Editors and Past Progressive

Every once in a while, I get marked down for not using the past tense. I never receive an answer when I ask about it, so I am left to assume that it is because an editor pulled out all verbs ending in -ing.

I make an effort to avoid it. I tend to write, "He was standing at the register," and have to adjust to "He stood at the register." I feel that if the difference between simple past and past progressive is that important, the editor would give more specific feedback. Does anyone else get this?

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No never and I am fairly certain I have used ing many times. Perhaps it is only one msc that I am not signed up with.
I've never been marked down for using the past progressive tense. In fact, when writing narratives in which you're asked to "make us feel as if we were there with you," it's almost necessary. There are some questions that clearly ask for the simple past tense (i.e., "What did the cashier say in greeting?" ) , but in the absence of that kind of specificity, I see nothing wrong with using past progressive, as long as you're consistent within the context.

I think you've run across editors who feel that unless they change something, they're not earning their pay! LOL.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2020 07:10PM by BirdyC.
You also run into folks from time to time who were just plain old taught the wrong thing, usually by someone who was inaccurately making an 'example' a 'rule'. But whether it is right or wrong, if the MSC wants it, provide it.

I used to work with a company that wanted only one space after a period. Totally messed up my fast touch typing and concentration to do it until I realized I could compose in Word and then go back and use the 'find and replace' function to change every '. ' to '. ' I have run into several companies that in a series such as 'A, B, and C' do not want the second ',' though my High School English teachers all insisted on it and by college it was acceptable to have it or not. I have run into a company that abhors a sentence that might require a comma at all except in a series. And forget about using a colon or a semi-colon with several companies. So I have my mental notes of who wants what. They get what they ask for and if they are new-to-me I look to their instructions for style before reporting or just provide the most plain vanilla.

I don't have to be right, I just don't want to be bothered and I want to be paid.
Like shoppers, editors come with different levels of expertise and grammatical knowledge.... From one MSC, I have received notes full of grammatical errors stating that I was marked down for "minor grammar errors." Of course, they never tell me what those errors might be..... I know that I do make typos, but..... I've just come to the conclusion that if I get paid and remain in good standing with the MSC, I don't really care. However, I have gotten in the habit of keeping my sentence structure on the simpler side as a confused editor will send reports back.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@Flash wrote:

They get what they ask for and if they are new-to-me I look to their instructions for style before reporting or just provide the most plain vanilla.

One of the biggest problems, though, is that most MSCs, from what I can tell, don't have a preferred style! I've asked editors before if they use "Chicago," AP, or what, and I don't get an answer at all, or I get, "well, we really don't have a style guide." So... How are we supposed to follow a style if we, and they, don't know what style to use? It's ridiculous. There are plenty of accepted style guides out there that they could use, and they can just tell us to write per that style. IMO, "Chicago" would be the proper one for writing narrative reports, but if they want APA, I'll give 'em APA. AP? OK, I can do that, too.

Just tell us, damnit! Just tell us! We can't give them what they want if they won't tell us what that is. They can even write their own in-house guides. And I mean real guides, not just how many spaces to use after a period, whether to use the Oxford comma or not, and to always write in past tense. I mean a real style guide -- even if it's one freakin' page long!

If they won't give us a real style to follow, then let us just write correctly, and don't mark us down for correct usage "just because" it doesn't follow some rule we don't know about. Sheesh.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2020 10:28PM by BirdyC.
You can become a merchandiser and reduce your exposure to required narratives. Your after work time is free from editorial encroachments and the vagaries of.known and unknown rules

In some merchandising gigs, an optional or required narrative might state that green whosey-whatseys were not on the display upon arrival. No green units were located on the sales floor or in the storage area.

Short sentences punctuated only with periods were provided. The person who wants or wanted to know where the green whosey-whatseys were located received insight for one moment in time. You may have added to a process of elimination or shortened a search radius.

You are free now!

winking smiley

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2020 10:43PM by Shop-et-al.
@Flash wrote:

I don't have to be right, I just don't want to be bothered and I want to be paid.

I agree with this so much. I usually just look through to see that a job was approved. I will read feedback if someone takes the time to write an email. I never want to disrespect anyone in their job, but some companies are so cheap with who they hire/contract for these positions. I guess I can feel like I make money off of that, but I don't really know...
I used a word once and was told that there was no such word. I forwarded a link toit in the OED. I was tempted to suggest that it is good form for editors to be familar with words which exist.
There are a number of folks who were not finding shopping consistent enough income that they wanted to try being editors. Rarely have I been impressed by their written skills. Many I suspect would not know a style manual if it bit them. During my ever so brief stint a an editor I saw the 'guidelines' for the editing with that firm and just shook my head. While parts were good for consistency on behalf of the clients, there were also things that were not advertised to shoppers but just to be 'fixed' in the background.

I am guilty of, on occasion, not having agreement of number with subject and verb. On occasion a sentence being typed changes direction enough that when I read it later I need to fix it. The last thing I want to do after writing a long report is to go back and proof read it closely. When I am told 'minor grammatical errors' I assume I have either inadvertently done something with number or turned what should have been two sentences into one garbled one. I'm not going to argue with an editor about it and I don't need to waste his or her time with a blow by blow of my possible 'sins'. I also know, from personal inspection of a report inadvertently returned to me half edited, that the grammar and content were not mine. Heck, if they accepted the report, why do I want to have a beef with them?
I was once told the average American's working vocabulary is about 3,500 words.

Recent experience has induced me to lower that estimate considerably.

I cavil and cark -- uselessly.

(Yes, look 'em both up!)

@Rousseau wrote:

I used a word once and was told that there was no such word. I forwarded a link toit in the OED. I was tempted to suggest that it is good form for editors to be familar with words which exist.
I greatly enjoyed shopping for one MSC and knew that I would, from the get-go. Before my first shop for them, I emailed the scheduler and asked about a style manual or any client style requirements. I included an example, asking if, for instance, the MSC or client had a strong preference for or against the use of the term "up-sell." His response was, to a word, Rhett Butler's parking remark to Scarlett.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
She wanted him to park; he wanted to part.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
ooops! Too many parking shops recently, obviously!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@Flash wrote:

When I am told 'minor grammatical errors' I assume I have either inadvertently done something with number or turned what should have been two sentences into one garbled one. I'm not going to argue with an editor about it and I don't need to waste his or her time with a blow by blow of my possible 'sins'.
It's the Kinesis editor who rubber stamps "Minor grammatical errors" on every shop for Company A that gets under my skin. Do your job and actually read my reports; if there is indeed a mistake, let me know so I don't make it again. I think she's just a lazy ^&*(% and stamps them all the same. Because of this, I don't take Company A's shops without a bonus -- even though they're fairly easy. It just sticks in my craw.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?” ~Walter Williams
I have stopped caring about editors otherwise I would have my blood boiling with some of them. Especially when it is a low paying shop, to have this extra time spent dealing with them.

ex, -company that does the airport circuits, years ago when they did all airports, there was an editor that clearly did not have the time to edit all the shops on time so she would place it as incomplete and ask that I answer x, y, and z questions. Obviously she did not bother to read the report as I had written about the questions. Then she would give me a 9 or 8 because of that. After the 3rd time, I took screenshots and sent them to the scheduler and the supervisor and it stopped.
-editor that came from the above company starts editing reports for a regional 7-11 style shops chain that was shopped by another MS and had minimal writing requirements. I had been doing these shops for more than 5 years and even the scheduler advertises them as quick in and out, with no more than 3 sentences. The editor asked that for every single Y/N question to write a sentence in the report, just like the airport shops report.
-Editors from England, or Philippines, or India that they assume that since it is a $30 bonus for a simple inquiry I had to write a 3000 word essay. Very politely I wrote that I was following the sample report. The editor actually wrote back that since I was getting such a high bonus I had to write more. We had some back and forth and she did tell me she was in the Philippines and that the amount was very high for them when I explained the bonus was for going during snow.
-Editors from the low paying and super Tuesday comics shops MS that they would ask questions for something that had already been answered in the report and then give you a 9 because they had to contact you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2020 12:08PM by KateH.
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