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Old 06-21-2017, 10:57 AM   #1
ZodWallop
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Standard eBooks Is a Gutenberg Project You’ll Actually Use

Sorry for the click-bait-y headline. It's from the LifeHacker article here. Not sure if this is News or General Discussion. Please feel free to move the thread if it is in the wrong location.

Basically, it looks like Standard eBooks is taking Project Gutenberg's work and adding more polish to it. I haven't downloaded from them yet, but I applaud their efforts. I do have one concern and it is this:

Quote:
Light & tasteful modernization

Older books often contain archaic spelling and hyphenation that can be distracting for today’s readers. On top of our strict typography standards, each Standard Ebook is lightly modernized to feature consistent and modern spelling and hyphenation, so old-fashioned ephemera doesn’t distract you from timeless content.
Here's a link to the site.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:24 AM   #2
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Not to my personal taste; I prefer my books the way the author wrote them. I can, however, see the benefit to those for whom English is not a first language.

I've no inherent objections per se. Most editions of Jane Austen's works, for example, use modern spelling.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:28 AM   #3
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Same concern.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinisajoy View Post
Same concern.
I don't have any concerns, just a personal preference. I don't think there's anything inherently better in the standard mid 19th-century spellings of "to-day" and "chuse" compared to the modern "today" and "choose", and if people find the modern spellings easier to follow, that's fine by me.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Not to my personal taste; I prefer my books the way the author wrote them. I can, however, see the benefit to those for whom English is not a first language.

I've no inherent objections per se. Most editions of Jane Austen's works, for example, use modern spelling.
I agree HarryT. Changing the spelling takes away some of the flavor of the author's words. I've noticed that some older mysteries for example spell 'clue' as 'clew.' It just shows that the language is still evolving. And Shakespeare wouldn't be Shakespeare if it were changed I don't think.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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Oh I misread. I thought they were going to change some words. But then again, I wouldn't want to see Brer Rabbit modernized because you would lose that almost lost dialect.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I agree HarryT. Changing the spelling takes away some of the flavor of the author's words.
It does, but perhaps some readers might struggle a little with spellings like "chuse" vs "choose", or "shew" vs "show". Many modern editions of the classics modernise spelling and punctuation.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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If it helps, here's the image they use to explain their modernization:

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Old 06-21-2017, 12:04 PM   #9
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Thanks. Yes, punctuation is another thing that's changed markedly (no pun intended) over the last couple of centuries.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
If it helps, here's the image they use to explain their modernization:

I don't know about developing but apparently I am drenching the Gulf Coast at the moment.
Did you need the rain?
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:19 PM   #11
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I don't know about developing but apparently I am drenching the Gulf Coast at the moment.
Did you need the rain?
I am secretly hoping the storm threatens us enough to make management decide to close the building, but only hits us with a typical rainstorm
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:46 PM   #12
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I don't know--modernizing seems like a slippery slope. Would a modern reader really puzzle over "to-day" and "ash-tray," and need to see "today" and "ashtray" instead? A spelling like "clew" might be a tad confusing out of context, but clear enough in context.

I would rather see the spellings and punctuation left alone, and some kind of glossary or notes added to explain oddities that are thought to hinder understanding.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:08 PM   #13
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I'm fine with Guttenberg, but there are two things that look interesting:

Quote:
Clean code & semantic markup
And

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High-resolution and scalable vector graphics,
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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I have similar concerns when British books are "Americanized". When I first read Rudyard Kipling as a preteen I had no idea what a "many-coloured snake" was.

Today I go out of my way to find the original Harry Potter books to read them as they were written.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:15 PM   #15
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When I first started reading this, I was thinking finally! someone is going to clean up some of the horridly messy books at Project Gutenberg, those that obviously nobody bothered to proofread and are full of OCR errors and extremely bad formatting. That I would love to see done on a large scale.

But like others have already said, I much prefer the original text as it was written. It takes me back in time to the period it was written and I enjoy seeing those differences. It definitely adds a certain flavor for me that I enjoy. I can't see anyone having difficulties reading to-day or develope, it's like reading British English vs American English and think it's silly when they feel they need to change books originally written in the UK for American readers.

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It does, but perhaps some readers might struggle a little with spellings like "chuse" vs "choose", or "shew" vs "show". Many modern editions of the classics modernise spelling and punctuation.
When I came across "shew" here, Ed Sullivan instantly popped into my head.
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