Saturday, 9 May 2009

Reviewing Rant - Just getting it off my chest!

This is a rant, and unashamedly so. I’ve been doing quite a lot of reviewing lately, and while some of it has been a delightful experience, one particular publication has made it difficult beyond belief. It is, naturally, the one run by amateurs, graduate students at my university, who are taking the opportunity afforded to be as dictatorial as possible, demanding multiple rewrites and frankly abusing the already frustrating Microsoft Word Track Changes. Bearing in mind that I have an editorial job on another publication myself, I know what thereof I speak. Of course, I would dislike them – they didn’t like my review! In fact, I accept that the editors have the right to ask me to change my writing – they are in effect the people who commissioned it. But I have a few specific ‘niggles’ to use their phrase:

1) People who have not read the book rewriting my sentences to be more to their stylistic taste and thus making them factually inaccurate.

2) People who bring up grammatical ‘niggles’ which they are wrong about (‘their is not a gender neutral third person pronoun yet’ (well, yes it is – it isn’t singular, it’s true, but I was using it to refer to a group of people some of whom were female and some of whom were male)) , and then changing my correct relative pronoun ‘which’ for the incorrect/ American, but preferred by Word, ‘that’. (I refused to bow to that one. Just call me a rebel.)

3) The same people reviewing my review and making directly opposite comments on the two drafts – eg, I like this sentence/ paragraph in the first draft, and then saying they don’t like it and it’s unnecessary in the second draft….

There, I feel better now. And it’s better to get it off my chest here, than to send it in an email to them!

1 comment:

Jenzarina said...

I'm with you on the that/which quibble.