At the beginning, I was more interested in doing challenges like CSS and I believe it might be another time for me to get more familiar with this useful tool. While, at class, Professor provoked my thought of standardizing all the markups for Linn letters. I have to admit that she made it and this attracted me to adventure in another unexplored field of digital humanity.
Looking at 194 pages abounded with colorful markups, I made a lot effort before starting it like battling, struggling, and panicking. In my mind, to create a criterion, I should be fully apprehensive of the journal in general. I tried to read through it to get an extensive picture. But when I daydreamed about pounding the table, shutting down the computer, and leaving the room with my condescension and disdain, Professor gave me another way out by creating an excel that lists every tag. My following job was about this “Excel Guide”.
I mainly focused on the tag <state> which, I believe, is a relatively difficult one to conquer. Unlike <persName> or <objectType> which is all but nouns and names, <state> is more up to individuals not only because it is about adjective but also because people’s tastes and perspectives vary a lot. For example, “beautiful” often describes an appearance of a person or an outlooking of objects. In the context, it says “the weather is beautiful”. But that editor thought it describes the author’s mood as the reflection on the weather with more contexts related. Another example is about “brilliant” which should depict a person’s intelligence, but it actually means “the weather is brilliant”. So what I did is to divide all of them into two categories: one is for person and the other is for weather, predominately based on its first-handed meaning; like “beautiful” and “brilliant” in the above, I tagged both of them as for weather. While the third type in <state> column is like the word “crying”. I treated them more of an event which can illustrate people’s feeling, and in this case, it shows the author is sad. But to make everything simplified, I deleted all of them decisively and resolutely like a real leader.
Next, what I did is to look through every markup and correct them in various ways. The prime principle is “less is more”. A lot of tags like arms, wood, and coffee, are deleted for their uselessness, although each of them appears more than 5 times in total. The second rule is “one for all”. The word “house” does have different meanings in different situations and can be marked up as object or place. But because the characteristic of a noun which is not as complexed as an adjective, I marked up all of them as <placeName> for consolidation. To some extent, this makes a lot of sense. The third one is “linkup”. The purpose of marking up the Linn letters is to serve researchers who can easily grasp the basic idea and understand author’s “idioms” or proper nouns that are previously introduced. For instance, some people marked “battery” as an object due to the lack of background, which ought to be a place. Another example is “Roanoke” which stands for “Roanoke Island” and is a highly frequent word. So “linkup” refers to the second markup to give another category for those words sharing similar meanings like for all the boats, and it is still amazing to me that “Inquirer” is a name for a boat.
Ella and I both worked really hard on this final project. She focused more on writing the wonderful and precise editorial page and the tag <persName>. I focused on rest of tags. To be honest, in the middle of the project, I did regret what I had chosen. But at last, everything works out perfectly. I look myself as a markup cleaner to make everything organized. Picking useful and inflammable sticks only makes the campfire even brighter.