[XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly community

Judson Herrman jherrman at allegheny.edu
Sat Oct 23 16:59:02 CEST 2010

I've heard many a story about the heroism of Holford-Strevens. I was
working with OUP-USA, who has much less experience with critical
editions, and so he wasn't involved. I recently enjoyed the erudition
in his Very Short Introduction to the History of Time.

I've also found the (Xe)TeX hyphenation for ancient Greek to be very
good. But I can't remember whether I'm using the standard patterns. I
remember that there is a CTAN or TUGBoat submission that improves on
the widely used Greek patterns, and I converted that to unicode for
XeTeX at one point, and may still be using it.

Ironically, the handiest guide to Greek hyphenation I know of is the
39th edition of Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at OUP. I
found an expensive used copy, and I believe the material on
typesetting foreign languages is absent from later editions.


On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 03:20:04PM +0100, John Was wrote:
> Well I'm still in the Press once a week at least (for choir practice!) so I 
> shall make sure these comments reach the right ears.  They correspond, 
> unfortunately to my own impression.  Leofranc Holford-Strevens works 
> heroically on critical editions but he is the sole in-house editor left and 
> can't possibly handle them all.  I think he is pretty well full-time on 
> large projects with extensive commentary (and still finds time to publish 
> and lecture extensively on an astonishing range of topics).
> Getting back to TeX-related matters, the hyphenation patterns available in 
> XeTeX (even to 'plain' users like myself) are an enormous help, even if I 
> disagree with the English at frequent points (the Latin rarely lets me 
> down, aside from a few rogues - is hucusque one? - which I guess are 
> analagous to Knuth's 'manuscript' in refusing to comply with the 
> algorithms).  No one bothers to read people like Priscian on what should be 
> done with Greek and Latin, and no one at OUP involved in passing proofs 
> would have the faintest idea about this subject.  Neither, alas, do authors 
> - with the Dictionary of Medieval Latin (which I have just relinquished 
> with completion of Fascicule XIII in the middle of letter 'R') it was left 
> entirely to me, and I fear that laxity in this matter will pervade future 
> fascicules as it did in some of those that preceded my involvement.  When I 
> asked the compilers  to keep a look-out for any bad hyphenations that I 
> might have missed in perusing and correcting the proofs, they asked me to 
> explain the rules!
> John
> ----- Original Message ----- From: <jherrman at allegheny.edu>
> To: <xetex at tug.org>
> Sent: 23 October 2010 15:05
> Subject: Re: [XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly 
> community
>> Yes, as you would guess, the copy-editor marked up my files by hand
>> and sent me the hard copy.
>> Recent OUP critical editions in Greek prose could use a lot more
>> copy-editing; I would assert that their production standards in this
>> area have fallen drastically in the last decade. We have new editions
>> of the Greek orators Demosthenes and Lysias in the Oxford Classical
>> Text series, all filled with rampant flaws in hyphenation and line
>> numbering in the apparatus. Reviews have also identified numerous
>> slips of a more substantial nature, that seem to suggest very little
>> copy-editing is happening on these in house. It seems that OUP has
>> adopted new modes of production for these critical editions that
>> create these problems, and authors (and copy-editors?) don't regularly
>> take the time to fix it all. I know in the case of my book the
>> copy-editor, who was otherwise very attentive, didn't seem to have
>> looked at the Greek at all.
>> The other major series of critical texts in Greek (and Latin), on the
>> other hand, the Bibliotheca Teubneriana, has been shuffled from one
>> publisher to another in the last decade. It's now in the hands of De
>> Gruyter, who seems devoted to its revitalization. They're requiring
>> all editors to submit camera-ready-copy, and recommending that they
>> use Critical Edition Typesetter (<http://www.karas.ch/cet/>). I have
>> the impression they only really care about the appearance of the CRC,
>> though, and wouldn't really care if authors prefer other typesetting
>> systems.
>> Jud Herrman
>> On 2010-10-23, John Was
>> <john.was at ntlworld.com> wrote:
>>> OUP will normally be amenable if saving money is in prospect!  I think 
>>> the
>>> barrier here has always been the copy-editing process (now more 
>>> vulnerable
>>> since house style is not seen as so important and indeed there is no 
>>> longer
>>> any copy-editing department at OUP).  A critical edition will normally
>>> require a rather small amount of copy-editing, though there is still the
>>> introduction and commentary to consider - but if a TeX-savvy author is
>>> willing to implement those copy-editing changes and suggestions s/he 
>>> agrees
>>> with, there is no real difficulty.  The copy-editor would then presumably
>>> work by pen(cil) on a draft PDF printout in the traditional way (or by
>>> annotating the PDF electronically, which can be tedious).
>>> Or of course one can simply trust the author not to make any mistakes at
>>> all, and forgo copy-editing.  Even twenty years ago this was mentioned as 
>>> a
>>> possibility at OUP but no one dared to do it in my time there.
>>> But I hope this doesn't become too much of a trend or I'll have to look 
>>> for
>>> something else to do!  In the meantime, I must dust down my old brown OCT 
>>> of
>>> Hyperides...
>>> John
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