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Old 08-23-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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Post Dickens, Charles: David Copperfield with US format smart quotes v1, 23rd Aug 2009

First, thanks to HarryT for his great work on the Illustrated David Copperfield available here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54219

All the PD texts I've seen have the UK style single quotes. I prefer the US style double quotes, and also smart quotes, if possible.

Here are two editions I used as references:
Thomas Nelson and Sons 1906
http://books.google.com/books?id=Bg8WAAAAYAAJ

Houghton 1863
http://books.google.com/books?id=5PwKAAAAYAAJ

So I thought I'd make a quick attempt to convert HarryT's post from single quotes to double smart quotes. I'm good with regular expression search/replace, so I thought I could do it quickly. As I got farther into it, I realized a few things.

First, it took much longer than what I first thought. This book in particular may have been an especially poor choice to attempt such a conversion. Dickens uses a lot of punctuation such as:
“So th’ are, so th’ are!” cried Ham. “Well said! So th’ are. Mas’r Davy bor—gent’lmen growed—so th’ are!”

Second, I realized there are many different "editions" of this book. I have no idea what edition the Gutenberg text was scanned from, but it was a version with the single quotes, so I guess it was published in the UK. It seems Gutenberg has a mixture of the UK and US versions for Dicken's books.

Most of the smart quotes are correct in this version, but I'm sure there are a few mistakes. I may fix them as I read the book for the first time on my Kindle DX. If anyone has any interest in this version and wants to fix anything, post an updated version here or post a list of fixes.
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Last edited by ectoplasm; 08-24-2009 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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Nice idea, but where's the attachment?

(Use the edit post option to add it.)
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ectoplasm View Post
First, it took much longer than what I first thought. This book in particular may have been an especially poor choice to attempt such a conversion. Dickens uses a lot of punctuation such as:
“So th’ are, so th’ are!” cried Ham. “Well said! So th’ are. Mas’r Davy bor—gent’lmen growed—so th’ are!”
Welcome to the amazing world of "Why regular expresions tend to fail when converting straight quotes to curly quotes"

May I suggest you use different markup for right single quote and apostrophe (both displayed as ’ )? That way, it would be fairly easy to change from US- to UK-style or vice-versa afterwards. In my files I use "’" for right single quotes and "& #8217;" (no space) for apostrophes, they encode the exact same character, however.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
Nice idea, but where's the attachment?

(Use the edit post option to add it.)
I did attach it, but when it didn't appear, I assumed this forum had a delay for approval, as some forums do. I guess it didn't attach. I'll attach it again tonight.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Welcome to the amazing world of "Why regular expresions tend to fail when converting straight quotes to curly quotes"

May I suggest you use different markup for right single quote and apostrophe (both displayed as ’ )? That way, it would be fairly easy to change from US- to UK-style or vice-versa afterwards. In my files I use "’" for right single quotes and "& #8217;" (no space) for apostrophes, they encode the exact same character, however.
This is an excellent idea. I had this thought of making the apostrophe unique, but I didn't have a specific plan, and I didn't know if it was considered good practice. It makes perfect sense for conversion.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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Sorry about not attaching it correctly the first time!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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No worries: thanks ectoplasm!
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