I’ll start off by saying I am guilty of this. I didn’t even realize it was a negative thing until recently. I don’t mind when people rephrase my sentences, so maybe that’s why I didn’t think of it as a bad thing. The only time I cared was when someone told me my writing was boring and then rewrote my whole introduction. I didn’t like the way he rewrote it either, so I understand how rephrasing can be a negative thing.
I thought about why I do it. It’s not because I think I’m a superior writer. It’s just easier to get something across with an example. To be honest, I’m better at spotting awkward prose than I am at writing it. Even now, I can see awkward prose in my own stuff, but I’m not good enough to fix it. In those cases I just simplify the sentence. It’s better to have simplicity over awkwardness.
Now that I’m aware some people don’t like it, I’ll try to do it less. Do you get annoyed when someone critiques your writing and rephrases a line?