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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2014, 11:07 
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KB wrote:
Jayne wrote:
Victoria wrote:
For example "It is now half-past eighteen. Supper tonight will be at twenty o'clock. and will only be milk or lemonade and biscuits. Prayers will come immediately afterwards, and then anyone under fifteen will go to bed at once. The rest will go at half-past nineteen" (Coming of Age)


"half-past nineteen" sounds clumsy. I wonder whether it was originally "half past nine" and was incorrectly converted. :-s


Given her desire to use European time when the school is on the continent, I think it's far more likely that she meant "half-past nineteen" which is how a German speaker would say it - "neunzehn uhr dreizig" or "nineteen hours thirty" in English. Half-past nineteen is better than the direct translation.

Well yes, but unfortunately she has already had them having supper at twenty o'clock (8pm) then all the under fifteens going to bed at once. So that leaves the older ones to go at "half-past nineteen" which surely has to be later than 8pm? So I think it is a typo this time.

But nothing clumsy about "half-past nineteen" in itself. That's how I might say it myself if I were using the 24 hour clock in English. Though "19.30" might be more common....

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2014, 11:53 
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cestina wrote:
KB wrote:
Jayne wrote:
Victoria wrote:
For example "It is now half-past eighteen. Supper tonight will be at twenty o'clock. and will only be milk or lemonade and biscuits. Prayers will come immediately afterwards, and then anyone under fifteen will go to bed at once. The rest will go at half-past nineteen" (Coming of Age)


"half-past nineteen" sounds clumsy. I wonder whether it was originally "half past nine" and was incorrectly converted. :-s


Given her desire to use European time when the school is on the continent, I think it's far more likely that she meant "half-past nineteen" which is how a German speaker would say it - "neunzehn uhr dreizig" or "nineteen hours thirty" in English. Half-past nineteen is better than the direct translation.

Well yes, but unfortunately she has already had them having supper at twenty o'clock (8pm) then all the under fifteens going to bed at once. So that leaves the older ones to go at "half-past nineteen" which surely has to be later than 8pm? So I think it is a typo this time.

But nothing clumsy about "half-past nineteen" in itself. That's how I might say it myself if I were using the 24 hour clock in English. Though "19.30" might be more common....


I disagree with this, Cestina (sorry!). To me, it makes far more sense to say 19.30 or even nineteen hours thirty. Half past nineteen just sounds plain 'wrong' to me, because you're mixing the two ways of telling the time. :D

ETA I agree that many of the EBDisms are due to poor editing.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2014, 14:34 
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Don't forget that in German 'half past seven' is described as 'half before eight'


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2014, 19:08 
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exile wrote:
Don't forget that in German 'half past seven' is described as 'half before eight'

Czech too - and as for what they do with the quarter hours! Words fail me.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2014, 00:55 
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cestina wrote:
exile wrote:
Don't forget that in German 'half past seven' is described as 'half before eight'

Czech too - and as for what they do with the quarter hours! Words fail me.


Well that explains the confusion when I suggested to my Austrian friend that we should meet at "half five"...


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2014, 01:02 
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whitequeen wrote:
cestina wrote:
exile wrote:
Don't forget that in German 'half past seven' is described as 'half before eight'

Czech too - and as for what they do with the quarter hours! Words fail me.


Well that explains the confusion when I suggested to my Austrian friend that we should meet at "half five"...

Oh yes! And my confusion extends to the UK as well because I had never heard the phrase "half five" until years after I had learned the German way of saying things. I had always said "half past five" in English. So half five to me meant halb fünf which meant 4.30......arrrgh.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2016, 10:14 
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Not sure how I missed this one before, but in Coming of Age (which seems to have its fair share of inconsistencies already), Hilary Graves appears to have two new babies within a very short time: when Madge arrives on the Saturday before the Sale Joey tells her that the youngest Maynards are "at Hilary Graves', having tea with her and her small Marjorie and the new baby". One week later, on the day of the Sale, Anita Rincini announces that Hilary Graves, with whom she has been staying "has a second daughter, born this morning". I know lots of people like to explain these things away - Anita misunderstood, Joey was getting muddled, etc but I always knew there was something remarkable about CS girls gynaecologically... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 11:45 
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I'm not surprised that errors between books didn't get caught by an editor, particularly when separated by a couple of books. You'd need an editor who had read and was familiar with the whole series to do that, and I would expect them to leave that pretty much to the author, and any beta readers she had.

Errors in the same book, or even same paragraph, though, are something that should have been caught. They really must have been editing for spelling and grammar only.

I wonder if this was standard practice for children's authors, and we just notice it more because EBD was so prone to inconsistancies and errors.

And yes, the EBDisms are present from pretty early in the series. La Pattre becomes Lapattre by Head Girl, and is Lepattre by Rivals, for example. And Evadne's age has changed by Head Girl.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 13:41 
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As someone said upthread, at the rate the books were being produced in the Swiss years, I don't suppose there was time for much editing for plot and continuity. I don't suppose EBD needed much editing for spelling, grammar and punctuation, being of a generation that was taught these things at school, and having been a teacher herself.

There are several potential storylines in the later books that don't seem to go anywhere. Jane and Evelyn have been mentioned. There's the mysterious box in Joey & Co. Adrienne's locket. In Althea, it seems retrospectively that the row between Althea and Val was much bigger than it actually was. And there's that whole odd incident at the concert in Oberland, where it seems we ought to know who the singer and the lady who speaks to Miss Wilson are, but it's never explained.

I wonder if EBD sometimes had ideas that she couldn't develop properly in the time she had to write the book, or which would have made the book too long if they'd been followed through.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 13:57 
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Both Dickens and Trollope were prone to what we refer to as EBDisms: Dickens because he wrote for serial publication and was often writing against a deadline, and Trollope because he wrote very quickly.

In both cases, there simply wasn't time to check or review the writing before publication.

However, the inconsistencies are relatively few and certainly not as bad as EBD (where you can get inconsistencies within the same paragraph)

I don't think it is particularly a failing of children's books. I found EBDisms quite noticeable as a child (the Plato/Cicero error as mentioned above puzzled me in the same way) but, for instance, when I read the paperbacks, I assumed these were printing errors or due to the abridgement. (Paperbacks in the 1970s and 1980s contained a lot of typos - so many that I missed the clue about names in "A Murder Is Announced" because I assumed it was yet another typo)


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 14:41 
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Quote:
Paperbacks in the 1970s and 1980s contained a lot of typos

I suppose that's how they kept them cheap, by skimping on proofreading and editing.

Nowadays paperbacks aren't cheap, but the errors are more likely to be things like misuse of apostrophes or not using titles correctly. (Maisie Dobbs, I'm looking at you!)

There's one error in DLS's Strong Poison which persisted through many editions. I don't know if it's still there. But then Harriet herself said later that she'd never published a book without at least one major error, and always promised to correct it in the next edition, but never did. I assume that reflected DLS's own experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 01 May 2016, 09:24 
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You could also add in that in pre-computer days, searching for a "fact" in a previous book would have been very onerous, and therefore a lot of fact checking would have relied on the authors memory. Over a near 50 year writing career, one can't hope to remember everything. Quite possibly EBD didn't even particularly think some of the minor facts that we pick over, were very important.

These days, it's much easier to open the text and search for something, and if you've picked the wrong book, go through every book until you find it. And yet modern authors still make "mistakes".

As others have said, the contradictions in the same paragraph / chapter etc. are a lot less forgiveable. I blame the publishers.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 01 May 2016, 10:56 
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Caroline wrote:
As others have said, the contradictions in the same paragraph / chapter etc. are a lot less forgiveable. I blame the publishers.
Especially as they clearly did employ an editor by 1961 (see Leader). However, I doubt anyone was up to getting their heads round the complexities of the CS universe, especially as the books were (a) "merely" children's fiction and (b) poor John Blair doubtless had a great many books to oversee.


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