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Old 07-01-2018, 04:34 AM   #16
gmw
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So, it seems to me that the lessons here (for writers) are:

Reserve the word "panties" for use in dialogue by a person that you want your readers to find annoyingly cutesy or condescending.

Any other phrase you use for underwear (is "underwear" universally safe?) is bound to annoy someone, so either avoid referring to such garments, or flip a coin to find out who you want to annoy in this book.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
I edit the formatting of every ebook I purchase. There are lots of things about formatting that bother me (spaces between paragraphs, too big indents/margins/line-spacing, various problems with fonts and font sizes, and so on). I'm really OCD about those things. Very few books are formatted the way I like, and the formatting issues distract me terribly so that I'm unable to read the books without editing them first.

On the other hand I never bother with typos, repetitive phrases and the like. I can tolerate those in moderate amounts and if the amount is far from moderate I'll usually just ditch the book altogether. It would take far too much time to correct typos and phrasing.
How did you ever manage to read paper books in the days before ebooks became widespread? I'm thinking how long it would take to make a photocopy of the whole book, enlarged or shrunk for text size, then each line cut apart to create more space, etc.


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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
So, it seems to me that the lessons here (for writers) are:

Reserve the word "panties" for use in dialogue by a person that you want your readers to find annoyingly cutesy or condescending.

Any other phrase you use for underwear (is "underwear" universally safe?) is bound to annoy someone, so either avoid referring to such garments, or flip a coin to find out who you want to annoy in this book.
I consider "underwear" a generic term for any male/female undergarments. Pretty much the only time I ever hear the word "panties" in real life is in the expression "don't get your panties in a wad".
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 4691mls View Post
How did you ever manage to read paper books in the days before ebooks became widespread? I'm thinking how long it would take to make a photocopy of the whole book, enlarged or shrunk for text size, then each line cut apart to create more space, etc.
Simple. Paper books were formatted far better. I can't remember a single fiction book with spaces between paragraphs or huge margins/indents. Big line-spacing was rare too. I read mostly paperbacks back then, so tiny font size and faded font color were serious problems, but there was no help for it. There simply weren't any other options. Fortunately now there are.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:00 PM   #19
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I tweak the CSS on most books:
I LIKE a space between paragraphs.
I HATE chapter titles that suck up 40%
I dislike main body line-heights: greater than 1.2 (I am not against special needs formatting. Just a everyday book trying to appear longer (page flips)
I have been known to fix annoying typos, homophones
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post
I've always thought life is too short to edit other people's ebooks. I understand why some people do it but for me either the formatting and typo errors are few enough to ignore or I can quit and read something else.

If the problem is the writing - repetitive use of phrases etc - the life is really too short, you can re-incarnate me half a dozen times and I'm still going to skip that one. Besides if the writing is bad it'll show up in other ways after I "fix" the repeated phrases.
For me, it takes about 2 minutes to correct most font issues and/or paragraph and line spacing so I'm willing to do it. Typos and so on, I can and will live with. Ditto for most homophones though they do tend to bring on a longing for the return of the editor.

An ebook with double spaced lines, either no space or more than a single line between paragraphs is easy enough to correct by modifying a few classes in most cases -- I won't discuss one indie author who appears never to have heard of or perhaps doesn't believe in stylesheets and does everything using inline styles though the RemoveInlineStyles plugin for Sigil cleaned those up nicely.

I will admit to finding repeated phrases annoying -- as when David Eddings recycled the phrase “If this grows any more cloying, I think I'll vomit.” in Magician's Gambit and The Sapphire Rose which made both books much less enjoyable for me.

IMO, authors who specify fonts such as Times New Roman, Verdana or Dingbats which don't exist on any of my ereaders should have special bubbles in Hell reserved for them.

As for skivvies, if it's good enough for the Wall Street Journal which once wrote: "In my experience, the most challenging pair of skivvies to stock is the everyday panty.", it should be good enough for the rest of us. I will admit to finding such terms as step-ins, drawers, knickers, bloomers, tap pants, briefs, delicates, etc. somewhat humourous -- blame Thorne Smith for this.

Last edited by DNSB; 07-08-2018 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post
I've always thought life is too short to edit other people's ebooks. I understand why some people do it but for me either the formatting and typo errors are few enough to ignore or I can quit and read something else.
Same here.

I used to reformat everything I bought to match my personal prefs, but I hardly ever do that any more. I think it was as much for learning/practicing ebook editing with Sigil as much as anything. Now that I have that down cold, I rarely feel compelled to do so.

These days, a ragged-right body-text alignment (or a ridiculous body-text font choice) is about the only thing that will put me off my game enough to pop the hood and quickly adjust. If it can't be fixed in seconds, and I can't ignore it, I'll put it away for a time when I might feel more motivated.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
So, it seems to me that the lessons here (for writers) are:

Reserve the word "panties" for use in dialogue by a person that you want your readers to find annoyingly cutesy or condescending.

Any other phrase you use for underwear (is "underwear" universally safe?) is bound to annoy someone, so either avoid referring to such garments, or flip a coin to find out who you want to annoy in this book.
It's similar to choosing the right name for a character I would think. You want the brave, strong, hero to have a name that emphasises who he is. A cutesy name would work against that.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:59 AM   #23
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It's similar to choosing the right name for a character I would think. You want the brave, strong, hero to have a name that emphasises who he is. A cutesy name would work against that.
I wonder if anyone edits their ebooks to change character names they find annoying?

But names are strange things. Firstly, people tend to have prejudices against certain names resulting from public and/or private associations. Writers can try to avoid (or take advantage of) public associations, but there's nothing we can do about private ones. Secondly, it's amazing what you can get away with if you're talented enough. I mean "Dumbledore", what sort of silly name is that? And what about "Pug"? I can't be the only person who saw that and thought of tiny, flat-faced dogs. Not sure how I happened to come up with wizards for both examples, but in both cases, in a very short time the name stopped seeming strange.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I used to reformat everything I bought to match my personal prefs, but I hardly ever do that any more. I think it was as much for learning/practicing ebook editing with Sigil as much as anything. Now that I have that down cold, I rarely feel compelled to do so.

These days, a ragged-right body-text alignment (or a ridiculous body-text font choice) is about the only thing that will put me off my game enough to pop the hood and quickly adjust. If it can't be fixed in seconds, and I can't ignore it, I'll put it away for a time when I might feel more motivated.
For me, ragged right is my preference but I will live with justified. Font choice, blank TOCs and line/paragraph spacing are my pet bugbears. Generally, those are the type of changes that takes a few seconds to implement for body text which is the only place I really care about.

If nothing else, it's good practice for my CSS and regex skills.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:38 PM   #25
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Besides Blank TOC, ones that are not really functional . all entries take you to the same place or do nothing .
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I wonder if anyone edits their ebooks to change character names they find annoying?

But names are strange things. Firstly, people tend to have prejudices against certain names resulting from public and/or private associations. Writers can try to avoid (or take advantage of) public associations, but there's nothing we can do about private ones. Secondly, it's amazing what you can get away with if you're talented enough. I mean "Dumbledore", what sort of silly name is that? And what about "Pug"? I can't be the only person who saw that and thought of tiny, flat-faced dogs. Not sure how I happened to come up with wizards for both examples, but in both cases, in a very short time the name stopped seeming strange.
I just meant that when writing not only do you want the character's dialogue to fit both them and the story but for their names to evoke a reaction as well. I mean can you imagine a garbage collector named Pierre for example? That name evokes the spirit of France and a romantic leading man (at least in my mind) and likewise a boxing champ named Tiny doesn't match up very well.
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:12 PM   #27
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I just meant that when writing not only do you want the character's dialogue to fit both them and the story but for their names to evoke a reaction as well. I mean can you imagine a garbage collector named Pierre for example? That name evokes the spirit of France and a romantic leading man (at least in my mind) and likewise a boxing champ named Tiny doesn't match up very well.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:21 AM   #28
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Well, truth is often stranger than fiction. An editor for a fictional story may well call an author on such a choice of names though I would think. At least that's what all the reading I've done on naming characters seems to indicate.
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