Tag Archives: Library Catalogue

Your Search is Out of Order

In the contents pages of  “A Book of Bits or A Bit of a Book”, Spike Milligan provided a helpful list of illustrations.  It went something like:-

A Special Guest Appearance of Eric Sykes (page 12)
Special Guest Appearance of Eric Sykes, A (page 12)
Guest Appearance of Eric Sykes, A Special (page 12)
Appearance of Eric Sykes, A Special Guest (page 12)
Of Eric Sykes, A Special Guest Appearance (page 12)
Eric Sykes, A Special Guest Appearance of (page 12)
Sykes, A Special Guest Appearance of Eric (page 12)

Somewhat along these lines, a while ago playwright Frank Gibbons made a plea that Lazy Bee Scripts should list scripts in “Library Catalogue” order, as distinct from “computer sort” order (what the computer does unless you tell it to do otherwise).  The issue here is articles.  This must be much easier in languages like Russian, which don’t have articles and therefore automatically sort “A Fantastic Story” and “The Fantastic Story” as “Fantastic Story”.  Computers don’t automatically recognise an article as an article and will therefore assume that an opening “The” is as significant as any other opening word.

“Library Catalogue” sorting (“Fantastic Story, The”) is now automatic on the Lazy Bee Scripts web site.  This means that when there is a drop-down selector, the titles will be displayed in Library Catalogue order and in Library Catalogue format (with any articles at the end).  The results of a search will also be displayed in Library Catalogue order, but the titles will be given in their natural English versions (with any articles at the beginning).

To illustrate this, take a look on the web site at the Search Scripts by Title page.  In the drop-down list of titles (under “Option 1:  Select a Specific Title”), The Accident by Herb Hasler appears (near the beginning of the list) as Accident, The.  However, if you take “Option 2: Enter a Partial Title” and type The Accident, the search engine will find the same script and display it in the same way.

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