Versions, Revisions, Editions

I received the following question from Mohamed of the Omani Peanut Gallery:
“Would you please clarify the difference between version, revision and edition?”

A version is a variant from the original, such as software version 2.0 or a translation of a classical work from its original language. It can also mean an account of an event as seen by two different people or perspectives.

His version of the marital argument differs from hers.
Because Woman was created with additional bells and whistles and functionalities, Woman is considered Man Version 2.0.

A revision is a revised version, so basically the same thing. Revision is something you do to come up with a new version, preferably with lots of corrections made. I basically do this all day long.

An edition can also be a translation or version, but there is an added meaning that the other two words do not convey: a printing or publishing of many copies all at one time (in a batch).

Ken Hoffman’s Drive-Thru Gourmet column appears in the Thursday edition of the Houston Chronicle.
I have the ninth edition of Webster’s dictionary.
If you want to compose a PDF document, you need the Adobe Professional Edition, not just the reader.

The key difference between version and edition is publication. You can write many versions of a manuscript, but only the published versions are referred to as editions. A new version means something has changed, but a new edition could mean that the first printing is all sold out, so they had to crank up the presses for a second publication run.

Profound Quote of the Day, especially in reference to the Texas State Board of Education:
“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte, French military commander, 1769-1821


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