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

On 18 Dec 2007, at 12:53, Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven wrote:

> -On [20071214 19:24], Geraint North (geraint@transitive.com) wrote:
>> So in your example, I (as a reader) would want consistency between  
>> van
>> Beethoven and Van Zandt - I don't care how they like their name  
>> printed, I
>> just want to be able to find the "Van someone" that I vaguely  
>> remember in
>> the list.  Indeed, if we were treating the references list like an  
>> Index
>> (another structure optimised for human-search), each name would  
>> appear
>> twice.
> That's what you want, however, in the Netherlands the van part of  
> the family
> name carries no meaning. Someone called Peter van Zandt would be  
> sorted under
> the Z, not the V. And the same applies for some other countries.  
> Take for
> an even nicer example a Dutch woman who married this Peter van  
> Zandt: Ineke
> ten Bravoure-van Zandt. These so-called 'tussenvoegsels have no  
> meaning when
> it comes to sorting. So if you would sort Peter van Zandt under the  
> V, you'd
> boggle the minds of the Dutch readers at least. So they, as readers,  
> would
> want that consistency intact. ;)

Absolutely (but I didn't know about the married name convention,  
interesting).  This is why I think that the sorting of names is of  
very limited use in electronic publications, as I, as a reader really  
need to search for the name fragment that I remember, because I don't  
know all of these conventions.


Geraint North
Principal Engineer
* The leader in cross-platform virtualization

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