Phantom Editors: fact of fiction


I’ve been blogging (consistently) for a month and a half now. During that time a number of things have come to my attention:

  1. Blogging requires a time commitment somewhere between a favourite hobby and a part-time job
  2. Writing one single blog post is sometimes a day-long process if you’re busy jumping between activities (like me)
  3. And… sometimes, no matter how many times you proof-read, you will find the strangest errors in your posts. Ones that you would just never make. Be they formatting, grammar, or spelling, these are the types of errors that hit you from out of the blue – they contradict your obsessive proof-reading ways!
An approximation of a Phantom Editor hard at work

These, dear readers, are what I have been calling my Phantom Editors.

Don’t bother looking them up on Google (unless you’re a big fan of Star Wars fan-fiction) because you won’t find them. Like their name suggests, a Phantom Editor is a super-natural ghost-like creature brought to life somewhere deep inside your blogging devices. The get their kicks from auto-correcting, format-mangling, and punctuation stealing. They eat apostrophes for lunch, leaving bloggers to explain to their fathers that they do know the difference between “its” and “it’s”. And, worst of all, they chew up formatting, leaving your posts confusing to navigate.

The place of residence of the Phantom Editor has yet to be discovered – they may be inside your mobile telephone, inside your internet browser, or even associated with your blogging host (WordPress, have you looked into this?). Where ever they are, their presence is known by the clues that they leave behind.

What can you do to protect yourself from Phantom Editors?

It’s a good question. Since they are super-natural creatures, there is little you can do to protect yourself. I recommend making use of the preview option when proof-reading your blog posts. This will give you a look at what the phantom editors have in mind for your post. Also, having a friend look over your work using the WordPress “request feedback” option is invaluable. They are often able to catch the edits before your eyes can adjust to the work of the clever phantoms. Finally, try to stick with posting from just one device to avoid changes as your posts gets passed between one set of editors to the next.

I wish you all the best of luck in dealing with your phantom editors!



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