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Old 04-17-2012, 12:23 AM   #61
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Don't do any changes. You're a typesetter, not an editor.

From the perspective of a researcher, those changes you are making are corrupting the original sources.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:15 AM   #62
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The talk about censorship and politically-correct language is interesting and all, but I was really asking about punctuation and formatting, which is a much more specific question that (thankfully) doesn't touch on racial or gender issues.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:18 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by dwig View Post
"Faithful to the original"?? No, PG doesn't make any such attempt at all. They make their version faithful to the particular edition they work from. They make no attempt to only work from the true original first publication edition.
The particular edition is is the original, as far as proofreading is concerned. It is the one you have image scans for. I didn't say first edition.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:22 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I don't know. All I know is that the book was written and published in one form, and now someone else feels justified in changing it. It's outrageous.
How do you feel about all the many any varied different productions of Shakespeare plays? Should theatre companies only produce a work that is as faithful as can possibly be to how they were originally staged?

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People here seem to go bonkers over a hint of censorship. Isn't it a form of censorship to alter what the author wrote to make it more palatable? Would you think it was hunky-dory for some member of the religious right to tone down Fanny Hill and rewrite it so that Fanny is punished for her "sins"?
If a) they don't try to hide what they have done, and b) the original is still available, then I don't have a problem with that.
If you haven't removed the original, how have you censored it?
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:38 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
OK, so you're apparently talking about Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Silver Princess in Oz. The pub date is 1938, so it shouldn't have fallen into public domain yet.
Ruth Plumly Thompson died in 1976. Her books are most assuredly not in the public domain anywhere.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:30 AM   #66
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You are of course correct in saying that "dago" and "Levantine" don't actually mean the same thing, but this is of no importance to the story.
I have problem with this aspect. Since it does not mean the same thing and I cannot know that the word have been changed I will get a mistaken impression about things. The description and properties used in the book for dago will not fit Levantine.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:47 AM   #67
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As long as it's clearly indicated that an editor has made changes to the original to satisfy his/her sense of relevance/political correctness/semantics/let's not require children to think/whatever ... then I take no issue with the practice. But I'd prefer that the indication came in the form of giant flashing red letters so I can avoid those editions like the plague.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:56 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
As long as it's clearly indicated that an editor has made changes to the original to satisfy his/her sense of relevance/political correctness/semantics/let's not require children to think/whatever ... then I take no issue with the practice. But I'd prefer that the indication came in the form of giant flashing red letters so I can avoid those editions like the plague.
This is what editors do, DD; it's their job. They use their professional judgement to decide what changes to make to a book to make it more commercially saleable. They don't as a rule, include in the book a detailed list of precisely what changes they've made.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:58 AM   #69
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I'm guessing quite a few people here have read Hamlet, so I ask you, is this what you read?
Quote:
Enter Barnardo and Francisco two Centinels.

Barnardo. Who's there?
Fran. Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold
your selfe

Bar. Long liue the King

Fran. Barnardo?
Bar. He

Fran. You come most carefully vpon your houre

Bar. 'Tis now strook twelue, get thee to bed Francisco

Fran. For this releefe much thankes: 'Tis bitter cold,
And I am sicke at heart

Barn. Haue you had quiet Guard?
Fran. Not a Mouse stirring

Barn. Well, goodnight. If you do meet Horatio and
Marcellus, the Riuals of my Watch, bid them make hast.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

Fran. I thinke I heare them. Stand: who's there?
Hor. Friends to this ground

Mar. And Leige-men to the Dane

Fran. Giue you good night

Mar. O farwel honest Soldier, who hath relieu'd you?
Fra. Barnardo ha's my place: giue you goodnight.

Exit Fran.

Mar. Holla Barnardo

Bar. Say, what is Horatio there?
Hor. A peece of him

Bar. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus

Mar. What, ha's this thing appear'd againe to night

Bar. I haue seene nothing

Mar. Horatio saies, 'tis but our Fantasie,
And will not let beleefe take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seene of vs,
Therefore I haue intreated him along
With vs, to watch the minutes of this Night,
That if againe this Apparition come,
He may approue our eyes, and speake to it

Hor. Tush, tush, 'twill not appeare

Bar. Sit downe a-while,
And let vs once againe assaile your eares,
That are so fortified against our Story,
What we two Nights haue seene

Hor. Well, sit we downe,
And let vs heare Barnardo speake of this

Barn. Last night of all,
When yond same Starre that's Westward from the Pole
Had made his course t' illume that part of Heauen
Where now it burnes, Marcellus and my selfe,
The Bell then beating one
That is the first folio text.

Or did you read something a little more comprehensible to a modern audience, like this:
Quote:
Ber. Who's there?

Fran. (R.) Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

Ber. Long live the king!

Fran.
Bernardo?

Ber.
He.

Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour.

Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.

Fran. For this relief much thanks: [Crosses to L.] 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.

Ber. Have you had quiet guard?

Fran.
Not a mouse stirring.

Ber. Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Fran. I think I hear them.ŚStand, ho! Who's there?

Hor. Friends to this ground.

Mar.
And liegemen to the Dane.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus L.H.

Fran. Give you good night.

Mar.
O, farewell, honest soldier:
Who hath reliev'd you?

Fran. Bernardo hath my place.
Give you good night.

[Exit Francisco, L.H.]

Mar.
Holloa! Bernardo!

Ber.
Say,
What, is Horatio there?

Hor. (Crosses to C.) A piece of him.

Ber. (R.) Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.

Hor. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

Ber. I have seen nothing.

Mar. (L.) Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
Therefore I have entreated him, along
With us, to watch the minutes of this night;
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.

Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.

Ber. Come, let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.

Hor. Well, let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

Ber. Last night of all,
When yon same star that's westward from the pole
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,
The bell then beating oneŚ
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
I'm guessing quite a few people here have read Hamlet, so I ask you, is this what you read?


That is the first folio text.

Or did you read something a little more comprehensible to a modern audience, like this:
I have no objection to changes such as this, provided that (a) it's clearly stated that these changes have been made (and in practically all editions, it will be, because this would now be considered an academic work), and (b) the original is still made available, which obviously it is.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post

For a very long time, authors accepted that editors would change their works a bit, and that was part of the cost of publication. Ever new edition was likely to be tweaked.
But then it is a new edition which is much more acceptable. Then you can choose what edition to read.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:34 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Rand Brittain View Post
The talk about censorship and politically-correct language is interesting and all, but I was really asking about punctuation and formatting, which is a much more specific question that (thankfully) doesn't touch on racial or gender issues.
You're quite right, Rand. Hopefully there are a few posts in this tread that address your query more directly. At the beginning, I and others suggested that it was a very slippery slope; that you should proceed carefully.

I think the somewhat off-topic posts after that illustrate that slip-slope principle perfectly.

So...

Be careful.
Be thoughtful.
Be consistent.
and
Resist most temptations.

Oh, and add transcriber notes [at the beginning!], even if they are somewhat general.



Here, I picked one at random from a PG publication. I personally prefer to leave hyphenation as it originally appears, but some decisions regarding hyphens are unavoidable.

Does your work have footnotes? Tricky, huh? Leaving them end-of-page is really not an option. Do you move them in-line? End of paragraph? End of chapter? End of work? Your decision.

Does your work have tables? If you think it is tough for you, imagine how the original typesetter felt! Do you replicate them perfectly? Do you adjust columns for the format? Do you remove [now] unnecessary headers? You usually can not replicate them perfectly, so how do you best convey the original intent? Your decision.

What about those drop-cases at the beginning of each chapter? How ornate do they have to be before you decide to include them? That's a lot of work, but damn! they look pretty.

Do you preserve--in code or otherwise--the page numbers on which the original text appeared?

What about italics, bold and smallcaps? Does the period or comma go in the tags or outside the tags? Doesn't matter, you say!? I can point you to a 100,000 post thread on DP about that very topic. That is really heady stuff.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. That's why they pay you the big bucks.

Last edited by Rob Lister; 04-17-2012 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:37 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Muckraker View Post
I support Harry Potter being translated into Hindi. Shouldn't people that speak different languages be allowed to read the books as well?
Of course, but the issue here isn't about different languages, it's about the changes taking place over time within one language, and that, IMO, should be respected.

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Originally Posted by Muckraker View Post
=It's not that "jumpers" and "fags" could confuse people, they will confuse people--lots of people--and if we are going to ignore that fact to preserve the sanctity of the text then we shouldn't bother translating anything in the first place.
I'm afraid I have very little sympathy with this view. Europeans are deluged with US-made books and TV dramas, and we don't insist on those being translated for our market. Americans are no less intelligent, but unfortunately, their own publishers and TV moguls seem to enjoy perpetuating the myth that they are. I disagree with your later comment that 'British English is another language' - American English is merely a subcategory of this one language, and to try to pretend, as Webster did, that there's a fundamental difference betweeen the two is to ignore the entire etymology of the language.

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Originally Posted by Muckraker View Post
We are not talking about the evolution of technology. We're talking about old words having modern meanings that are confusing or distracting. Imagine you are reading the ultimate tear-jerker paragraph about a man lamenting the death of his five-year-old son and the last line of the paragraph says "and he was so gay." Now imagine reading that out loud to a group.

How important is that word? Important enough to nullify an otherwise powerful paragraph? Would the long-dead author and his descendents prefer we throw his work in the trash and forget his name because he chose to use one of those rare words that has a completely different meaning today and now causes people to laugh, be confused, or at best it just breaks the spell with a distracting hiccup?
Sounds to me like an opportunity than any decent teacher should welcome to discuss the changes that occur in language and attitudes. If you consider this really would be a problem, then use footnotes, just as many publishers use for editions of classics such as Pride and Prejudice or Bleak House.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muckraker View Post
I didn't want to remove illustrations so I instead tried to move them to a different context. This is a bit different than what we've been talking about with words like "faggot" in that I did change the intended meaning. Instead of black human slaves that could have been dropped into the US and fit right in picking cotton, I made them humanoid slaves made of black stone.
I'm just completely staggered by this - you may think but changing the species and origin of a character is a minor change; I think it's enormous and completely unacceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I
It's an editor's job to maximise the commercial potential of a book, not to regard a writer's words as "holy writ that must not be changed". Pretty much every book needs editing before publishing, and if it stays in print for decades, it may well need re-editing to account for societal changes. That's not "horrifying"; it's the editor's job.
I've worked in publishing for over 20 years - I would never change an author's words without their permission; that's why proofs exist. Even a new author would never be ridden over roughshod by a publisher in this manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
This is what editors do, DD; it's their job. They use their professional judgement to decide what changes to make to a book to make it more commercially saleable. They don't as a rule, include in the book a detailed list of precisely what changes they've made.
No, because the author will have approved them. If the author is no longer around to do so, then it's quite simple - those changes should either not be made, or should be clearly marked and explained.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:39 AM   #74
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Maybe not totally fitting here, but what bugs me to no end about the German translation of the Harry Potter books, is that they have changed the name "Hermione" to "Hermine" in German - which is a rather dull name of German origin more befitting of a grandmother who died in 1970 as opposed to an extravagant name for a witch of Greek origin.

Now, the translation sucks in more than one way (mainly as it is nowhere as funny as the original), but this one change struck me as blatant.

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:50 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
This is what editors do, DD; it's their job. They use their professional judgement to decide what changes to make to a book to make it more commercially saleable. They don't as a rule, include in the book a detailed list of precisely what changes they've made.
I understand that Harry. That doesn't change my opinion. I'm perfectly OK with editors making the kinds of changes everyone is talking about. I just don't want to read the editions of those editors who are changing words simply because the usage of certain words has changed over the years. If I can avoid them, I will.

I'm not asking for a detailed list of changes; I'm asking for a simple; "the editor of this edition has changed words from the original because they can, and because they felt compelled to do so." If they give absolutely no indication that they've made changes of that nature, then that's unethical behavior. The fact that editors of the past may have set a precedent of unethical behavior is irrelevant. If you feel strongly enough about changing it, you should have no difficulty owning it and clearly indicating that you've changed it.

And I'm not referring to editors who are clearly working in conjunction with a cooperative author.
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