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Old 10 September 2018, 02:24 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,785

Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Do they? I can see that they shouldn't alter the meaning, but if it turns out that Anonymous asked the editorial board to break up the longer sentences, or to alter some of the rhetorical flourishes, and the board complied, I don't see how the readers are let down.
OK, allow me to concede a bit here. I do think they would edit the piece's writing for an op-ed but I don't think they would change much. There is good reason not to -- its authenticity is what's at stake.
I'm missing what's silly about it.
I think it would be silly for several reasons. First, without being experts in text analysis they can't promise anything. They could promise to try but I think that would be silly too because it's simply not their business how well the writers hide their own identity in their own writing. Another reason is that I think they can't make that promise every time so it doesn't really make sense to make it this time. The authenticity of their rare anonymous pieces would be at stake. Finally, the actual content of the piece, etc, is so much more likely to be revealing that, again, they could not make any such promise with any real credibility. They can do what they would normally do in the case of an anonymous quote and say "we will never reveal your name". (Anything more also jeopardizes anonymous contributions because no one wants their words changed.)‬

What I do think is likely is that the intermediate wrote the whole thing based on conversations with the origin and the paper confirmed it (that the origin "wrote" it) by calling both, at which point they both said yep. At that point, all the paper really had to do was edit for clarity as they would any letter to the editor and so forth. (Which they also try not to change much although as anyone who has ever had one published knows they do change a lot so I concede on that point.)

Last edited by ganzfeld; 10 September 2018 at 02:37 AM.
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