Standard Ebooks

Common Issues When Working on Public Domain Ebooks

Punctuation

  1. Punctuation, other than periods, appearing immediately inside a closing parenthesis should be moved outside the parenthesis.

    This comma that is inside the closing parenthesis…

    <p>…my brothers, (though fain would I see you all,) before my death…</p>

    …should be moved outside the parenthesis. Since this is changing content, it is an editorial commit.

    <p>…my brothers, (though fain would I see you all), before my death…</p>
  2. Place names, e.g. pubs, inns, etc., should have quotation marks removed.

    For example, the quotes around the name of the inn…

    <p>“Shall we get supper at the ‘Lame Cow’?”</p>

    …should be removed:

    <p>“Shall we get supper at the Lame Cow?”</p>

Capitalization

  1. Lowercase words immediately following exclamations and question-marks was a common practice and should be left as-is.

    <p>“Surrender you two! and confound you for two wild beasts!”</p>
  2. Older public domain works, especially eighteenth century and prior, often used uppercased words as a kind of emphasis. Unless they are for purposes of personification, they should be changed to lowercase.

    Here, “History” is a personification, but “Courtiers” is not.

    <p>To the eye of History many things, in that sick-room of Louis, are now visible, which to the Courtiers there present were invisible.</p>

    Therefore, “Courtiers” should be lowercased. This would be also be an editorial commit.

    <p>To the eye of History many things, in that sick-room of Louis, are now visible, which to the courtiers there present were invisible.</p>

Elision

  1. Semicolons were occasionally used for elision in names; these should be replaced with the S.E. standard two-em dash for partial elision, three-em dash for full elision.

    The ellipsis in the Bishop's name is incorrect for an S.E. production.

    <p>When I turned myself over to a Letter from a Beneficed Clergyman in the Country to the Bishop of C…r, I was becoming languid…</p>

    It should be changed to our standard two-em dash in an editorial commit.

    <p>When I turned myself over to a Letter from a Beneficed Clergyman in the Country to the Bishop of C⸺r, I was becoming languid…</p>

Diacritics

  1. Diacritics on words that appear in Merriam-Webster without them should generally be removed. Modernize spelling corrects some of these, so it is best to wait until after that step to see if any others are left. se find-mismatched-diacritics can help find instances of these. These commit(s) should be editorial.

    The circumflex on hôtel is unnecessary…

    <p>“Is not that the hôtel in which is enclosed the garden of the Lingère du Louvre?”</p>

    …and therefore can be removed:

    <p>“Is not that the hotel in which is enclosed the garden of the Lingère du Louvre?”</p>

Headers

  1. Periods that appear after the chapter number or title should be removed. This…

    <h3>A Gascon, and a Gascon and a Half.</h3>

    …should be changed to this.

    <h3>A Gascon, and a Gascon and a Half</h3>

Italics

  1. If italicized non-English words are found in Merriam-Webster, the italics should be removed.

    Here, “sotto voce” appears in the standard Merriam-Webster dictionary.

    <p>“No, you certainly have not, old man,” put in Rogers <i>sotto voce</i>.</p>

    Therefore, the italics should be removed:

    <p>“No, you certainly have not, old man,” put in Rogers sotto voce.</p>
  2. Words and/or phrases that are italicized in the source, or italicized and quoted, should be changed to match S.E. standards. For example, it may be italicized in the source, but should be quoted according to our style manual. Or, an English phrase may be quoted and italicized, and only one is necessary (usually the quotes).

    Here, song lyrics are both quoted and italicized.

    <blockquote> <p> <i><span>At nighttime in the moon’s fair glow</span> <br/> <span class="i1">How sweet, as fancies wander free,</span> <br/> <span>To feel that in this world there’s one</span> <br/> <span class="i1">Who still is thinking but of thee!</span></i> </p> </blockquote>

    Per S.E. standards, we remove the italics.

    <blockquote> <p> <span>At nighttime in the moon’s fair glow</span> <br/> <span>How sweet, as fancies wander free,</span> <br/> <span>To feel that in this world there’s one</span> <br/> <span>Who still is thinking but of thee!</span> </p> </blockquote>