting"  might be easy for some, but may not begood for all.

EDIT -  even  with conditions  attached with the function,  might, however, be a welcome option for a lot of people. 


The fear of manipulation:

In this context I would like to cite the example of the Supermarket idea that India borrowed from the West. ( Or  we could even consider  'credit'  given by banks).  It works on the 'trust' factor.

Initially, we Indians had thought,  if we did the supermarket thing,  people left to themsleves would mishandle, steal or wreck  goods on the shelves.

That.  Did.  NOT.  Happen.

Another example is how nobody dirties, spits on walls, or public buildings in the West, or pees in the street, or streetside, throw garbage here and there - even though no one is watching.

Some do, if they are feeling rebellious or trying to voice a grudge or protest or are angry.

Most don't.

It surprises us in the East, especially impresses a lot of Indians, who come back and talk about this aspect of life there.

Also, come to think of it,  the  world wide web - the Internet in fact, runs on 'trust' that people would use it decently, not use it to perpetrate violence or for dishonest endeavours.

Sometimes, people do these things.

After all, we are all prone to the  evil instincts once in a while.

On the whole, generally though, the idea of trust does work.  And it is the West that has taught it, demonstrated it to the world.

looked up yr hometown in india....ahmedabad....textiles, eh? ....says they call it "the Manchester of the east"....ha! i live in manchester, ct....we had silk here.... is our only worthwhile gift to other people, dont you think? give em diamonds, give em money, they go all soulfully thankful, but it's greedy soulful, like, "yum! got some good expensive shit!"....give em trust, tell em i will unconditonally honor you, have faith in you, til you fuck it's on you....

When trust is broken, it's easy to get cynical. When everyone lives with nothing BUT you poor indians are squalidly poor, but trust us, we're gonna get to you, someday....then....when trust is broken day after day, what the hell: take a shit in the town square, who cares?

In the west, we like cleanliness. it's next, godliness....godliness is next to the Gaping easterners have lived & philosophized about the Void for thousands of yrs....we here in the West are meeting it guys want nice stuff...we want protection from the void, from death, the end of our puny egos....

Or: we want the end....we want it now....blow it up...start over...ruin the globe...start over....on mars, or the moon, or in a secret room of the Sun....

May 18, 2009 09:45 A 


we do not want nice stuff. we want better management of the nice stuff we already have here, despite all that was looted over thousands of years.
NOT blow it all up - not DELETE or CANCEL but an EDIT option, Jim, don't you think that might be better?
oh yes.....edit!!

but who has editing privileges? arent they jealously guarded by the horsedogs of Reason? will imagination ever be allowed to bloom across the scorched earth like lillies?

yes, tomorrow, actually. The President of Everything gave it the goahead. May 19, 2009.....the Day of Reckoning.....for the

ironically-impired guardians of the public safety who build too many things for too few purposes: jollies and death...

May 18, 2009 01:25 P

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A delay would be nice, during which a box pops up that says, "Are you sure you want to say this? In public? To strangers? Half an hour after you took that Ambien? Shouldn't you proofread it first?"

I would typically click, "No" and turn out the lights, cursing my insomnia. Save me.
:) yes....but .... but.... erm...what if I still can't sleep thinking this deserves a thank you note - properly phrased... now? most writers appreciate timely attention
A "preview" option would be helpful (I often make mistakes in using italics or other html which aren't visible until you've posted) but I actually agree with not allowing a comment to be edited after it has been posted.

Open Salon is reflecting more of a publisher's ethos, I think, which is good because on other message boards I've been on that allow editing after you've posted, someone can then go back and completely change what they've said. This can make discussion difficult and is unfair to someone who is commenting on a post that has been edited.

I think the key is if spelling/grammar is that important to you, take the time to proofread. Otherwise, I try and focus on the content of what someone is saying.

As for using html, if I'm really unsure if I've done it correctly I try and preview it as an unpublished blog entry before posting it.
I don't know, I'm not a tech person, but I think it would be too difficult for Salon to do. Think about this... you don't want other people to be able to edit your comments and vice versa, right? Everyone should only be able to edit their own comments. So that means you go to a section of your own blog where all your comments are stored and then you can edit them (just like you can edit your blog posts.) You might have 5 or 500. Then it becomes a storage/access issue. And what happens if you make a comment, then people comment on your comment, and then you keep going back to edit your original comment, and the thread of intelligible commentary is lost.

Respectfully, I think you might modify your own behavior instead. Since you know you like to write comments while the iron is hot, so to speak. Why not jot down those comments in another place (I use my gmail account), then you can review, spell check, and then copy and past into the blog you want to comment on.
Interestingly, you can preview comments at I am sure that a similar system could be implemented here.

I often type my comment in Word in order to minimize typos. Even I when use this approach, I still found stuff after I press the “Post this comment” button.
This is so true, "Also, it is absurd to expect people would write in Word and then post a comment after they have carefully edited it on the wordprocesor. Who has that kind of time?"
Kanuk, yeah true....and yes, the others bef you are also for Preview, that would be nice to have, at least one wd get another chance.

Singpretty, gmail you say? it takes so long to upload and open.
phm and Singpretty, you are right about the 'changing' bit, didnt occur to me. thanks.
My solution posted in
I don't want an edit feature. I've seen other sites where someone gets frustrated and yanks all their comments and posts. I think once you post and people see it, it's too late to take it back. Add a disclaimer or a clarification, but time reverses for no one.
JRD, :)
BBE, yes, I see what you mean. hadn't occurred to me at first.
Hyblaen Julie, my mind knows you are right, the heart kind of pouts

Gabby Abby, thanks, am off to check it out
I agree. Being able to edit comments would be a useful thing. To be able to go back and edit what you said / what you meant. Maybe it would only be for a little while-- a few hours or a day and then it would be cemented in-place. No more changes after that. I would join you in a petition if you cared to make one.
Aren't you stirring up a tempest in a teapot? You already have the ability to EDIT your comments - it's called "re-read before you click Post".

From what I read above, you're just anxious to have your comment out there for others to admire. You didn't have to tell me that you don't write in Word or otherwise take advantage of the tools you already have to deal with the problem, it is obvious in your post. e.g. "So they are important isn't it? We all care how it ccomes across"

"Learning - textbook definition would tell you it is change in behaviour." So show us that you are capable of learning - change your behaviour.
Your comments are always welcome typos or not. We all do it. Being able to edit would be nice sometimes.
Mr E, you think that works here?

Wayne, re-read is NOT edit. it is being careful. despite re-reading you miss out on stuff like you quote. we all try to do that. but being human, we end up making errors anyway. so an EDIT or a PREVIEW feature would be useful.
thank you LHL, exactly - sometimes one misses not being able to so much...
I think control should remain with the blogger to keep or delete. If you thought a missing comment due to a deletion but with an explanation by the host can get confusing, imagine a lengthy back and forth missing half the cause deleted by the guest. We're all adults here. Typos are often humorous and the reason Freudian slips work is that we know the intended language. If a meaning is off 180 degrees, let the comment be corrected quickly by the guest. But many times letting a person's comment remain for all to see is better than any diatribe one could possibly mount to combat it. I like the idea of cleaning up typos but think the scurrilous troll (great band name!) would take it to absurd lengths. How about the deep breath rule - then hit the blue button? Crap - Wayne said all this.
Phew! I remembered the hyphen!
Typos are often humorous and the reason Freudian slips work is that we know the intended language." -- Stacy Youdin

That's a goodpenis point.
Agreed, I've posted stuff that made me cringe afterward, but was obliged to let it go as messed up as it was into the greater blogospheric either. I think the reason why they don't allow one to change one's comments after it had been posted, is to maintain the integrity of the comments. Folks can make a claim for instance, and change it later if it does not find any favor. Perhaps they should allow a five or ten minute timeout in which to make any changes which would prevent this.
"re-read is NOT edit. it is being careful. despite re-reading you miss out on stuff like you quote. we all try to do that. but being human, we end up making errors anyway."

That's why I suggest you do your writing in a different space. I use gmail cause I ALWAYS have it open. But you can use whatever you prefer. Word or whatever email program/website you like. When I use gmail, it takes no time at all to go there, create a new message, write my comment and copy and paste into the OS comment window, when I'm ready. It gives you a second chance to re-read and edit after the copy/paste. I do agree with other commenters here, you need to take a breath, count to 5 and EDIT your own self. Take ownership of your actions and your words. Also, as you say, we are all human and all make mistakes. Let me say that again... we ALL make mistakes, nobody will think less of you for a few typos. Don't sweat the small stuff!

Not sure what you mean by the following. Maybe you have a slow internet connection? I might also suggest you use Firefox web browser, it has an embedded spell-check function.

"Singpretty, gmail you say? it takes so long to upload and open."
A five or ten minute revise/edit comment function works REAL well on so many other forums. Aside from my grammatical concerns, sometimes I've been too harsh on a comment, sometimes not harsh enough.

How would such a function detract from THIS forum?

100$ agragmunt (and if I had a delete, that would read 100 % agreement). I've needed this feature almost every time I login.
They should have an edit function that is viable for like 24 hours from posting the comment. That way if your grammar is not more better or you have pour speling, or you're an angry drunk but feel bad later, you can make changes.
I think a "preview" is best. I have it on my other blog site and it works well. (Of course that is a "writing" site, so maybe it makes sense.)
I back an edit or preview feature, plus HTML. There's so many fun pictures I'd be able to use in comments. Think of the amount of extra gratuitous nudity!
I believe you can erase your own comments on The Huffington Post. However, I am not sure what is the time limit when you want to erase a comment. It noticed that it asked for a reason when you want to delete one.
"Hello", I'll assume you did that on purpose to illustrate. (And if you didn't, you should just say you did.) It was quite effective and funny.
HTML I think can be done on this
There is basic html in comments, you can do the then your word or expression here outside that sign followed by to italicize or highlight something.

I have summed up all your views/votes and written my answer in a new post. Hope you read that too... thanks.

Kent P, it made me smile too.