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Old 03-01-2004, 04:44 PM   #1
Late Istar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,224
Aiwendil is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Aiwendil is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Format/Notation Issues

I think it would be best if we came up with a standard system of notation and a standard format for our emendations, which we will keep constant from section to section.

We currently have a sort of common law conventional system, but there are variations in it and it is not always precise.

Part of the problem is that with HTML, angular brackets cause a problem while without HTML, we can't do such things as underlining.

Jallanite's original conventions were:

[ ] Normalized, usually used for proper names indicating they are here in final form, not as in original text. Eg. "[Huor]" probably represents an original "Peleg", "[nor]thward", represents original "southward", and "[']" represents original """.
< > Material inserted from secondary source. If more than one secondary source occurs in the passage then a code appears after the opening angle-bracket, eg. "<QS77 ".
{ } Material to be deleted.
<u>Underline</u> Material inserted for grammatical reasons or as editorial bridge.

To which I added:
/ / Material altered in accordance with our principle 6c; mostly used for expansion of outlines. In this case, I will show the deletion of the original as well; for example: {Coming thither of Elwing} = /Elwing came thither/.

Of these, the only really unusable one now is the underlining (as you can see). We then have two options: either come up with a new notation for material inserted for grammatical reasons, or subsume that under another notation.

If we opt for a new notation, there are a number of choices but none that are especially nice or convenient. The vertical bar | | is a possibility. Backslashes \ \ might also work.

If we opt to merge notations, we might follow what has I think become the common practice in the last few parts of the FoG revisions, and use [ ] for both normalization and grammatical insertions.

As a matter of fact, the / / for outline expansion has also been replaced in common usage with [ ]. I'm not sure now whether we should go back to / / or simply use [ ] for normalization, grammatical insertions, and outline expansion.

If we do go back to / / however, we might as well standardize the deletion notation. What I mean is that in my original outline expansion notation, one would write such things as:

<TO {and the banner of Fingolfin}= /and above it flew the banner of Fingolfin/>.
This is very unwieldy and the equal sign is totally unnecessary. At the least, this can simplify to:

<TO {and the banner of Fingolfin} /and above it flew the banner of Fingolfin/>.
Of course, all of that is assuming that we want to keep / / at all.

Another format question, one which we did not really have to deal with in the Fall of Gondolin, is how to indicate the base text from which we are working. In the Fall of Gondolin, this was at all times the Tale in HoMe II, but in other sections, there will not be a single base text for almost the whole chapter.

One possible convention would be to indicate what base text one is using at the beginning of a section, and then only indicate changes (that is, not copy the whole text) using the angular brackets as necessary to indicate insertions from other sources. Then, if the base text changes for a significant length of text, indicate the switch.

What I mean is something that would look like this:

Base = LQ 2




Base = Q 30



One final thought is that it might be worthwhile to generate a complete standard list of abbreviations. Some are obvious and others have been more or less fixed by convention - e.g. LQ is the Later Quenta Silmarillion, TO is the outline found in the final note on "Tuor" in Unfinished Tales, etc. But there may be cases where no obvious and immediately recognizable convention is apparent.
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