A Conversation for Stairs

Elevator vs. Lift

Post 1

JacketFan

I understand that you want these entries in British English, but I must protest changing the word "elevator" to "lift." The fact of the matter is that the modern passenger elevator/lift was invented in the United States and was originally called an elevator. The first building to have a passenger elevator was in the United States, and it was called an elevator. But that's not the main reason I'm protesting. The word "elevator" fits the entry better. "Lift" destroys the rythm of the entire thing. Not only is elevator the technically correct word, but it works better for this entry. Someone pointed out in a Post prior to recommendation that "lift" might be the appropriate word, and I considered it, but I ultimately decided that "elevator" worked much, much better than "lift." It is for that reason that I humbly request that you change the word BACK to "elevator"

-- JF


Elevator vs. Lift

Post 2

JacketFan

Seems I posted my last message a bit hastily. I suppose, upon reading the full editted entry, that lift works fairly well. The only question I have is who wrote this entry? I certainly didn't. This is COMPLETELY unlike the entry I wrote. If I had known that I was only going to be feeding ideas to editors, I would have stayed at home and written to an appreciative audience. I suppose now that's what I'll go back to. I guess I was stupid for ever believing there could exist such a place that one person could write an article and have it published with only minor changes (I considered "lift" a minor change), but rewriting someone's entire article is NOT a minor change. The very least you could have done was tried to collaborate with me -- especially if you are going to make such drastic changes. The only request I have left is that you take my name off of that entry - its not mine. I don't want it. You know what? This NEW entry on stairs sucks...

-- JF


Elevator vs. Lift

Post 3

Martin Harper

Hi JacketFan...

The sub-editor of this Entry is 'Slimey Ben' - he can be reached at http://www.h2g2.com/U27280 - it was he who made the changes to your entry, and he may be able to explain the changes better than I could.

May I point out that your original entry is untouched - it remains in its pristine state at http://www.h2g2.com/A447077 - and anyone who searches the guide will be able to see it, just as they did before this edited entry was created.

'Lift' was used because the edited guide is meant to be written in 'British English', because this is supposedly more international than 'American English'. Typically the practice has been to use the british word and footnote with the american word if it might be unclear to americans. This practice is noted at the style guidelines - http://www.h2g2.com/subeditors-style - the idea is to keep all of the guide in a consistent style so it is easier to read.

Looking at the changes, it seems that there have been some bits removed because they were a little *too* detailed - "Usage of the Stair", for example, wasn't terribly informative because everyone knows how to use stairs! This seems to have been the reason behind much of the hack-and-slashing...

Similarly, your excellent para on 'flying' was removed because it's fictional, and only factual stuff is allowed in the edited guide. It's ok to have fictional stuff in your own entries, but not in the edited guide, because it has to be official and stuff.

The writing guides at http://www.h2g2.com/writing-guidelines explain this (particularly tricky) distinction a little further.

I hope this ameliorates some of the anger you feel - if you have any further questions, feel free to ask me here - and I do hope this bad experience doesn't turn you completely off h2g2 - most entries get edited with far fewer changes, and in my experiences the changes tend to make the entries better.


Elevator vs. Lift

Post 4

Martin Harper

Incidentally, I'll second Pete, in the other thread, in saying that the stuff you wrote on Phantom Stairs was really rather excellent! smiley - biggrin

myre (Scout) - You can't feed peas to all of the people all of the time...


Elevator vs. Lift

Post 5

SimonTrew

On the whole I thought the unedited version was better. There was more detail about particular types of staircases, which IS factual. I think the description of how to climb (or descend) stairs could have been made more concise, but should not have been dropped completely. Neither an encyclopaedia, nor a dictionary, should omit items just because "everyone knows...."; for example this is a major difference between 17thC and 18thC dictionaries.

The title was better rendered as "stairs" rather than "the stair", for reasons both of aesthetics and of accuracy. But on the whole I do think the sub-ed rather cut out the heart of the article.

There are some annoying grammatical errors in the edited version which I shall point in a separate post.

Regards

Simon.


Elevator vs. Lift

Post 6

JacketFan

Glad to see at least one person agrees with me. ; ) And yes, I was rather upset when I first posted and have since calmed down quite a bit (and rightfully so after this many days). I understand the purpose of editting (and understood from the moment I first read the editted version why the bit about flying had been cut out), and I do quite fully understand the use of British English throughout the Guide, but I still believe that elevator, even if not "British English," is the better word on many counts, one of which being the history of the device and another simply being a matter of style (note the use of the many "e"s...). Only a minor matter, of course, and one I won't raise further question to.

I am, however, still a trifle irritated at the incredible scope with which the article was "editted." I don't believe the word applies to this situation on the same grounds that "cut" and "stab to death" are not the same. The entry was, in my opinion, editted about as much as Jack the Ripper's victims were slightly bruised. I don't mean to bash the editor for his practice, but I do mean to bash his work, and perhaps not entirely so that. As the entry will probably never be reeditted to a satisfactory state, I can only hope that Slimey Ben, myself, and all others who happen across this series of posts can learn a valuable lesson, primarily in how not to make posts when you're still rather pissed and how not to cut out a grand portion of someone else's entry (unless, as noted, it is fictional, in which case the original author should expect its removal). In the interim, a single bad experience will never be enough to prevent me from doing what I want to do and as my experiences with H2G2 have been good to this point, I will probably keep coming around, though I can't promise any new entries. I suppose for that, we'll all just have to wait and see.


Elevator vs. Lift

Post 7

Martin Harper

I do agree that Ben was a little overzealous, to be honest. But I'm not a sub-ed: perhaps he was told to be...


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Elevator vs. Lift

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