Re: despatch or dispatch

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Posted by Ed Kiser on October 28, 2004 at 18:24:36 from user Kisered.

In Reply to: despatch or dispatch posted by Ed Kiser on October 28, 2004 at 01:34:10:

In WH, chapters 12 14 15, and GN CH 1, are about a dozen places where the "dispatch" spelling is used. (Godine edition)

I looked up my Cape editions and found those same places had the spelling as "despatch".

For consistency, I have changed all my text files to the "e" spelling.

The oddity that really struck me was how in ONE paragraph (WHCH12) both spellings were used.

There are other examples of inconsistencies from book to book, but within each book, a particular style is kept. One example of this is the use of PERIOD after the title, as "Mrs. Walker". In some of these books, that period is not used, so it shows up as "Mrs Walker". But at least, this usage is consistant within that book. Not sure which is the official way of doing it. Maybe it is a local difference.

The job of getting a book published with NO errors in it is practically impossible. It is difficult to do proof reading and SEE all the details and trivia that must be verified for accuracy. As for my own typing efforts, I am well aware how errors can creep in, and subsequent re-readings fail to detect these mistakes. I have looked over these files many times, and I STILL discover mistakes, some really tiny, like having a comma instead of a period. One has to be looking very closely at the text to spot that kind of thing. It makes the typing job a bit difficult to be working with text that follows a different set of rules as to spelling and capitalization. Tempting to try to "Americanize" the text according to my own training, but that would be an error for these texts, as that is not the culture being reflected here. These tiny details can be very tricky, like the American concept of "names of seasons have initial caps" but in these Ransome writings such words are all lower case. I have to avoid the temptation to "correct" it and make that initial letter a cap.

It has been a very educational experience to see these detail differences. For me, it has been a great opening to awareness of my English cousins across the Pond, a way to get to know and appreciate those people and places which are indeed my own roots, and thus are really a part of my own heritage, as an American. It has been delightful to make these discoveries, all with the help of many on this forum who have had the patience and have taken the time to answer my many questions regarding that which I dared to call "oddities", so to my Ransome friends -- THANKS. This learning process never stops.

Ed Kiser, South Florida

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