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Kindle ruins English literature with crazy new plan to publish the slush heap

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In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 05:15:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jan 2013 16:13:21 GMT
Marion Stein says:
There's another thread around here someplace that a reader started specifically about Americanisms and American spelling in books written by Americans that take place in the US. Drove her nuts (or is it batty). I've also read a couple of reviews on the Amazon US site of books written by Brits, where the US readers seemed confused and by regionalisms. I agree. People should read and learn. I don't believe in spoon-feeding and I wasn't serious about footnotes. I think some (major) novels actually do get re-edits, but I think it's talking down to the reader.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 06:41:23 GMT
About false tagging:
If everyone reading this thread asked Amazon to remove the tags which you say are inappropriate would they take action? I have found Amazon Customer Services to be extremely helpful and if they cannot remove them then following it up with a 'no, that did not solve my problem' from several customers may result in a change of heart. Worth a try? List the false tags in this thread and I for one will ask for them to be removed for you.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 08:23:32 GMT
Ethereal says:
Interesting; I took it loosely as both being fee-paying but public = boarding and private = day school.

I agree readers should get the gist and learn new stuff and can also Google so those sort of terms don't need explaining. It's not like a foreign language when many words are thrown in in italics with no glossary, as one book I've just finished!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 13:03:29 GMT
Ethereal, that's really interesting.

Were the foreign words in dialogue? Did it actually matter what the character said? Or is the fact that the character spoke in a foreign tongue the relevant part of the exposition.

I find that the ESOL contingent resort to the mother tongue when under pressure or cursing. It's a tricky one. If an Italian woman comes home, catches her husband in bed with another man, curses in Italian whilst packing her bags, and leaves, slamming the door behind her - does it matter what she said? Or is time to take that imagination out of mothballs?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 13:12:16 GMT
Ethereal says:
The story is set in India and many words are used to give flavour - from food and clothes to modes of address .. but not explained which defeats the object! Getting the gist isn't possible if I want to know what particular dish is being eaten or item of clothing worn and I'm not going to take myself out of the book every few minutes to Google. I ended up skipping them which is a waste of both author's time and my interest.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 13:15:50 GMT
My bad! I thought you referring to a different book you'd just finished. . . .

I'll shut up now.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 16:38:20 GMT
Marion Stein says:
Some of the different types of schools in the US

public school=no tuition, set up by local school boards, paid for by taxes. Not every child can go to any school. There are school zones and some schools are restricted geographically. Quality varies widely.

private school -- tuition charging school, generally used for "day" schools. The term "day" school is rarely used as very few children, even wealthy children, go to boarding school so it would be redundant, although some private schools have the word "day" in their name. Of the kids who do go to boarding school, only a fraction go before high school. High school boarding schools are also called "prep" schools.

parochial schools -- New York City especially had a history of low-cost Catholic schools. These are still a choice for many poor and lower-working class families, including some that aren't Catholic. These are different from private schools that might have a religious affiliation.

Charter schools -- This is becoming more popular in the US. See the film "Waiting for Superman" which is propaganda. Charters are schools given funding by local school boards to operate "independently" from public schools and may be exempt from many of the contracts and restrictions in public schools. They often receive corporate and private donations and grants, but don't charge tuition. They have a mixed record of success, but because of public school failures, many parents are desperate to get their kids into charters.

Magnet schools -- Public schools with special programs to attract kids, including kids in other districts. This became a popular way for districts to promote "diversity."

Specialized Schools -- Not sure how much this word is used outside of NYC. Here it refers to high schools that have college preparation (as opposed to vocational schools) but that focus on a particular area and generally have tests for admission. This includes schools that focus on science (Stuyvesant and Bronx Science being two of the top high schools in the US), and/or arts -- LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts (the "Fame" school).

Elementary school (also sometimes called primary school) -- grades Kindergarten through 5 or 6.
Middle school -- grades 5 through 8.
High school -- 9-12.
(There used to be "junior high schools" for grades 7 and 8 with some going to 9th grade even though that's "officially" high school. These have been phased out most places.)

I might start a thread: Ask an American...."

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 16:12:16 GMT
Steven says:
interesting post.

on the whole, I don't agree though.

of course there is a lot of stuff published by indie writers that should never have seen the light of day-- you can also say that about some traditionally published books. I do accept the argument that at least with trad published books the work has gone through at least some quality control, which you can't always say about indie books.

All I can really say from a very personal point of view is that I've read a number of indie books which have been excellent. It is easy to sneer at Nick Spalding's 'Life With No Breaks' but, with most of his books having high ratings and a 3 book publishing deal with a major publisher under his belt, he's obviously doing something right. It may not be what you'd regard as literature, but if people want to read it, who are we to say they shouldn't be able to? just because they read something a bit low-brow doesn't mean that is all they read. I've not read the other two books you mention but I'm a big fan of Spalding's work-- it isn't to everyones taste but that doesn't mean it is bad.

I do agree with Stella's post that some indie authors who spam these forums with poorly written rubbish make it harder for other indie authors who do take pride in producing the best product they can and I can understand why posters who often just want recommendations from fellow readers get fed up with them. to be clear, my comments about spamming are not aimed at authors who post in 'meet our authors' which is, after all, an area for them to self-promote. I'm talking about those authors who break amazon's rules to spam in other forums.

I think Susan Hill's comments are pretty pompous to be honest but it is an interesting discussion.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  62
Total posts:  483
Initial post:  27 Dec 2012
Latest post:  16 Jan 2013

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