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RE: "lastname" and "firstname" are not culturally neutral

From: Misha Wolf <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2003 17:52:08 +0100
Message-ID: <T615beaab6fc407b707498@DTCSEUVIG3.dtc.lon.ime.reuters.com>
To: "Kurosaka, Teruhiko" <Teruhiko.Kurosaka@iona.com>
Cc: Www International <www-international@w3.org>, public-webont-comments@w3.org

In general, the string formed by concatenating:

1.  a person's "lastname"

2.  the string ", "

3.  the person's "firstname" 

is meaningless, as, in general, we have no idea what "lastname" 
or "firstname" mean, other than the obvious: the name component 
some person writes last and the name component some person writes 

The implication that the resulting string is useful is not 
culturally neutral.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kurosaka, Teruhiko [mailto:Teruhiko.Kurosaka@iona.com] 
Sent: 02 April 2003 17:04
To: Misha Wolf
Cc: Www International; public-webont-comments@w3.org
Subject: RE: "lastname" and "firstname" are not culturally neutral

I feel the other way.  The notion of the firstname and the lastname
are culturally neutral (exclusing those cultures where the person's
name cannot always be divided into two parts.), if you interpret
the firstname and the lastname literally being the first part and
the last part of the person's name.  It would have been
culturally biased if the text in question were:
	For example, one ontology may represent a person's 
	name as a single string "givenname surname"
	while another may have a property for each.

But I agree this can be confusing for those readers who interpret 
the firstname being synonym to the give name and the lastname 
the surname. A less confusing example would be appreciated.


p.s. Being contrarian, I am trying to answer my surname KUROSAKA when 
	somebody ask me for my first name, but maintaining this position
	is difficuilt in U.S.A. 

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Received on Wednesday, 2 April 2003 11:52:16 UTC

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