An Invitation to Readers: Letters from Korea

I’ve finished transcribing the letters from Korea. All the pages are open to comments, although I must approve all comments before they are published.

Let me say a word about my transcribing methods/choices:

Mostly, I want the letters to be readable, so I did not, for example, indicate where words are misspelled—I just assumed that readers would understand what word was meant and that I probably know how to spell them correctly. I don’t think there are any cases where misspellings affect understanding.

The author often corrected his own misspellings, usually by putting parentheses around them and then crossing them out. I did include those in the transcriptions, just for an accurate picture. I don’t think they affect understanding, but in some cases they show how the author changed his mind in a sentence.

A few words were illegible, like the name of the silk scarf purchased in Tokyo, and some words that were completely scratched over with ink. Rather than skip over them, I did write illegible in square brackets.

And about all those dashes. I wrote a blog post a while ago about the colon + dash in so many of the WWII letters: “the dog’s bollocks, you say.” But it doesn’t stop there. There is a dash between almost all the sentences in these letters, even if a period is used. At some point, I had to make the decision of whether they should be represented by a hyphen or a dash and whether there should be spaces around them, as it may look in his handwriting. I decided to go with dashes with no surrounding spaces, just for consistency and my sanity, and because dashes do grammatically separate complete sentences—just not so often, please.

My own mistakes: I noticed that I often typed food for good, and while I think I caught them all, please let me know if you spot one I missed. My father often wrote tho for though, sometimes with a period indicating an abbreviation. For some reason, I started typing an s on the end, resulting in thos, so correct me on that as well.

If you aren’t interested in old war letters, please refer them to your friends. You can find a link to the letters from Korea here or individual links here

3 thoughts on “An Invitation to Readers: Letters from Korea

  1. I’ve read through a few of them and I find them very moving emotionally, which surprised me. I have known the bare facts of what happened for a long time, but thinking about the emotion involved really changes the way I understand it. Thanks for doing this, it’s very interesting to know more about a grandfather I never got to meet. I will read every single one.


  2. Pingback: Meanwhile on Another Blog… – Kitchen Portfolio

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