I cannot support LibriVox

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kluelos
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Post by kluelos » August 8th, 2010, 2:55 pm

I understand LibriVox's policies on this subject, and I even understand why you have them.

I just cannot support them, and decline to be a part of LibriVox while they stand. (Don't sweat it, you haven't missed me so far, and I won't miss you either.)

For something like the Gutenberg project, concerned with the written word, spelling errors are intolerable. I hope that's just self-evident, but if it's not, let me explain that to have a document with simple spelling errors in it makes the transcriber look both ignorant and lazy. Was it too much trouble to look up the words she didn't know how to spell, or what?

I don't expect a transcriber or a reader to know everything. I do expect the reader/listener to be willing to learn.

To do otherwise is to condone and excuse ignorance, pretty much in opposition to the purpose of institutions like the Gutenberg Project in the first place, and certainly doing violence to its spirit.

The same applies to LibriVox's policy of not correcting recordings for pronunciation. Your field is the spoken word, and you should be insisting that they be spoken correctly.

As a listener, mispronunciation vastly irritates me. It usually makes me completely lose the train of thought when I hear a mispronounced word, and try to figure out what the writer actually meant instead of what the reader bumbled out. This makes me have to stop, and rewind, and listen again and again until I figure it out. then back up yet more to try to pick up the story again.

(Your existing policy tells me that I'd better just expect that to happen with a LibriVox recording, so I try to avoid your recordings in favor of somebody who at least tries to do the job right.)

It makes me think the reader is an ignoramus, and a lazy ignoramus at that, one who just couldn't be arsed to look up the word in a pronouncing dictionary, and learn how to pronounce it correctly once and for all.

It makes me think that the listener/editor is likewise ignorant and lazy, and not doing her job because she didn't catch and correct that error.

As a reader, I'm appalled. My editor had DW better be listening for and catching pronunciation errors that I make -- and be ready to hand with the correct pronunciation or have a pronouncing dictionary ready to hand -- or what use is she to me? What's the point of even having an editor if she's not going to do useful editing? Toss her out and get somebody who knows how to do the job in there.

I urge LibriVox to abandon this policy at once: to instruct all listeners to henceforth stop condoning ignorance and require proper pronunciation -- more, to feel embarrassed by the mistake of allowing an erroneous pronunciation through the filter, just as you'd feel embarrassed by not catching a spelling error in an e-book -- and to institute a policy of gathering, assembling a database of, and attempting to correct past pronunciation errors as they are caught and reported (and encouraging people to report them) in order to try to retroactively correct past pronunciation errors..

Listeners, if you don't know how to pronounce a word, it's a fundamental part of your job to learn. If you aren't willing to do that, you shouldn't be a listener.

Readers and listeners both, I urge you to ignore and subvert LibriVox policy -- tell each other privately that you DO care about pronunciation, and that your listener should make every effort to catch and notify you about pronunciation errors so that a grateful reader can correct them.

LibriVox, you shouldn't be encouraging or condoning ignorance. Insist on proper pronunciation to the best of your ability.

(Legitimate alternative pronunciations are one thing. Not caring at all is another.)

chocoholic
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Post by chocoholic » August 8th, 2010, 3:17 pm

Splitting this off into its own topic.

Kluelos, there is no consensus on how to pronounce many English words. If you would like to contribute constructively to Librivox, you are most welcome to help us. Otherwise, you are under no obligation to download Librivox recordings if you don't like them.
Laurie Anne

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Post by hugh » August 8th, 2010, 4:05 pm

pre-emptive warning for responses on this thread:

Rule # 1 of LibriVox is "Be Nice" ... see:
http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Forum_Policies

BellonaTimes
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Post by BellonaTimes » August 8th, 2010, 4:49 pm

Anyone for a game of Scrabble?

8-)
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » August 8th, 2010, 5:59 pm

What really gets me is people who waltz in here, drop their 2 cents worth (It sure is not worth more), Tell us how and what we should be doing with no intentions of doing it him/herself.

Why do you even bother? You know our answer.

Just let us do what we love. (Yes I even pronounced "Hebrides" wrong once) I'm sure some Englishman got a laugh.

That's what I do, Just laugh!
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

Norton
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Post by Norton » August 8th, 2010, 8:22 pm

BellonaTimes wrote:Anyone for a game of Scrabble?

8-)
No. It does violence to the spirit of crossword puzzles!
Starlite wrote:What really gets me is people who waltz in here, drop their 2 cents worth (It sure is not worth more), Tell us how and what we should be doing with no intentions of doing it him/herself.
Why do people keep making that argument?

I've released open-source code before, but I've never once replied to a bug report with "fix it yourself" no matter how trivial the issue or how obnoxious the report happens to be. If a program doesn't behave as expected, then I screwed up and that's all there is to it.

Why would I expect someone to clean up my mess, or even to have the inclination, time, or know-how to do so? It very rudely dismisses the complaint and would only make me look like a huge dork with a fragile ego.

It does not help your position in the slightest.




Regarding kluelos' post, s/he didn't say the magic word: amateur. Words that did appear include "field" and "job" which are not applicable to the vast majority of us who have no interest in doing actual voiceover work. That seems to indicate a genuine misconception of this project.

Librivox is, I think, a social activity at its core. It's more about entertainment than literature, like podcasting or vlogging. That's probably why there are readers to begin with- I doubt many here would have the motivation to record in isolation, just to upload something to archive.org. In fact, it would probably seem weird and pointless, and there would be no audiobooks at all.
"It is time for more... [i]experiments.[/i]"

annise
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Post by annise » August 8th, 2010, 9:42 pm

It always seems to me that people do not see Librivox for what it really is and seem to feel we are a production company of some sort.

But what I see LibriVox as is a place where friends will read me a story and expect nothing in return - lots of friends , lots of different stories. So maybe some friends are better readers than other friends, and some say words in a different way than I would, but I am pleased they have come and read me books I may not have chosen to read myself.

So that is what I enjoy.

But I also know it is easier to be a critic than a doer - but I doubt if they have as much fun criticising as we do making things that give so many people pleasure.

Anne :D

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » August 8th, 2010, 10:00 pm

For that matter, kluelos criticises Gutenberg for permitting errors in its texts. I worked on Distributed Proofreaders for some years before coming to LibriVox.
spelling errors in it makes the transcriber look both ignorant and lazy
I know how much work goes into proofreading of the works that go on to Gutenberg: two separate passes for each of textual checking and formatting. Of course errors get through: they do in commercially published works, too.

Perfection is beyond us.

Peter
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kluelos
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Post by kluelos » August 8th, 2010, 11:17 pm

I didn't ask for perfection, Peter.

I asked that LibriVox abandon a wrongheaded policy of not caring at all -- no, of officially refusing to notice. let alone correct preventable pronunciation errors.

The Gutenberg project occasionally lets a spelling error slip through, and when they do, they feel embarrassed and they fix it.

LibriVox, on the other hand, does not care, does not even urge its readers to TRY to pronounce correctly, tells its listeners NOT to even try to correct such mistakes, and that's the organization's official policy.

LibriVox doesn't even suggest ways that readers might avoid pronunciation errors.

LibriVox doesn't so much as have a standard pronunciation guide which people who WANT to do it right, can follow if they wish to.

I suggested that LibriVox should not endorse ignorance. LibriVox's stance is, basically, that this is OK.

Mine is that it's not OK at all, that it's insupportable, and that LibriVox is telling people that they don't need to care about whether they're pronouncing words correctly. That's no more acceptable than simply not caring about your spelling or grammar (whether or not you actually get it right).

Straw men, and reductio ad. Legitimate disagreements about pronunciation aren't the issue, anymore than Gutenberg sweats honest disagreement among honourable men about alternative spellings. That's a horse of another colour.

Volunteers and social activities still aren't excuses for not even caring, for having an official policy not to notice that you've done the job badly, for telling your LISTENERS, f'catssake, that they must not even tell the reader that he screwed up, whether he decides to correct it or not.

I came here with the present intention of making recordings for LibriVox myself. I will not do that under these guidelines because I cannot endorse, support or even accept LibriVox's position and am not willing to record or listen under such a policy.

russiandoll
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Post by russiandoll » August 9th, 2010, 12:22 am

kluelos wrote:LibriVox doesn't even suggest ways that readers might avoid pronunciation errors.
Yes, it does.
LibriVox doesn't so much as have a standard pronunciation guide which people who WANT to do it right, can follow if they wish to.
Not a standard, no. That would be insane, given that even, say, a 'Standard US English' and 'Standard British English' accent have different pronunciations, and that doesn't even scrape the surface of the perfectly legitimate and correct Englishes that are represented here.
English is the lingua franca par excellence

peegee
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Post by peegee » August 9th, 2010, 12:32 am

woof, woof, woof. Another dog barking in the street.

Bead Krazy Dawn
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Post by Bead Krazy Dawn » August 9th, 2010, 2:06 am

1. I believe that each of us do our best to put out good work.

2. Being that I am both ignorant and lazy, I still try to put out the best work I can mistakes and all.

3. I appreciate the dedication and work that each person puts in, even when they pronounce a word incorrectly.

4. Please feel free to leave, that is your choice. I will stay and continue to record and listen and have a marvelous time doing it.
You can't talk yourself out of what you behaved yourself into. Stephen Covey

Nicholas19
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Post by Nicholas19 » August 9th, 2010, 2:14 am

kluelos wrote:Readers and listeners both, I urge you to ignore and subvert LibriVox policy -- tell each other privately that you DO care about pronunciation, and that your listener should make every effort to catch and notify you about pronunciation errors so that a grateful reader can correct them.
Most readers do care about correct pronunciation and wouldn't make deliberate mistakes. The Book Coordinator of a project can choose a level of proof listening that is suitable to their project, such as word perfect, if they wish. I'm sure if someone said premeptive[sic] instead of preemptive, the proof listener would point it out.

Regional accents allow a lot of variation in the pronunciation of individual words however. So one might say stoodent, styoodent or schoodent for "student". Likewise, an American might say Worsester and Englishman Wooster for "Worcester". While one might prefer the latter pronunciation, as it is the normal one in England, one cannot forget that the reader is American. At an earlier stage, perhaps even before American English split off in the 17th century, Worcester may have been pronounced differently. Pronunciations evolve and change over the centuries. Even stress can change from one century to another, or even one generation to the next, as the phonology evolves.

Anyway, in short, you'll find that such criticisms do not really help us to achieve our goal - that of making every book available in the public domain. So I'd suggest you don't make such criticisms in the future. If you want to ensure that books are produced to your standard, simply come and join us. That's the only way to transfer your message into reality, by reading your own solo projects or becoming a Book Coordinator.

Best wishes,
Nicholas J. Bridgewater

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hugh
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Post by hugh » August 9th, 2010, 5:13 am

kluelos wrote:
Readers and listeners both, I urge you to ignore and subvert LibriVox policy -- tell each other privately that you DO care about pronunciation, and that your listener should make every effort to catch and notify you about pronunciation errors so that a grateful reader can correct them.
There is nothing subversive about what you are suggesting. Volunteers are encouraged to request as much feedback/criticism as they wish to receive.

And no need to keep it private: volunteers ought to tell each other publicly about what kind of feedback they would like.

Much better to be open and transparent, than sneaking around subverting policies that don't exist.

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Post by Lucy_k_p » August 9th, 2010, 6:15 am

I find it slightly ironic that someone who claims to know-it-all about pronunciation has chosen as user name that I would read aloud as Clueless...
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