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Subject: Re: [docbook] On family/given/first/last names

Quoting Geraint North <geraint@transitive.com>:

> Out of interest, what do people use the
> firstname/surname/lastname/givenname distinction for?

Naming conventions are a pet peeve for everyone involved in generating  
citations and bibliographies for scholarly publications. Scientific  
journals and publishers have fairly strict rules how to display names  
of authors and editors. In order to do that, you need to know the  
function of each part of the name. Assume the journal wants the names  
displayed as "Last, First M.". A guy named Luis Lopez Penabad would  
obviously be displayed as "Penabad, Luis L." although this is all  
wrong. He is Spanish, has one firstname (Luis) and two lastnames  
(Lopez Penabad), one from each of his parents. The correct display  
form is therefore "Lopez Penabad, Luis". The  
firstname/surname/lastname/givenname elements somewhat help to get  
this right, although you still face lots of problems with non-Western  
names, and even with some standard US names. E.g. if a person goes by  
his second "firstname", like L. Clinton Webb, the current DocBook  
markup has a hard time to catch this.


Markus Hoenicka
(Spam-protected email: replace the quadrupeds with "mhoenicka")

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