"In writing, clarity is everything" - Confucius.
"Editing should be a counselling rather than a collaborative task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, 'How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style?' and avoid 'How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?'" James Thurber .
Language is the tool that facilitates the expression of ideas and that allows the reader to engage with their meaning.
The purpose of editing is to both tidy up words and rework sentences in order to present a coherent piece of writing to a reader who may or may not be familiar with the subject matter. In this way, language could be seen as the vehicle that allows us to engage with the writer's thoughts, whether in the form of a book, blog, article or web content. So it is the ideas that take priority, the expression of which relies on the manipulation of words and sentences while still obeying intrinsic rules that must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate expression but sufficiently inflexible so as to prevent us from lapsing into our own personal language that no one but ourselves can understand.
In retrospect we see that throughout history it has not been uncommon for language to change in accordance with social, political and artistic movements of the time. Often ideas were so revolutionary that there emerged an almost entirely new language, like with art where in accordance with changing self-perceptions there developed more sophisticated types of expression that had to be as fluid and structureless as the feelings they were evoking. More recently, we have seen how the advances in communication technology have resulted in the growth of language to such an extent that our engagement within the workplace directly depends upon our knowledge of it. It could then be said that just as the function of language is to express the truth of particular ideas, the editing process ensures the clarity of this expression.
William Stuart. Author
The Invisible College : 9.11 to Armageddon
"Many people write books, but then come up against publishers who are more and more just weighing up the profits of ventures rather than, as in past days, providing a service to untried authors.
Jacinta Doyle: A Story of Love. Raising a Child with Different Abilities.
"Even before I started writing my book I knew that I would need advice putting the ideas together."