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.

Examples:
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).

Examples:
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.

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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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