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Editing Lengthy Texts and Notes.

I am currently working on an assignment where the students in my class are expected to go through a book and make a list of all the errors we can find in the book. Well, to be fair, it's actually 10 chapters of a book and ~20 pages on an average per chapter. Well, the lazy engineering students that we are, we formed a group and divided work/chapters among ourselves so that none of us will have to read the whole thing but all of us get full credit. BTW, this is for a humanities course titled 'Environmental and Resource Economics' and the textbook we are expected to go through is called 'Energy and the Wealth of Nations'.

And in this process, i came upon one interesting question.

As i was reading the chapters, i noticed how hard it was for me to keep track of the errata.
As it is a book, the whole thing is written in chapters and pages and if i do find a mistake, i'd have to note down the # of the page, the paragraph in the page and the sentence in that particular paragraph. And because this is not a literary piece of work but a (partially) scientific one, most of the errata i find are problems with sentence formations. And there are a lot of them.

This got me wondering as to how actual textbooks are edited. Or even notes pertaining to a certain course which a professor might post online. As far as i know, books are written one paragraph at a time, not one sentence after another. It does not make sense for a writer to break his line of thought by writing his piece in individual sentences. Even the reader will have trouble understanding a book with individual sentences.

What i'm trying to say is that, instead of writing the paragraph above, i could've done this -

  1. This got me wondering how actual textbooks are edited. 
  2. Or even notes pertaining to a certain course which a professor might post online. 
  3. As far as i know, books are written one paragraph at a time and not one sentence after another. 
  4. It does not make sense for a writer to break his line of thought by writing his piece in individual sentences. 
  5. Even the reader will have trouble understanding a book with individual sentences. 

Now, reading this will not have the same effect as reading the paragraph. But we want to make editing a book easy, not reading one. And if the whole book were written in sentences, then someone expected to go through the book will easily be able to point out the mistakes. You can just note down the sentence number and you're done, instead of telling him the page #, paragraph and sentence #  i.e you could've said that there was a mistake in sentence no.4 than saying that there was a mistake in the new sentence starting in the 3rd line of the paragraph. 

Granted, writing a book this way will be hard. But i'm sure a small piece of code will help in breaking a given paragraph into sentences so as to help with the editing process. 
We'd basically be looking for a fullstop and everytime we find one, we insert a line break before the fullstop, while taking ellipsis - '...' into consideration.  
Numbering the sentence should'nt be a hard task as we'd just be inserting a number after the line break. The number is the value of a counter and the value of the counter increases by 1 everytime we have a linebreak. This way, we can easily convert a given paragraph into numbered sentences, making the editing process easy. 

I wonder if a small shell script can do this. 
Let's see...

An Update - So, friend of mine shared a couple of links that are kinda related to this article and the topic... 
Proof Reading Guidelines, a collection of rules and guidelines one should use to proofread an article or a book. 
One Sentence per Line, Why I Two Space are a couple of interesting articles on typography. 

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