Thursday, February 11, 2010

Attack of the Grammar Queen

This post was a grammatical edit of a recent online article about home birth. I went back and forth about leaving it up and taking it down. I finally decided to take it down and focus my energy on constructive pursuits such as the writing contest. I've left the comments section open, though. Lots of sparks flying in there!


  1. poor writing is one thing. inaccuracies about the topic you're writing about is another. blah.

  2. At first I was wondering why you would even bother, but then I realized how women who choose to have a home birth are so often cast as uneducated. I can appreciate passion, but if you truly want to support a cause it helps to make sure that you don't inadvertently communicate that you are just as uneducated as the naysayers believe that you are.

    This just makes me sad.


  3. Is the intention of this critique to publicly humiliate the author or to permanently spurn any advocacy this individual might have to the prospect of home birth. Because someone is struggling with the written language does not necessarily mean that this person is absent of intellectual thought or passion. Please don't use your education as a springboard for emotional disregard of another human being. Grace would have been called for in unsolicited commentary.

  4. This is not about the author personally at all, and everything about the author's grammar and writing skills. This is exactly the kind of stuff I would help my own students change. You have to admit, someone soliciting and publishing their work (as this person has done to various websites, and as I have myself been solicited by either this person or similar ones) should be able to stand up to some grammatical criticism. In other words, someone who is actively trying to get their writing published needs to have a minimum level of competency in the English language, otherwise they will never be taken seriously. Consider my post a free grammar lesson for this person.

  5. Now I'm going to be paranoid every time I hit "publish." :)

  6. I want to preface this by saying that I enjoy reading your blog. It's well-written, interesting & informative. I'm not & never have been pregnant, but when my husband & I (hopefully are able to) get to that stage, I want to make sure I'm educated about the decisions that I make. Since I found this blog a couple of months ago I've enjoyed reading what you have had to write.

    I did not, however, enjoy this post. If it was in fact trying to make the point that not all home birth supporters are uneducated, I feel as though it could have been done in a much kinder way. There was no need to post this person's "name", or that her writing was so terrible that you did not even dignify it with a response. If she had been disparaging or just plain mean, then I could see not responding. But if an article like this is what she sent you & this is what you ignored & this is why you are now being condescending, then I find that very disappointing.

    If that is not the case, & she was rude or inflammatory, or if I've just misunderstood completely the way this post is supposed to come across, then I apologize.

    But if it is & she wasn't & I didn't, then it seems to me that it would behoove you to reach out to that person in compassion and help her correct her writing and/or point her in a direction to help educate her instead of trying to embarass her in such a pblic way.

  7. You know, Rixa, I have so much respect for you as a woman, mother, writer and an intellectual. Therefore, I have to say that I'm really surprised at this post. I don't disagree in the slightest that the writing here is atrocious (though let's be frank, I'm not a stellar writer, either) but I found this post uncharacteristically condescending, coming from you.

    That said, lol, you sure got my attention! I will now be scanning all future posts, wondering if it's good enough to hit "publish". Reading your "bleeding" all over that "page" reminded me very strongly of the best composition teacher I ever had (she was TOUGH!). I loved her as a teacher but I couldn't STAND writing for her! She was the only teacher that would make me re-write everything I turned in over and over again. I never could quite get the hang of passive voice, though. She told me I had a bad habit of writing that way. Apparently, since I tend to speak in passive voice (whatever the heck that means!), I write that way, too.

  8. Okay, okay--a lot of you thought this was a bit too strong! So let me back up here a bit. I got the feeling that this writer didn't care= much about home birth personally (at an advocacy/personal interest level). Honestly if they did, they wouldn't have so many wild inaccuracies and inconsistencies. They're just trying to get their writing published. At least from what I've been able to gather from the solicitation emails I've received (which have been on the verge of SPAM, in that I'll get a nearly identical email from two different "people" in a period of a few weeks). I took the liberty of being pretty harsh with this person's writing style because of that. Hey, if you're going to SPAM me trying to get money/readership/whatever, you better be sure you have a good product.

    Those of you who are real people, rather than spam-bots, don't feel like you need to check your grammar before you post!

    Anyway I thought this would elicit a chuckle, not outrage or surprise. My bad...

  9. I know the reactions to this post are mixed, but I have to say, I am also a grammar nazi. I have several peer reviews due, and I am afraid that I will scar the writers from ever wanting to write again, considering all of the red pen on their papers. This is not to say my writing is anywhere near perfect. But, I seem to be quite adept at picking out other people's grammar errors.

    I can definitely relate.

  10. Oh I chuckled! I was just surprised, also.

    This persons writing reminds me very much of a person that I know who, while sweet as can be and sincere enough in her own way, is about as uneducated as a person can BE about natural birth. If this woman was to write a paper about birthing at home, it would read just like that. I wonder why she would spam you like that, though? I mean...I see where you're coming from, if you want to get published, PLEASE learn to write a coherent sentence.

    Anyway, to lighten things up a bit I just want you to know that I had a major flash of Simon, from American Idol just now. Like, writing try-outs. "You just can't write, time to go home, now". :P

  11. My English major soul died a little reading that article.

    "giving birth to a child [redundant--unless humans start giving birth to, say, puppies or whales]" cracked me up though.

  12. I think Ben and you may actually be related. At least in grammar-land.

  13. Rixa, it was really unkind to post something like that. You should have sent this to the author privately.

    Having said that, I can understand your frustration at this kind of writing for the public, especially when the person is representing professional birth services. It does say something about this woman's education level. Is she a midwife? The honest truth is that a midwife should have a level of education that shows that he/she has been held to rigorous academic and practical standards. Someone with at least undergraduate university level education should not be writing as poorly as that. I personally want university educated midwives(medical focus)attending to pregnant women, not just laypeople with high school diplomas. Midwives trained in Canada are university educated, so this is my perspective.

  14. I'm surprised. I glanced at this as I was putting my daughter in the bath and was a little hurt. I have spent a lot of my life being ridiculed for my inability to put words on paper. After I took the time to actually read it I can understand the purpose of this post. It isn't just badly written its HORRIBLE. I would expect this from a child in grade school. I even laughed a little.

    Congratulations on shocking us all.

  15. B. Is it unfair to assume that a college education makes a good(or better) midwife?

  16. And I would wonder why they would ask that you publish this gibberish on your blog, like you need such a simple (and atrocious) overview of "homebirth" is beyond me. Weird to say the least. Shoo, spam-bot!

  17. Ashley, no it isn't unfair at all. People entrusted with the lives of mothers and babies should have excellent education. There is a reason why Canada, Australia, and many European countries educate midwives at the university level.

  18. Hey, this person wanted to be published.

  19. I have to say I'm with the other folks who said they were surprised at this post. Based on the original writing I got the sense that this person's first language is not English. I didn't chuckle, except for the "unless humans start giving birth to, say, puppies or whales" part.

    As someone else said it sounds like something from a grade schooler. That's not uncommon for someone who is learning a new language. I speak 2 other languages besides English and as I learned both of those languages I know my writing started off like that of a child. It's still not great, and I always appreciate constructive criticism, especially in German. This wasn't really constructive, it felt more destructive.

    I once knew a security guard who spoke very poor English. I thought he was a very sweet old man, but probably not very bright(he mostly just smiled and nodded when we chatted). It wasn't until I actually sat down and talked to him and another Albanian fellow (who helped translate), that I discovered he was actually an incredibly talednted physicist. He had retired and moved to the U.S. to be near his children. He had only been here for a few months and his English was very poor. Point is, there could be more to this lady's story.......

  20. I don't think we need to worry about hurting the spam-bots feelings, you guys. ;) Fake people are perfectly fair game and I got a good chuckle along with some serious cringes when I read this. So glad I'm not the only one who feels the need to whip out the red pen when I'm browsing the internet! When it's an actual published article and not just crap on Facebook, the urge is almost irresistible!

  21. Go, Rixa! Spelling and grammar mistakes make me crazy, and I'm happy to see a honest correction of this spam-bot's writing. When I was in graduate school, we had to peer review papers, and most of my classmates were afraid to critique too harshly. I think that trying to avoid hurting someone's feelings just leads to that person never learning from his/her mistakes!

  22. Rixa, I adore you. For some reason this post just totally knocked me out, in a good way.

    A few months ago, I responded to a spammer with a hilarious and fitting reply and days later, my email, other email, facebook and blog were all hacked! I hope your spammer doesn't know how to do those things as retaliation.

    But really, I loved this post. I don't really know why; I just did.

  23. Mean or not, I would have done the same thing.
    It was good grammar lesson.

    I'm really disappointed to learn that I will give birth to a child. I was hoping for a puppy.

  24. I gotta add I don't see how it's mean when this person was asking this "work" to be published by Rixa. I would hope that she would be reviewing anything submitted that way closely before posting it for others, and the submittee should be ready for some criticism. I see nothing here that you wouldn't find written on a high school report and certainly a college level essay.

  25. I should clarify that the person(s?) who contacted me sent me other writing samples, not this specific piece on home birth. Still, the level of writing was about the same.

  26. I help my husband edit master level students papers sometimes. Some of them are just as bad. They make me cringe, and I'm not even all that worried about poor grammar.

  27. If you follow the links at the top of Rixa's post, you do eventually end up at a real person's website. Now wether this trail is "accurate" (as in deliberate and intentional), it's hard to tell. So presumably, we're not talking about spam-bots or theoretical nincompoops, but an actual person.

    And piecing the stories together gives us only that: pieces of the story. How do we tell if this person "cares" about home birth? How do we figure out this person's intentions? Umm, how about making contact and asking them!

    I can certainly appreciate a certain protectiveness on the part of the "home birth/birth choice community" (I know, this is a rather loose and woolly term) to present a professional, or at least competent front as you all (again with the loose and woolly) spread the word about, and advocate for safer, more compassionate options to all women. In other words, Rixa's words, to have the movement/profession/vocation taken seriously.

    So how does treating this person to a "free grammar lesson" for the sake of some cheap laughs for your readers, further the ultimate goal of having midwifery/home birth taken seriously?

    Okay, so you and a bunch of your readers have expensive educations. And the time to construct witty comebacks. Congratulations.

  28. Nothing like publicly humiliating someone for a little light entertainment, eh Rixa? This seems out of character.

  29. Not that Rixa can't defend herself, or that she needs to, but I'm curious why there is so much hostility towards her for this critique. Ladies, this was a PUBLICLY posted article, posted for anyone to read. This wasn't on a personal blog. It wasn't a private article written directly to Rixa. It was posted publicly. Since when can we not critique, disagree with, or even make fun of (not that it was her intention) things we find online? I'm sure all of us have encountered things that were so ridiculous that we couldn't help but point out the hilarity, irony or downright wrongness of them. I also find it interesting that those of you who are the most upset have no problem publicly scolding Rixa on her own blog, for all of her readers to see.

    I don't think Rixa, or anyone that I know, would go onto a personal blog with this sort of proof-reading in mind. However, if you go to the actual article, realizing that the writer is, in a sense, passing herself off as an educated educator, then the critique seems fair. It's Rixa's blog, and if she finds something amusing enough and compelling enough to write about it... who cares?!

    A little humor could go along way with this particular situation, folks.

  30. Not me, Isabel. ;) Never went to college and I can still write better than this theoretical nincompoop.

    I once found a "birth story" about a homebirth of septuplets, which took place over the course of a month. I had great fun reposting the story on my blog and making my own comments in italics. This article is so badly written that it's almost on the same level.

  31. Eileen Dover Andfellflatonmyface2/12/10, 7:59 PM

    Perhaps Dr.Freeze will consider these comments a free lesson on etiquette and grace.

  32. I love what was said:

    "Perhaps Dr.Freeze will consider these comments a free lesson on etiquette and grace."

    I have Rixa (my sister) help me edit my college essays all the time - because let's be honest the writing genes were not passed down to me - and I get the same responses.

    I think it's fair to say Rixa is attacking bad grammar, and not attacking the person.

    I'll have to check all of the essays that Rixa has helped me with, though I'm pretty sure none of them said, "Dear Garrett, you suck at writing, and you suck at life."

    But yeah, I can understand the other points of view, too. But seriously people, getting mad for critiquing a letter from a SPAM-er?

  33. Why would you bother? This post has totally put me off this blog and I agree a lesson on etiquette and grace is needed.

  34. Rixa,
    I enjoy reading your posts though I have never commented on them. I share your philosophy about childbirth, natural family leaving and all the topics you usually write about. But this post has been very disappointing and bitter sweet to me. It is totally clear that this person does not have English as her mother tongue. I bet this person has Spanish (just as me) as her first language because the structure of her sentences seems to be a literal translation from Spanish to English. The phrases that you remark as “wordy” and” too many phrases piled on top of each other” are examples of that. The inappropriate use of prepositions is another clue too (prepositions in a foreign languages are one of the most difficult things to learn, no rule at all)
    If you are a writer, Phd, whatever, you could have at least questioned yourself the possibility that those mistakes were due to the fact mentioned in the above paragraph. Isn’t it weird that an English speaker doesn’t recognize that “women are” as the proper subject-verb agreement?
    As a person living in North America and not being originally from here I found the tone of your post offensive to my efforts with a foreign language. There are many non native women in North America that will experience or have already experienced giving birth here, in an environment different from their original one. Blogs are a very useful toll when you search information about childbirth and they are a way to share experiences first hand with local women. But if you read a post like the one you wrote you learn the hard way that if you become pregnant you will have a tough time ahead (the “latina” patient). And believe me, it is not nice the feeling of being ridiculed because of your communicational challenges.
    It never occurred to me that I would experience in this blog the same feelings I have when the SOB doctor (we know who I am talking about) vomits all her repeated rhetoric.
    My apologises for my wordy- too many phrases piled on top of each other-Awkward sentence in general- Poor wording choice-The meaning of this sentence is totally unclear- writing, but as I said, I am not Anglophone.
    Are you able to communicate in writing with no mistakes in other language than English?


  35. it is good to critique badly written articles, just not in such a brutal, insensitive manner. The author is obviously trying to advocate home birth but is limited in her ability. Dr. Freeze has enthusiastically offered her services in the English language to assist the author. Dr. Freeze is at a crossroads now... does she just just proclaim her right to be an analytical person and everybody should just get over it, or does she see it as an opportunity to find out why she is so quick to whip out the proverbial red pen to lord it over others in her grammar universe? Whatever the answer... it is her answer now.

    The rest of us need to remember... who here has not done the same thing to someone else, intentionally or not? Let whoever has not, throw the next stone. Otherwise, let's just let this lady off the hook. She is forever scarred from this blogging incident anyway, so let her go in peace to write another day.


    Don't give up, Rixa. This is just a minor bump.

    Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. Just keep writing.


  36. AH HA! it lets me post today.

    Rixa, I emailed you yesterday, but I just wanted to finally get on here and publicly support you.

    It would completely put me off learning about homebirth education if the first things I came across to read were poorly constructed, and clearly had poor grammar. I would not take it seriously in the least.

    I am glad there are far more people who understand that use of good grammar makes it easier to get the point across.

    Yes, it makes a difference.

  37. I understand the need to correct grammar/spelling/punctuation. That is also one of my pet peeves. But I was taken aback by this post. It seemed mean-spirited to me. I decided to read the comments, in case the purpose was clarified, and after doing so, I feel better about it. I understand why people were upset, but I also understand the point you were making. I feel like it should have been a bit clearer on the original post, but I liked it nonetheless.

  38. I always thought you were kind of snooty, but never really could put my finger on why. This sadly gave me a great example. I would take down the post. You have no point, or if you do have one, it gets lost in your random bitchiness. Yuck yuck yuck, Rixa. I hope this isn't the "real you" and merely just a snotty snooty moment you were having.
    Also, you are sort of pounding in that whole thing about homebirth being for white upper middle class educated (American born) women, and I hate that.

  39. I found the post to be quite humorous, but then, I have a sense of humor. I have been reading this blog for about the past three years. In it, Rixa has educated me about ideas and options that I never knew existed. As a result, I think that I will have a much better idea of what I want regarding birth if I ever have the opportunity of having a child – like if my ovaries stop sucking someday (see that? Humor!). I am a Christian, who also has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. I can tell you that, in my opinion, much (I can’t say all because I haven’t read all of her posts…humor again! Holy cow!) of what she says is based on solid research and good moral grounds. What I find really funny is that this article educated me on a few English language concepts that I have forgotten over time. So, not only did it make me laugh (puppies and whales – seriously!), it also taught me something. Success!

  40. Okay, one last comment from me and then I'm moving on :)

    Words are the currency with which we exchange ideas. They have power. They are important. I am concerned when someone is publishing this kind of writing as an informational article.

    And I do have a low tolerance for bad grammar in such contexts! It bothers me when I'm reading a book and I see typos or misspellings. Now, I don't go around critiquing grammatical/wording mistakes in everything I read, nor do I always double-edit everything I write for this blog (although I usually give my posts a once-over before publishing). But you bet I do for things that I submit to journals or publishers! It's part of the work of writing for a public venue.

    We don't know anything about the person behind the article, and I think it's kind of a moot point. Whether it's a he or a she, a birth advocate or someone just looking for extra work, a second language speaker or native English speaker--those don't really matter. The point is they are writing for a public audience, and the articles purport to be informational and educational.

    If you want to publish your writing, you have to be able to separate critique of your writing from critiques of you as a person. If I tell my brother that his syntax needs serious help, it's not at all personal. It's not that he's a personal failure or that I'm trying to make him feel bad about himself. It's just that his syntax is bad.

    I like what one of the commenters said--think of Simon from American Idol when you read this post!

  41. Okay, I said I was done commenting but wanted to add...

    I looked back over my original post. And I do agree that some of my comments were a bit over the top, so I removed a few of those edits. Sorry about those.

    For the moment I'm leaving this up. Maybe I'll take it down later, maybe not. If I erased everything that made me look bad (or mean, or frustrated), that would be whitewashing myself and that's not really fair.

    Bottom line: if you're writing something intended to inform the public--or if you're selling a product (see sure you do good quality work.

  42. Rixa: the medium is the message.

    In a public sphere such as the Internet, we can expect poor writing. That doesn't excuse it, but language is ever evolving and if you are too stringent, it will stay stagnant. People are in fact not stagnant but dynamic, and so is it any surprise that our language, so dependent on our social context is also dynamic? It bothers people that poor language form is taking over the Internet but I don't see why, it is to be expected. The Internet is a quick way to communicate: slang and acronym usage allows for quick delivery of the message.

    You are not grading a paper or reviewing a piece that is to be published in a journal or magazine or any other formal avenue.

    Why get upset at this?

  43. To add to my previous post: I don't think we should discourage writing on a public Internet forum solely on the bases of poor writing. The Internet is so influential precisely because it stirs up so much opinion and debate. Leave the professional writing to professional publications! I don't expect professional writing style from members of the public that participate in discussion the Internet: that is just censorship and contradicts the purpose of the democratic nature of the Internet.

  44. I shudder to think what the Internet would become if we only allowed the elitist "good" writers to voice their public opinions.

    As for people who purport to be grammar nazis: language changes, Old English texts are just one proof of this. Get over it!

    Nor does good writing necessarily equate educated opinion. A writing piece can have a perfected style, be well executed, etc., yet still be poorly researched.

  45. Thank you for reminding me of why I got out of academia: I couldn't stand the pompous elitism.

    I would rather be here, on earth, with the people than high in the clouds with people who think they are better than everyone else because they have the ability to deliver their ideas with greater eloquence.

  46. I must further add: the proper use of grammar, style and form does not a writer make! Often the best and most talented writers break these rules for a reason. Often the very beauty of the written word lies in its deviance from grammatical rules that in fact dull and stagnate the fiery spark of our most purposeful expressions. Would you scorn one of the greatest writers of our time, James Joyce, and mark up his masterpiece, Ulysses, with a red pen!!!

  47. "Often the best and most talented writers break these rules for a reason."

    I love this comment, because there was absolutely nothing good or talented about this article.

    I think that I can say with confidence and authority about this post (seeing that Rixa and i came out of the same womb, i sort of know her) that Rixa wasn't wrongfully attacking anyone. Something I learned from my experience living in Russia for 2 years - if you ask a bad question, you are going to get a bad answer. Russians are highly intolerant to grammatical mistakes (hell, at least I can speak two languages...) but then again, I was in their country had to accept their culture.

    This article is the same. If this author were to approach Rixa correctly (ask a good question) he or she would have received a good answer. The author could have said, for example, "I really would appreciate help in expressing my views about ____ subject but please excuse my inability to clearly write in English, as it is not my first language. Any corrections or comments as to how I can more clearly express myself would be great."

    This author received a 'bad answer' most likely because they asked a 'bad question' or no question at all.

    I do agree that some of the edits seem harsh / critical but I can assure you that Rixa does the exact same thing the papers I write for my university classes.

    Should we be complacent with poor language skills? We should be tolerant, but I only learned Russian because I was CONSTANTLY criticized by Russians. Without their 'mean' help I would never have become fluent in another language.

  48. I'll agree the writing is poor but poor penmanship, as a criterion, shouldn't stop people from expressing their views on the Internet. Censorship and the setting of standards and authoritative judgments of good vs bad writing defeats the purpose of the democratic medium that is the Internet! I personally feel distaste for peer reviewed journals as well. So many great thinkers are no longer published through the academic medium because of the peer review process. I know that my academic idol, David Noble, would not be published today (straight from the horse's mouth) due to the peer review system. Let us not forget that censorship of any kind is still loaded with personal, social and cultural bias that often stand in the way of paradigm shifts in thinking and viewing things from outside the box.

    I am not referring to this article specifically, but once you open the Pandora’s box to censorship, where does it end, who gets to decide what is good, what is bad, what is newsworthy, what is readable?

    I think the average reader has enough intelligence to judge for himself/herself. If you don't like what you are reading for whatever reason, close the browser!

  49. Wow. Monika, no offense, but I think you've taken this waaaay out of context.

    I mentioned in the beginning that I was a little taken aback by the tone of Rixa's post but I didn't see *anything* in there that suggested that only good writers should post on the internet. The bottom line is that if you are trying to *PUBLISH* an informative article it needs to be intelligible and accurate. The article she as critiquing was *neither*. It's not about elitism or censorship; it's about common sense!

    Personally, I liked Garett's response: he admits Rixa was being snarky but balances that well with acknowledging that her criticisms were never directed at the writer's character.

  50. "The bottom line is that if you are trying to *PUBLISH* an informative article it needs to be intelligible and accurate. The article she as critiquing was *neither*. It's not about elitism or censorship; it's about common sense!"

    Quoted for truth.

    Some of you are acting as if Rixa said, "Oh merciful heavens, this idiot used an apostrophe incorrectly, TAR AND FEATHER HIM." I understand the defense of casual internet language, but there's a difference between your grade school buddy going, "WTF, LOL!" on Facebook and an actual article published for the purpose of education.

    If the author is learning English as a second language, then they need a much firmer grasp of it than this before they consider publishing, even if it's "just on the internet." And this is of course assuming that this person is indeed real and not a spambot (interestingly enough, I interacted with a spambot named Sharon recently as well).

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Monika.... WHOA!

    Rixa didn't utter a word about censorship. This post was about EDITING. She's not advocating that people don't write, rather that they merely edit what they write.

    And if the writer was indeed a non-English speaker, then she should have WRITTEN IN SPANISH. You can bet your bippie I won't be publishing anything in Spanish, even though I speak it, because it's not my language. Same goes here.

    If she was trying to educate the Spanish community, she should have written in Spanish. That's a poopy point, whoever said it.

  53. Sharon Christopher2/13/10, 10:35 PM

    Dear Honorable Grammar Queen:

    If it bee pleasing by you...forgiving by me four righting such one but two badly writing articles. Next time, if for much of your consideration send much needed criticisms direct too my email.

    Much thanks for considering of me.

  54. This just seemed needlessly mean to me, and it made me sad. I understand being annoyed by someone who doesn't understand the rules of internet etiquette or grammar, but the article was bad enough to speak for itself; the red pen's only function seemed to be to humiliate.

  55. Editing can be a form of censorship, depending on the context. In this case I think the shoe fits.

  56. Ouch!

    Rixa, I usually love your posts,(and I have a link to your blog on mine) but this one left me with a bad taste...I hear the smart woman--but where is the wise woman?

    Commenting directly on the woman's blog where she posted the article would have been more appropriate,IMO. Emailing her and asking her if she wanted some assistance with her writing would have been kind. You could have gently corrected her inaccuracies and supported her efforts in support of homebirth.

    Having read her other articles, I can see that she has good intentions--what about yours?

    I feel sad that you couldn't see beyond her words to the essence of what she wanted to communicate and respond accordingly.

  57. monika: Editing as censorship? You bet! Peer-reviewed journals being exclusive and rejecting authors? Yep.
    There is a difference between exercising free speech and writing an informative or scholarly article. If someone wants to write a blog, a letter to the editor, self-publish, stand on a street corner and shout their views to the world without the aid or support of others, then they can say whatever they want however they want.
    We have the system of peer-review in scholarly journals, and of more informal critiques in other spheres of expression, to weed out errors, bad research, and poor scholarship. It gives those journals a level of respectability and trustworthiness with the public that they would not have if they didn't "censor". It protects those who read from accepting inaccuracies and half-truths, and it challenges those who write to write excellently. I see nothing wrong with that.

  58. A nice but naive view...

  59. This didn't bother me! When your work becomes public, it is open to scrutiny, and I share your frustration with this kind of "journalism" that is so shoddy. I wonder if that website is like "associated content" where you get paid a pittance for self-publishing articles? The article is awful!

  60. I think if people have such a problem with all of this then they should just spend their time reading elsewhere. The internet is great at giving people choice.

    If you don't like it, choose to go elsewhere!

    Lauren (from Australia)

  61. Because we train people in our universities to have the superiority ego complex that entitles them to decide "for the greater good of the public" what the layman can and cannot read!


  62. Exactly, because these figures of authority (the doctors, the lawyers, the academics, etc) feel that lay public is obviously too incredibly stupid to think for themselves and choose for themselves what to read. As a previous poster commented "It gives those journals a level of respectability and trustworthiness with the public that they would not have if they didn't "censor". It protects those who read from accepting inaccuracies and half-truths."

    So censorship protects the public from their own stupidity. Oh thank you fascist academics.

  63. Haha! Monika, you're hilarious! I was reading through the comments trying to figure out exactly where you started and where you were going and I finally got it. (Sorry... Sometimes I'm slow to catch humor if I don't know the person presenting it.) You're being ironic! I get it now. By censoring Rixa, you are speaking out about censorship!

  64. Oh help, this person's writing is showing up all over my google reader on issues related to midwives and it is incorrect, misleading, and poorly written. Ack!


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