War Diaries Talk

Different spelling

  • erik.schaubroeckscarlet.be by erik.schaubroeckscarlet.be

    On this page are the names of three second lieutenants: T.G. Swan, J.N. Chinneck and J.M. Montgomery. I am certain that Swan should be SWANN (I saw that name before in the diary and I found that 2nd LT also in Lives of the first world war ), the last one is written correctly (also found in Lives of the first world war). Untill now I didn't encounter the the middle one CHINNECK, so I looked it up in Lives of the first world war and didn't find it. But I did find a CHINNICK (same forename, the right regiment and the right rank). My question: do I enter the names as written in the diary or the names that I think are the correct ones.


  • cyngast by cyngast moderator

    This is a good question, but I don't actually have a good answer for it. I know we have had discussions on this topic before but now I can't find the threads.

    In this case, although you have taken the time to research the names, it might be best to tag them as written. This way when the data from the five people who will tag this page before it is done is compiled, it is most likely to all agree.

    I am hoping Rob will be back in here tomorrow or the next day, and he may have a better answer for you. At the beginning of the project, the instructions were always to "tag what you see" but now that large blocks of data are being compiled we are finding that tagging just the information on the diary page is not always the best approach.


  • Stork by Stork

    When I find a town misspelled, I tag the correct spelling and then put a note in the Talk Comments box, like 'Hazebrouk should be Hazebrouck.' That alerts the reviewer and other taggers that there is a problem.


  • ral104 by ral104 moderator, scientist

    Stork's approach is a good one, as long as you are absolutely certain that you're entering the correct information. Sometimes, as in the case Erik describes above, it does seem pretty clear that the names are misspelled. In others, it's less obvious.

    So I would say in this case to definitely tag 'Swann' instead of Swan, as the evidence is there to support it. I think you can also tag Chinnick, because although you haven't come across the name in the diary before, it's unusual enough that to find a man with the same forename in the same regiment with a very slight variation in the surname would be very unlikely. It would be different if it were Smith and Smythe, or something like that.