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

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Sat Oct 23 16:20:04 CEST 2010

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!


----- 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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