Re: Alphabetizing Surnames

Subject: Re: Alphabetizing Surnames
From: "Gail M. Hall" <gmhall -at- APK -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 09:59:31 GMT

On Thu, 10 Dec 1998 16:36:40 -0600, you (Tracy Boyington
<tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>) in a message to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU

>> I wholeheartedly agree with Diane Plassey Gutierrez, who said:
>> <<snip>> ***Just ask the person the preferred format of her name.*** >
>A great idea when it's possible, but I would also suggest coming up with
>some rule of thumb to use when asking is not an option.

I found that Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, has a lot of good
information about names and how to index them. They go into a lot of details
about Spanish names as well as names from other countries.

If you want "rules," I would start there.

>> If you can't, I'd vote for using both names as the last name, even without
>> a hyphen (as in Booth Luce, Claire).
>I picked her as an example because I was once looking for something
>she'd written under her maiden name, Booth, and the card catalog (yes,
>it was that long ago) said to look under Luce (I remember it because it
>annoyed me that they would wipe out the work she did under her maiden
>name, but that's another story). So it appears that, at least as far as
>your local library is concerned, the final name is the last name when
>there are no hyphens.

It is often good to cross-index names of people who might be known by more
than one name, e.g. "van Gogh" and "Gogh" because some people don't know
which letter to look him up under.

>> I believe that if people go to the
>> trouble to spell out both names, they should stay as a unit. (Otherwise,
>> why not Claire B. Luce?)
>Well, I guess you can ask Henry David Thoreau about that one. ;-) But
>the fact that a woman chooses to spell out her maiden name doesn't mean
>she considers it part of her last name. I occasionally use mine
>together, but I would hate for someone to assume that means I should be
>filed under "F" instead of "B." And what about middle names that sound
>like last names, and vice versa? How do you know if Mary Lee Edwards was
>born Mary Ann Lee or Mary Lee Jones?

If the person is famous or well known in a particular field, you can look
that person up in other sources, such as "Who's Who" type books,
encyclopedia, or biographical dictionary. This is what CMS14 advises.

Gail M. Hall
gmhall -at- apk -dot- net

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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