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Bracketed second letter of word?



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
as the company is know | Subject-verb agreement
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Bracketed second letter of word? #1 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 13:09 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

What do the second bracketed letters in "retreating," "the," and "to" indicate below? I've frequently encountered similar examples like these in others' writing. What exactly is meant by the use of brackets around the second letters of words?

A Southern reporter traveling with Forrest makes clear that the discrimination was deliberate: “Our troops maddened by the excitement, shot down the ret[r]eating Yankees, and not until they had attained t[h]e water’s edge and turned to beg for mercy, did any prisoners fall in [t]o our hands . . . .

Thank you.
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Bracketed second letter of word? #2 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 13:30 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

What is the context?
It looks as if the bracketed letters were missing in the original document and the brackets show that they have been replaced in the transcript.
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Bracketed second letter of word? #3 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 14:07 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

In other words, something to this effect?

A Southern reporter traveling with Forrest makes clear that the discrimination was deliberate: “Our troops maddened by the excitement, shot down the reteating Yankees, and not until they had attained te water’s edge and turned to beg for mercy, did any prisoners fall in o our hands . . . .
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Bracketed second letter of word? #4 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 14:15 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

Or:

... , did any prisoners fall in t our hands . . . .

(The 'o' might've been missing in the word 'to' in the original.)
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Bracketed second letter of word? #5 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 14:22 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

Anybody agree with the bolded examples, which may explain this? How about an existing written error in transcripted text? The writer had indicated via use of bracketed letters that it didn't exist in the original, but wanted to correct the errors so the text made sense. Sound valid and logical?
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Bracketed second letter of word? #6 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 14:31 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

It's more likely that the original looked like this where letters became too faded to be read:
A Southern reporter traveling with Forrest makes clear that the discrimination was deliberate: “Our troops maddened by the excitement, shot down the ret eating Yankees, and not until they had attained t e water’s edge and turned to beg for mercy, did any prisoners fall in o our hands . . . .

To know the context would be useful. I find it hard to believe that in standard writing you have 'frequently encountered similar examples'.
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Bracketed second letter of word? #7 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 14:38 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

Beeesneees wrote:
It's more likely that the original looked like this where letters became too faded to be read:

I agree ... it seems unlikely to me that anyone would make the error of missing the "t" off "to", for example ... it kind of destroys the whole word. I would guess that the original was damaged or defaced or faded as Beeesneees says.
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Bracketed second letter of word? #8 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 14:53 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

Yes, in very old newspaper articles (that've been 'touched up' with these interpolated bracketed letters).
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Bracketed second letter of word? #9 (permalink) Sun Apr 07, 2013 15:43 pm   Bracketed second letter of word?
 

Then, hopefully, this has answered your question.
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