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Re: Draft for review: Personal names around the world

From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:11:52 -0400
To: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: www International <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110726141152.GC16165@mercury.ccil.org>
Richard Ishida scripsit:

> Comments are being sought on the article Personal names around the
> world prior to final release.

Editorial: for "girl" read "woman" (two instances)

Editorial: for "follow links" read "following links"

Surnames are sometimes followed by generational qualifiers such as
"Jr.", "Sr.", "II", "fils", "pere".  These should not be confused with
academic or occupational titles which follow the name as a whole, such as
"M.D." or "S.J."  There are hundreds of these.

Automated name parsing is very error-prone.  Given a three-word name,
you can't tell whether it's two given names and a family name, like John
Jacob Astor, or a given name and two family names, like David Lloyd
George (especially since "Lloyd" is often a given name).

French, German, and Dutch surnames among others may have prefixes like
"von", "de", and "van".  These may be separable ("van der Steen" is
alphabetized under "S") or an inherent part of the name, in which case
they are generally capitalized.  Getting this wrong may be insulting or

Names may have essential punctuation.  Jean-Christophe in France is
always called Jean-Christophe, whereas "Jean, Christophe" is someone
whose given name is Jean and who has an optional additional given
name of Christophe.  In Italy, hyphens are not used but commas are.
Anglicized Irish names may have apostrophes, like "O'Toole".

It should be emphasized that using an inappropriate name form, such as
first name alone, may be perceived as rude or patronizing rather than
friendly and personable.

Normally I can handle panic attacks on my own;   John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
but panic is, at the moment, a way of life.      http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                --Joseph Zitt
Received on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 14:12:14 UTC

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