Tagging Electronic Shakespeare Texts
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 75. Sunday, 29 Mar 1992.
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1992 09:20:00 -0500
From: Luc Borot <ELI16@FRMOP22.BITNET>
Dear fellow SHAKSPEReans,
This note is the first Montpellier contribution to the discussion
on tagging on SHAKSPER. Number 42 of *Cahiers Elisabethains* (Oct.92)
will include a review by Patricia Dorval and myself of several e-edit-
ions of Shakespeare and Milton, including those on our server, and of
Michael Best's MARVELLOUSissima (sorry for the coinage) Hypercard stack
*Shakespeare's Life and Times*, plus the captivating and hyper-simple
concordance programme *Gconc*.
The research I am currently on for the Hobbes seminar of the CNRS in
Paris concerns reason of state in the 17th century. I have scanned the
text of two aphoristical treatises by the machiavellian republican of
the 1650-s James Harrington and I have applied Gconc to them. The tag-
ging I used for these 2 brief texts concerned only the text's subdivi-
Gconc can endure many different kinds of tagging for concordance-gener-
ation if the user takes good care of the parameters he enters in the
option-windows. I am just only discovering the problems of this type
of textual studies and editions, but my feeling is that we should wonder
for what use we are tagging the texts for ourselves or for our col-
leagues on the network. Are we tagging for concordance analysis, for
later treatment with a word-processor (and here the typographical data
such as italics and caps are necessary if we want our collaborators to
recover the presentation of the original. In many cases (working from
the 2 versions of the sonnets posted by Hardy Cook, The Wells-Taylor
Electronic Shakespeare by OUP, the Milton published by Shakespeare on
Disk and my own scanned texts) I have realised that concordances could
be used with more efficiency in a modern spelling edition (Pr Jean Fu-
zier, editor and translator of the *Sonnets* appreciated Hardy Cook's editions
and stresses that if a philologist wanted to compare the uses of than
and then in this work, he'd have to resort to a modern-spelling edition
though he personally preferred to use an old-spelling one to analyse
prosody and rhetoric).
Ken's tagging reminded me of the RTF (rich text format) code introduced
by Mac word processors in a specific recording format. The trouble is
that it will always hinder the work of the concordance software if the
latter is not formatted to cater for this type of code.
That's all for the moment. As our work on the question progresses I'll
let you hear more about our discoveries and silly blunders.
Fare ye well.
Luc BOROT in Montpellier (France, not Vermont!...)