Makin’ some changes

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.

Here’s a dxamne an example of what happens I’d if I don’t press gdelete delete. I makye make typing errors all the time. In contraxt contrast, my partner is quite slow and measured in his woofing* Writing writing. I make the joke that I was built for speed and not acxuraxy z accuracy.

*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?

👽 checklist: Pale face ✔️ Blank eyes ✔️ creepy “come to Earth to rule civilisation” vibes ✔️

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.


15 thoughts on “Makin’ some changes

  1. I edit spelling mistakes, my grammar isn’t always good. If I add anything I don’t know if anyone will re-read it. WordPress maintains the day it was published on, so if I change things 48 hours later it won’t change that date. One thing I sometimes do is remove my old photos. They take up a lot of storage space. I wasn’t aware of that when I joined. I’m always around 97% full and sometimes am prevented from posting unless I delete a few photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no problem editing typos or making a change in something I posted. It rarely comes up but if my wife tells me about a mistake when she is reading, I will just fix it. If I am looking at or remembering an old post I would do differently, I just post a new one and leave the old one where it was. I look at my Blog as my personal journal, not any sort of legal document and I receive no compensation for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, I never thought about it. It really make sense that the ancient people of Egypt and Rome did edits on what they wrote. I wonder how they handled their incorrect letters carved in stone? It must take a stonemason’s diligent work… still it might not look corrected. And Egyptians used a lot of papyrus, right? I wonder how people correct words on that? You have such a wonderful job and wish to read more of your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

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