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RE: People's names

From: Misha Wolf <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 14:28:25 +0000
Message-ID: <T76a8deac5e0a01f01a5ce4@lonsmime02.rit.reuters.com>
To: newsml-2@yahoogroups.com, www-international@w3.org

[This mail forms part of a thread on how to represent people's 
names in NewsML 2.  To join the newsml-2 list, go to 
The NewsML 2 specs etc are available at:

In reponse to my previous mail, I received a number of comments 
along the lines of "I don't have a baptismal name".  For folks 
unfamiliar with the principles of NewsML 2, I'll briefly say that 
syntax such as:

  <name scope="scp:baptismal">Norma Jeane Baker</name>

means that the string "Norma Jeane Baker" is an instance of what 
NewsML 2 might call a "name", that this name has what NewsML 2 might 
call a "scope" and that this scope has a value "scp:baptismal", 
which expands to (eg):


where one might find a definition of "Baptismal name".

It does *not* mean:
-  that everyone has a baptismal name
-  that the members of the NewsML 2 Architecture WP have baptismal 
-  that the main use of NewsML 2 will be to exchange news about 
   people who have baptismal names
-  that the Moon is made of green cheese

Every NewsML 2 producer is free to define their own terms or to 
adopt terms defined by anyone else.  For example;

  <name>Theodor Herzl</name>
  <name scope="scp:hebrew">Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl</name>

where "scp:hebrew" expands to (eg):



  <name scope="foo:hebrew">Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl</name>

where "foo:hebrew" expands to (eg):


The other main class of comments concerned xml:lang.  Yes, the 
proposed "name" element will accept xml:lang.

I'll now return to the discussion of names.  I've pretty much left 
parts 1 and 2 the same, but have substantially changed parts 3 and 4.

I see four orthogonal axes (which can be combined as required): 
part, scope, formality, purpose.

1. Part of name (attribute name "part")

Example values are: pt:given, pt:family, pt:full, pt:usual.

Default value: If @part is omitted, pt:usual is assumed.

An example is:

  <name>Pablo Picasso</name>
  <name part="pt:given">Pablo</name>
  <name part="pt:family">Picasso</name>
  <name part="pt:full">Pablo Diego José Santiago Francisco de Paula 
    Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano de los Remedios Cipriano de 
    la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso</name>

2. Social scope of name (attribute name "scope" or "role")

Example values are: scp:original, scp:baptismal, scp:hebrew, 
scp: married, scp:usual.

Default value: If @scope is omitted, scp:usual is assumed.

Examples are:

  <name>Marilyn Monroe</name>
  <name scope="scp:original">Norma Jeane Mortenson</name>
  <name scope="scp:baptismal">Norma Jeane Baker</name>
  <name scope="scp:married">Norma Jeane Dougherty</name>
  <name scope="scp:work scp:usual">Marilyn Monroe</name>


  <name>Theodor Herzl</name>
  <name scope="scp:hebrew">Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl</name>

3. Formality of style (attribute name "style" or "form")

Example values are: st:formal, st:informal.

There is no default value.

Examples are:

  <name style="st:formal">Zinédine Zidane</name>
  <name style="st:informal">Zizou</name>

  <name style="st:formal">Michael Wolf</name>
  <name style="st:informal">Misha Wolf</name>

There are more complex cases, which pose the question of how a 
nickname relates to the formality axis.  Is a nickname the most 
informal name?  Consider:

  <name>John Fitzgerald Kennedy</name>
  <name>John F. Kennedy</name>
  <name>Jack Kennedy</name>

The first is clearly the most formal.  The second one is the second 
most formal.  I don't know which is more/less formal: the third or 
the fourth?  In any event, this suggests that formal-or-informal 
may not be sufficient, as there are levels of (in)formality.

This is a similar case:

  <name>George Walker Bush</name>
  <name>George W. Bush</name>

  [See http://www.georgewbushstore.com/200-8001.htm]

though here the third and fourth names are probably equally informal.

4. Purpose (attribute name "purpose")

Example values are: prp:pronounce, prp:sort.

Examples are:

  <name purpose="prp:sort">Zidane, Zinédine</name>

  <name purpose="prp:pronounce" xml:lang="en">Pútin</name>


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Received on Friday, 24 February 2006 14:28:46 UTC

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