RE: IX-nay (was RE: About Responsibility and Fault)

Subject: RE: IX-nay (was RE: About Responsibility and Fault)
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 16:22:53 -0400


> > OK, what is the difference between a concordance and an index?
>
> An index is an alphabetical listing of all the *concepts*
> contained in the document. Terms in the index need not
> appear in the book--the best indexes include synonyms under
> which a reader might try to find information covered in the
> book by another term. For example, someone might look for
> "trash man" or "garbage collector" in a book about municipal
> careers, in which those jobs are described by the term
> "sanitation engineer." The index would also include
> permutations like "engineer, sanitation."
>
> A concordance is an alphabetical listing of words and phrases
> that actually appear in the document. Using the same
> example, a concordance would contain only "sanitation
> engineer"--if you looked for "garbage collector" or "trash
> man" you'd never know the job was included in the book. It
> wouldn't contain "engineer, sanitation" because that string
> doesn't appear in the text of the document.

Also, a generated concordance (that some programs might blithely
call an "index", anyway...) would tend to have all kinds of
spurious "hits". That is, a word might be listed on 57 pages,
but only 4 or 5 of those hits are useful, and the rest are
just mentions-in-passing, that really p... annoy a reader who
is trying to look up the 4 or 5 substantive references, and
has to plough through all the cra... er... fluff.

/kevin

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