I was very excited today to see a ute (pick-up truck, if you’re American) with some words including ‘Heritage’ printed on the side, because I guessed they would be archaeologists. Went to look up their logo and they were! Felt like spotting adventurers off to raid tombs or lost arks.
After I published my last post, I thought of a punny title for it. It should have been named “Get your Genes during Black Friday Sale”. Har har. But it was already ten hours after blogging when this occurred to me so I left it.
To my lovely readers: in general, do you view it as cheating to go back and edit blog posts?
In various professions, going back to change timestamped notes can land people in legal hot water, because you are changing what you said you observed at the time.
But this is an online diary with lots of silly humour, and not a formal document that will be used in court as evidence (at least I think).
I have gone back to add a missing word or correct grammar here and there. Even after my best efforts at proofreading, mistakes often slip through. My writing is prone to this.
a dxamnean example of what happens I’dif I don’t press gdeletedelete. I makyemake typing errors all the time. In contraxtcontrast, my partner is quite slow and measured in his woofing* Writingwriting. I make the joke that I was built for speed and not acxuraxy zaccuracy.
*Courtesy of autocorrect.
It feels different when the editing is actually about changing information. Editing posts runs the risk of altering the context of things.
To cite one extreme – albeit deliberate – example, in my Reddit surfing days, I once saw one game that someone had started, which was: “Ask me a question, and then edit your post to make me look like a bad person.”
Someone might start with an innocuous question, such as: “What did you do with your food scraps after last night’s dinner?”
The original poster might say: “Fed the last little bits to my dog.”
And the asker might go back and change their first comment to, “What became of your high school bully?”
The entire thread had a lot of morbid humour like this. As you can see, it changed the entire story from start to finish. Behold, the power of post publication edits.
Changing things up: BCE
Writing over mistakes must be very nearly as old as writing itself. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of edits from way-back-BCE. Here’s something from Ancient Egypt where someone tried to Ctrl+Z:
Also, Ramesses II (c. 1303–1213 BCE) was a pharaoh who inherited some temples, fancy hieroglyphs and all, from his father. Instead of having a whole new temple erected, which would have cost a lot, he just carved over his dad’s old glyphs to talk about himself. It also turns out he did this a lot to a lot of other old kings’ stuff. I found a whole cool paper from escholarship.org about old rulers who did this:
On the subject of changing stories: I’m still learning about the Ancient Romans, and finding lots of examples to show that they (like many cultures) did this a lot. The main theme I’ve been detecting is that the Romans were a very proud people, and they embellished their stories to elevate the status of the story’s subjects, and by extension, themselves.
Unless, of course, the founding fathers of the empire truly were the sons of the war god, Mars. Would this have made them Martians?
Anyway, to me, going back to old blog posts and adding the words “UPDATE:” or “EDIT:” in capital letters on an online writing feels a little bit more palatable. Otherwise I will feel like I’m lying about what I did write and suddenly the friendly WordPress community around this blog is subject to a mini-state straight out of 1984.
Or maybe it doesn’t matter on something so informal, as long as it’s done sparsely and in good faith, and I can loosen up.
What’s your approach?
The first two images on this blog were from pexels.com
Image of Romulus and Remus was found on Wikimedia commons.