To edit or not to edit?

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“Please don’t judge my spelling, I know you’re a writer.”

“I’m sorry for my sloppy email, I know you’re a writer.”

“I apologize in advance for my crappy IM, I know you’re a writer.”

– Lots of people

I hear these fearful phrases (and similar) more often than I’d like, usually from people who are about to put something in writing for me to read.

Colleagues, new friends, old friends, casual acquaintances, passersby on the Internet—you name it, too many people are afraid I’m going to point out their mistakes just because I’m a writer.

But I’m not.

I’m not a member of the grammar police. And I don’t know a writer who is. Yes, we’re sticklers and yes, we do enjoy a good Oxford comma debate. But I’d like to think enough of us know when to turn it off.

But it does make me want to ask—when is it okay to edit and when is it not?

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