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Thread: Correcting queries from a newbie

  1. #1

    Correcting queries from a newbie

    I am a new registered user here, but have corrected a bit more as an anonymous user.

    I want to ask a couple of questions regarding text corrections, as there seem to be several appraoches by users and I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

    1) Punctuation marks and spaces. I see some users put spaces between the end of words and various punctuation marks (such as semi-colons, colons, and exclamation marks) Is this necessary? Is this correct? If it is correct why don't we have to to the same thing for fullstops and commas?

    2) Gaps between dashes - Similar to 1), some people put a gap between the word and the dash. Again is this necessary and correct?

    3) Inclusion of borders, lines and other non-punctuation marks. Some correctors appear to add lines into their corrections to incorporate bold lines between the article heading and the body of the text, or even put a line of dashes to represent the bold line at the end of the article. Is this necessary?

    Thank you for your time,

    Rick Guthrie.

  2. #2
    Staff Moderator mraadgev [NLA]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hi Rick

    Short answer to all your questions is no, it is not necessary, however, your corrections should match what was originally printed, so if the page was originally printed with a space between the word and the punctuation then it should be included.

    Trove Support
    National Library of Australia

  3. #3
    Prolific poster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I would add that there are spaces and there are spaces .......

    The text in older newspapers can appear to have many more spaces that does modern standard text - this is due to typesetting practices of the day. For example, it was common to use a standard sized space between words, an em-sized space between sentences, and en-sized space after colons and semi-colons, and tiny fractional spaces around some punctuation (e.g. quote marks, question marks, preceding colons, etc.).

    To add to this complication it is often necessary to stretch out the spaces in a typeset sentence to fill the line within a column - this has the effect of exaggerating the size of the tiny fractional spaces. On our keyboards, of course, we only have a standard sized space, so many text correctors add a standard space wherever they see one of these fractional spaces (stretched or not). Personally I think this practice should be avoided because it could cause unintended problems, and I always use modern standard spacing for the punctuation in the translated text. Adding unnecessary spaces will be creating headaches for those who export the text and want to use it in a word processor - all those extra useless spaces will have to be removed to make the text look presentable.

    Another example of unnecessary addition of spaces can be seen amongst corrections in advertisements. Advertisements commonly have heading lines with largely spaced letters, e.g. "T H E A T R E R O Y A L", and some text correctors are correcting this text with all the additional spaces added. But this means that if someone searches for "theatre royal", for example, they will not find this corrected text, so this text needs to be corrected as "THEATRE ROYAL" with all the extra spaces removed. In this case it also appears that the electronically translated text will translate with the spaces removed if the original is clear enough, however in most cases it seems to have problems translating this sort of text. In regard to the exported text, if you want to make it look like the widely spaced original then you can do this with character spacing settings - there is no need to add extra spaces.

    When it comes to spaces around dashes, well by the principle that the correction should match the original, then there should be no spaces added. In most cases you only see what appear to be spaces around dashes when the text of the line has been spaced out for typesetting reasons - so these are not actually spaces. There was a period earlier in Trove where hyphens and dashes were causing problems in the indexing if you didn't add spaces, but this problem was fixed years ago.

    In most cases the addition of these extra spaces will not affect the indexing and searching of text, but they will certainly be a pain in the neck for those exporting the corrected text for use in other documents. Of course the "Theatre Royal" example above does indeed affect the indexing and searching.
    Last edited by Spearth; 24-06-2017 at 01:00 AM.

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