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Thread: Editing Plan?

  1. #1
    EBII Council Senior Member Kull's Avatar
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    Default Editing Plan?

    I have to assume that given a project of this size, the EB Team must be using a formal Project Control structure in order to keep tabs on the myriad of tasks and subteams. Here's my question - In that structure, is text and grammar editing a formal process with it's own team? Not to be critical, but many of the previews have included Info Box screenshots, and I've noticed a number of problems:

    1) Grammar Differences: Some are smooth and flowing, others are a bit choppy, while many are clearly the product of a person for whom English is a second language (Not a dig, just a fact).

    2) Typos: Typically these aren't out-and-out spelling mistakes, but rather word substitutions that make the sentence incomprehensible. (Ex: Last sentence in the Description Box for "Chrysokeros")

    Now in the big scheme of things, this can be perceived as noise-level stuff, but minor problems like this are noticeable and will detract from the overall experience.

    If you do have a formal process (presumably one that kicks in after the previews), then ignore this post and continue to do the good things you do. If not, I'd be willing to offer process flow suggestions and/or actual wordsmithing labor.

    Edit: Just looked through your workgroups list, and (assuming it's accurate and up-to-date), the question is answered - Nyet, Nein, No.
    Last edited by Kull; 06-25-2005 at 17:45.
    "Numidia Delenda Est!"

  2. #2
    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    No, text and grammar editing is not a formal process.

    To clarify your point, could you please point out some of these inconsistencies by quoting them from our previews?



    ~Wiz
    "It ain't where you're from / it's where you're at."

    Eric B. & Rakim, I Know You Got Soul

  3. #3
    EBII Council Senior Member Kull's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard
    No, text and grammar editing is not a formal process.

    To clarify your point, could you please point out some of these inconsistencies by quoting them from our previews?~Wiz
    1) Alexander Bomoi Indikoi: We'll begin by taking a look at the first sentence in this item description.

    When Alexandros' men refused to go any farther into the east, on the banks of the Hyphasis River in India, and he realized that he would be forced to finally halt his conquests, he set up twelve pillars to honor the Olympian gods for what they had brought to him so far.

    Unless absolutely necessary, you don't want a sentence chopped up by so many commas. But the real problem is the section after the 3rd comma. Why? Let's read the 2nd and 3rd sentences:

    Arrian states that, "Then he divided the army into twelve parts and gave orders to build twelve altars, as high as the biggest towers and broader even than towers would be. These were meant as thank offerings to the gods for having brought him victorious so far, and memorials of his labors."

    What we have here is redundancy. The first sentence included some of the same information, and the endings of sentences 1 & 3 use almost identical phraseology. Sentence number four is grammatically correct, and the next paragraph is only partially visible, so we'll omit them from the analysis.

    How do we fix this? Since sentences 2-4 are quotes (and thus immune), an editor would address the problem by slimming down the first sentence. For example:

    When Alexandros reached the banks of the Hyphasis River in India, his men refused to go any farther into the east. Realizing this marked the end of his conquests, Alexandros ordered the construction of a monument.

    (Note: It takes longer to talk about this than to do it, but I want you to follow the thought process.)

    One other benefit of having a single editorial team is to ensure commonality in the spelling of names. In this case, both Alexandros and Hyphasis have alternate spellings, and the team could ensure that you stick with one. Case in point is the name of this monument. Should it be " Alexander Bomoi Indikoi" or "Alexandros Bomoi Indikoi"?

    2) The Royal Makedonian Tombs at Aigai: As before, we'll begin with the first sentence in this item description.

    The most important single location, in terms of their history and ceremony, to the Makedonians was the ancient city of Aigai, the first capital of the kingdom of Makedonia and the home to the burials of its kings.

    A "run-on" sentence, as indicated by the three commas.

    An important regional city from the Early Bronze Age, the akropolis there was the home of the first Makedonian royal palaces and below the city the royal tombs of Philip II and Alexander IV have been found, in addition to others.

    Another painfully long sentence, also featuring redundancy (tombs/burials), and a name consistency issue (Alexander/Alexandros).

    How do we fix them? Two possibilities. The first is to simply wordsmith a bit, retaining most of the existing info. The second would be to consult the original author to determine his desired "reader takeaway", and rewrite on that basis. Absent the second option, I'll take a shot at simple smoothing:

    An important city since the Early Bronze Age, Aigai was the first capital of the Makedonians and the center of their history and ceremonies. The akropolis was the home of the first Makedonian royal palaces while below the city lay the burial ground of her kings, including the royal tombs of Philip II and Alexander IV.

    3) Ruins of Babylon: We'll continue to utilize the sentence-by-sentence review approach.

    Babylon was an extremely ancient and influential city, built upon the Euphrates, divided in equal parts among its left and right banks with steep embankments built to contain the river's seasonal floods.

    This has nice structure, but could use some minor tweaking:

    Babylon was an extremely ancient and influential city, built upon the Euphrates, divided in equal parts between its left and right banks and protected from seasonal flooding by steep embankments (levees?)

    Sentence number two is fine just the way it is:

    Destroyed and rebuilt several times, it was controlled by multiple rising empires and became one herself more than once.

    Sentence number three has issues:

    The city was built before the 24th Century and was the Hammurabi's Empire Capital that controlled vast kingdoms around it.

    Would need to establish just what the author intended before touching this. On to number four:

    But eventually it fell under the control of the Assyrian Empire, one of its former dependent states, from which it rebelled frequently.

    Although it shares the word "control" with the previous two sentences, we'll let that go for now. On to number five:

    As a result of yet another revolt, king Sennacherib sieged and destroyed the city in 689 B.C., its walls, temples, and palaces were razed to the ground and the rubbish thrown into the Arakhtu, the canal which bordered the earlier Babylon on the south.

    Our old friend, the "run-on" sentence. The easy fix is to turn this into two sentences. Number six:

    Its sucessor promptly rebuilt the city fearing the clergy, crowned itself there and made it its residence for part of the year.

    Almost seems to have been written by a different person. I assume that "it" is a reference to Sennacherib's successor, in which case his name should be used. There's also a typo, and the structure is muddy. Number seven isn't complete, but:

    Although it was sacked again later, it recovered independance after the fall of the Assyrian Empire and became once again major power......

    Needs work - there's a typo, two uses of the word "again", and a missing word ("a" or "the") between "again" and "major".

    Hopefully these examples serve to illustrate the benefits a dedicated editorial team can bring to the EB process.

    On a side note - and this has nothing to do with grammar - using direct quotes from the ancients is a wonderful idea, and absolutely resonates with the entire ethos of the EB Project - i.e. painstaking historical research and accuracy in all you do. Therefore I would humbly suggest the use of direct quotes in descriptions as a running theme, to be used wherever possible. It's undoubtedly too late in the game to go back and alter everything that's already been created, but consider this a suggestion for team members who are currently working up new descriptions. One other plus from this approach - grammar and sentence structure is not a problem when you are quoting the work of others (i.e. "this is easier")
    Last edited by Kull; 06-26-2005 at 04:50.
    "Numidia Delenda Est!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kull
    1) Alexander Bomoi Indikoi: We'll begin by taking a look at the first sentence in this item description.

    When Alexandros' men refused to go any farther into the east, on the banks of the Hyphasis River in India, and he realized that he would be forced to finally halt his conquests, he set up twelve pillars to honor the Olympian gods for what they had brought to him so far.

    Unless absolutely necessary, you don't want a sentence chopped up by so many commas. But the real problem is the section after the 3rd comma. Why? Let's read the 2nd and 3rd sentences:

    Arrian states that, "Then he divided the army into twelve parts and gave orders to build twelve altars, as high as the biggest towers and broader even than towers would be. These were meant as thank offerings to the gods for having brought him victorious so far, and memorials of his labors."

    What we have here is redundancy. The first sentence included some of the same information, and the endings of sentences 1 & 3 use almost identical phraseology. Sentence number four is grammatically correct, and the next paragraph is only partially visible, so we'll omit them from the analysis.

    How do we fix this? Since sentences 2-4 are quotes (and thus immune), an editor would address the problem by slimming down the first sentence. For example:

    When Alexandros reached the banks of the Hyphasis River in India, his men refused to go any farther into the east. Realizing this marked the end of his conquests, Alexandros ordered the construction of a monument.

    (Note: It takes longer to talk about this than to do it, but I want you to follow the thought process.)

    One other benefit of having a single editorial team is to ensure commonality in the spelling of names. In this case, both Alexandros and Hyphasis have alternate spellings, and the team could ensure that you stick with one. Case in point is the name of this monument. Should it be " Alexander Bomoi Indikoi" or "Alexandros Bomoi Indikoi"?
    Just a few questions about this one. I'm fairly puzzled about the first part: You mention alternate spellings of Alexander and Alexandros in this one, but I only see Alexandros. The genitive case of it is Alexandrou (of Alexander), so that's why the title is Alexandrou Bomoi Indikoi, not Alexander Bomoi Indikoi as you state. You also mention alternate spellings of Hyphasis, but I don't see those either.

  5. #5
    EBII Council Senior Member Kull's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teleklos Archelaou
    Just a few questions about this one. I'm fairly puzzled about the first part: You mention alternate spellings of Alexander and Alexandros in this one, but I only see Alexandros. The genitive case of it is Alexandrou (of Alexander), so that's why the title is Alexandrou Bomoi Indikoi, not Alexander Bomoi Indikoi as you state. You also mention alternate spellings of Hyphasis, but I don't see those either.
    My bad. As you say, it's Alexandrou, not Alexander. But an editor would spot the dual usage (Alexandrou/Alexandros), and ask whether it's intentional. In this case - as you have explained - it is, so there's no problem. As to the river, I only mentioned it as an example of this type of problem, i.e. names of places, like people, can have different spellings.
    Last edited by Kull; 06-26-2005 at 05:55.
    "Numidia Delenda Est!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Well, more than half of our active members are not native english speakers as far as I can surmise. So far we have been trying to produce content. If that means having some of them pitch in with descriptions in their spare time then we are more than happy to have the help. There's literally too much work to go around and we have just recently recruited new people *just* to type up descriptions, messages, etc. We will try our best to iron out inconsistencies, and problems with grammar. Style issues are futher down the list I would think though, but hopefully they can be addressed as well. The positive of all of this is that you can maybe get a better idea of how much new material is being created for the mod.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    The presence of three commas doesn't constitute a "run-on" sentence. Also, "successor" is spelled like that.

    However, I agree that some of the text should be revised. I've said it before.

  8. #8
    boy of DESTINY Senior Member Big_John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    a dedicated editing/proof-reading team is not a bad idea at all. you would only need 2 or 3 people, i should think. it sounds like teleklos is saying there is a somewhat dedicated 'writing' group. that will help with consistency, but an editing process near the end will make it as polished and professional as possible.
    now i'm here, and history is vindicated.

  9. #9
    Egomaniac sexpert Member Dux Corvanus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    We tried to recruit Sir George Bernard Shaw, but he was very busy to attend our Ouija board sessions.

  10. #10
    EBII Council Senior Member Kull's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeonGod
    The presence of three commas doesn't constitute a "run-on" sentence.
    Not always, but it's "a good indicator"

    Also, "successor" is spelled like that.
    Uh no. Take a look at the posted Description box and you'll see the spelling is incorrect (sucessor):

    http://img87.echo.cx/my.php?image=ba...een28qk7yz.jpg

    To reiterate, I'm not trying to beat up the hard working members of the EB Team, just offering examples that point out the need for an Edit/Proofing Team.
    "Numidia Delenda Est!"

  11. #11

    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    I was writing the correct spelling of the word since you put typo in bold; I assumed that it was meant to be a correction. I agree with you on the editing bit.
    Last edited by GoreBag; 06-26-2005 at 20:33.

  12. #12
    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Same here. Badly written texts are an annoyance that find their way into even the best of mods and are something that can be rectified with relative ease; it'd be a shame not to do so.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

  13. #13
    Member Member anonymous_joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dux Corvanus
    We tried to recruit Sir George Bernard Shaw, but he was very busy to attend our Ouija board sessions.
    Lazy bastard. Why couldn't he do something that will be remembered? Like EB?

    In fairness, a good point is made, the language issue is small, but, it's niggling. Smooth English, while not integral, is a God-send, and clarity is a must. Though that we can complain that the English of 'foreigners' is choppy is still indicative of a pretty f**king high standard of English, to be fair.

    The mod appears to be rather ass-kickingly good so far, so it doesn't really matter, but our poster seems to be a bit of a linguistic purist, and I get what he's saying. Were the time available, proper editing would improve language usage, which would have a minor if not inconsoquential effect on the mod.

    Last edited by anonymous_joe; 06-27-2005 at 19:33.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Editing Plan?

    It would certainly make EB look even more professional :)

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