TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Soundex indices have been around for a long time -- the US Federal
government has done Soundex indices for census records from 1880-1920.
Soundex is a coding system that accounts for similarities in the
phonetic sound of names, regardless of spelling irregularities. (If you
do any genealogy, understanding Soundex is a must.)
How to code your surname:
represents the letter:
5 m, n
Using the above referenced coding system, one would take the name
1. Write down the first letter of the surname - S
2. Cross out all vowels, and you are left with - tvnsn
3. You will need three numbers after the S for the complete code. Merely
work through the list of
remaining consonants (eliminating duplicate letters) until you fill up
the three positions. You would get S325.
S325 is the Soundex code for Stevenson, and any name with similar
From what I understand, all Soundex-based applications use these
principles to search for words.
Tech Pubs Manager
Seagate Software (Durham, NC, USA) mailto:alexiap -at- seagatesoftware -dot- com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: BAKER.D.M- [SMTP:BAKER -dot- D -dot- M- -at- POSTAL -dot- ESSD -dot- NORTHGRUM -dot- COM]
> Sent: Thursday, December 11, 1997 8:41 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Soundex?
> My understanding of Soundex is a search conducted in a "sounds
> mode. I believe "Soundex" is Enigma's terminology.
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> Search archives at: