The Effects of a Letter Insertion |
Suppose that there are two different versions of the beginning of the Gettysburg Address. The most widely accepted version reads: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent . . . " In the other version, however, "our fathers" is replaced by "your fathers."
Now, suppose we lay these letters out on a mini-Scrabble board that is eight columns wide. Using version one, we find the word Brad as an ELS with a skip of minus eight in the fourth column of this board.
Using version two, however, the Brad ELS is split into two parts, with the first two letters (BR) being pushed over to the fifth column while the last two letters (AD), stay in the fourth column.
To fully explore what happens to the longest ELSs that appear in the second version, that were also once part of the Brad ELS from the first version, we need to examine the letter strings in both the fourth and fifth columns of the second mini-Scrabble board. In looking for extensions to the BR piece in the fifth column, we first note that BR is not a word, and second that no full word can be formed by picking up letters before or after it in the fifth column.
In looking for extensions to the AD piece in the fourth column, AD is a word, but no words can be formed by looking at the letters in the lower part of the fourth column.
In this example, things could have been a bit different. We could have found new longer ELSs before and/or after each of the broken pieces of the Brad ELS. So, it is possible that in version two we could have found two whole, extended ELSs from version two, where only one ELS was present in version one. And, if the Gettysburg Address had had a preamble, we could have searched above the Brad ELS and the AD ELS (as well as the BR ELS) in the two versions.
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