TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2005-04 > 1112700679
From: Karla Huebner <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Why are local sentences bad?
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 07:31:19 -0400
I'm in the camp that primarily uses global sentences on the grounds that I
don't have the time to fiddle with my output eternally. If family history
happened to be my main literary effort in life, I might put more time into
crafting perfect narratives, as of course I would certainly like to have
wonderfully individual, flowing accounts. However, I'm also a fiction
writer and graduate student, and for these parts of my life I spend a lot
of time crafting publishable work. There, the idea is that I write a draft,
revise it, and eventually come up with a finished product. In genealogy,
the work is never complete, even if one occasionally publishes. At any time
I may learn a new detail, and inserting this detail into TMG has a strong
chance of messing up the sentences around it.
In other words, in my dissertation and other academic research, I have one
stage that's more focused on research and a second stage that's more
focused on writing (although there is considerable overlap). If I learn a
new fact about my topic or come up with a new interpretation, I choose
whether it is significant enough to include. In genealogy, however,
everything goes into a tag somewhere, and I am more anxious to get the
information into TMG than to make sure right then that the output reads
well. (I may also be less well organized than Terry or Teresa!)
Thus, I want my global sentences to be good flexible workhorses that will
usually provide a coherent narrative. I don't shrink from using local
sentences, but as TMG has developed more and more new tools (multiple
memos, roles, witness memos) I find that I have less and less need to
create local sentences. In fact, if I were really good I'd go through and
create roles that simply start a new paragraph before the sentence.
That's my way of working.
At 10:47 AM 4/4/2005, you wrote:
> On Mon, 4 Apr 2005 10:19:25 -0400, Excalibur131 wrote:
> > Maybe consistency is a point to make here. I like things
> > to be consistent, in many cases even to the point of
> > distraction; you, if I'm not mistaken, are more free-
> > flowing and you like your text to be more like an
> > autobiography/biography. I have no problem with your way
> > at all -- in fact, I like it -- and enjoy reading things
> > like that, but I also like the consistency in the way
> > that I do it.
>I think you've hit on the nub of the issue here - you see consistency
>as a virtue, and I see lack of it (at least when it comes to narrative
>text) as a virtue. I think either approach has it's strengths and
>My concern is that there seldom is one sentence in person's narrative.
>And each one has to work with all those around it. That's why I read a
>narrative, then modify local sentences to polish it. If I then change
>a tag type globally, I risk messing up finished narratives for
>hundreds of people that I've already polished.