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Technique to Properly Sort Names Containing Titles and Honorifics

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107646D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dickens, WD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a technique for properly sorting names that contain titles and honorifics. The sorting of data cannot be done in a straightforward manner when the data being sorted is a list of names. Rules of English dictate how data should be presented and normal sorting routines do not handle names properly if the names are prefixed by an honorific or title.

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Technique to Properly Sort Names Containing Titles and Honorifics

       This article describes a technique for properly sorting
names that contain titles and honorifics.  The sorting of data cannot
be done in a straightforward manner when the data being sorted is a
list of names.  Rules of English dictate how data should be presented
and normal sorting routines do not handle names properly if the names
are prefixed by an honorific or title.

      The proper technique is to determine if an honorific or title
exists, and then, when building the keys that determine sequence,
assign its value as a suffix, using its presence only as a tie
breaker when all other data compares as equal.  Following are
examples of honorifics and titles:
      Rev.
      Mr.
      Mrs.
      Miss
      Sgt.
      Monsignor
      Dr.

      The following list would represent the sorting of a series of
names all referring to different people named John Smith, with some
having different middle initials.  The existence of honorifics and
titles is not properly considered and an improperly sorted list
occurs:
      Dr. Smith, John W.
      Mr. Smith, John A.
      Rev. Smith, John P.
      Sgt. Smith, John L.
      Smith, John A.
      Smith, John L.

      With proper consideration the sorted list would appear:
      Smith, John A.
      Mr. Smith, John A.
      Smith, John L.
      Sgt. Smith, Joh...