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Re: People's names

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2006 22:46:09 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: Mark Davis <mark.davis@icu-project.org>, Misha Wolf <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>
Cc: newsml-2@yahoogroups.com, www-international@w3.org

At 01:47 06/02/25, Mark Davis wrote:
 >I don't know what the scope of the source document is, but this seems 
like a case of over-engineering, unless they are simply meant as "possible 
examples". Most of these items would be useful only in extremely 
specialized applications. For the vast majority of applications, a simple 
<name>Dr. Jonas T. Sulk III</name>field suffices, without trying to break 
it up into pieces. Delving into surname, baptismal names, Mob nicknames 
(Misha "Lefty" Wolf), Satanic-ritual aliases, and the like become hugely 
complicated and difficult to manage. Beyond the simple name, the other most 
useful one we've found is the <sortby>Sulk, Jonas T.</sortby>.

Well, yes, but one thing is that Misha is working on news, where people's
names turn up in all forms and shapes. This is different from a simple

Also, even for some very simple cases, I often wish applications
would allow two or more name forms. The simplest example is conferences:
Provide a field for the name as you want it on letters, invoices, and
so on, and another field for the name as you want it on your nametag.

 >The discussion of pronunciation seems somewhat muddled by not recognizing 
that there are at least a couple of different goals. For most commercial 
uses, a more typical, and more useful, expression would be what people 
actually say their name sounds like. What people usually use in practice 
depends on their source language; a very large number of people are 
unfamiliar with IPA. For example, my wife's name is "Gundelfinger"; she is 
very used to writing "sounds like gun-Dell-finger". For a text-to-speech 
application, on the other hand, IPA would be clearly more suitable.

And then there are people who prefer their name to be pronounced
'natively'. Having "Martin" pronounced in an English or German
way in the middle of a French sentence just doesn't work because
it sounds like the French female form of that name (Martine).

Regards,    Martin. 
Received on Sunday, 26 February 2006 05:12:54 UTC

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