12.0129 paper -> e-editions? abbreviations & acronyms?

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 08:20:15 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 129.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu (11)
Subject: Paper > electronic editions

[2] From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk> (57)
Subject: abbreviations

Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 22:36:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu
Subject: Paper > electronic editions

Does anyone have experience with the problems involved in converting a
large-scale, multi-volume scholarly edition, originally conceived of as a
purely print product, to an electronic format?

I am not concerned with the retrospective conversion, as the librarians
call it, of volumes that have already appeared in print, but rather with
the problem of converting procedures and formats originally designed for
print publication to those suitable for either CD-ROM or web publication.

Many thanks,

Charles Faulhaber Department of Spanish UC Berkeley, CA 94720-2590
(510) 642-3781 FAX (510) 642-7589 cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 07:41:27 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: abbreviations

The following note from Peter Burton raises an interesting point not
completely unrelated to computing; it at least involves a language usage
issue that users commonly encounter, and that some of us might be able to
answer by means of computing.

Under what conditions, the note leads me to wonder, do we consider an
abbreviation to have become a word in a language into which it has migrated?
Abbreviations that do not themselves easily make words (like A.D.) would
seem not quite to be acronyms, though the OED does not make the distinction,
defining an "acronym" as "A word formed from the initial letters of other
words." I would suppose that these conditions vary with the target language.

This would seem a question that a corpus linguist might be able to answer.


>From: "Peter R. Burton" <burto009@maroon.tc.umn.edu>
>Reply-To: "Peter R. Burton" <burto009@maroon.tc.umn.edu>
>To: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk
>>Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 00:05:37 -0500
>Dear Dr McCarty,
>Concerning the position of <<A.D.>> in:
> > The History of Medicine -
>>2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root
>>1000 A.D. - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
>>1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
>>1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
>>1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
>>2000 A.D. - That antibiotic doesn't work anymore. Here, eat this root.
>In view of the common usage of xxxx A.D. for dates, including apparently on
>plaque on the moon dating the first visit, should we now consider <<A.D.>>
>itself as English and so correctly positioned after the year number?
>Or should we still consider <<A.D.>> as an abbreviation for the Latin <<Anno
>Domini>> "In the Year of the Lord", in which case we might better place
>before the number given to the year?
>A small matter.
>With best wishes,
>Peter Burton
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk

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