I am taking part in Project Gutenberg’s Distributed Proofreading project. For the first round you get a page of scanned from the original work and the corresponding page from the OCR software. You then check the OCR text to make sure it is correct, making changes to reflect the proofing guidelines. It’s pretty simple and a lot of fun.
The book I’m working on this morning is Queechy by Elizabeth Wetherell. I’m not 100% sure when it was written, but it obviously takes place before the American Civil War. The page on am working on now contains a discussion between a young American girl and an older British man. They are speaking of how the British have abolished slavery but the Americans have not. The man says that Americans are prejudiced, and then says the following:
” Why,” said Mr. Stackpole,–” in their absurd opposition to all
the old and tried forms of things, and rancourous dislike of those
who uphold them; and in their pertinacity on every point where
they might be set right, and impatience of hearing the truth.”
Reading that passage, I think that perhaps half of that is still true and the other half is quite the opposite now. It’s funny how things change, and how they stay the same.