I am indexing a military batch. For some people it shows their middle name initial. What do I index?
@LukeChapman1 Hey Luke. When indexing the military batches we follow our indexing guidelines and index what we see. If there is a period after the initial I would index it along with the name because that is the way it was written or typed. If it wasn't typed with a period then I wouldn't put it there.
I hope this helps. Thank you for indexing these records.
The punctuation doesn't matter. You do not have to type a period after each middle initial.
I personally type dont type the period if there is just one middle initial like:
John M Smith
if there are two middle initials, i put the periods like this
John M.H. Smith
because it looks better than:
John M H Smith or John M.H Smith
The computer will ignore the period unless it tells us specifically to add it. I have seen at least one project that asks us to add the periods. Help article only gives us this:
"How should I index punctuation?
Article Id: 1654
April 20, 2020
Some punctuation is necessary to include, and some is not. Each project has unique requirements. For detailed punctuation help, be sure to check the project instructions and field helps for the current batch you are working on. "
Diacritics aside, this citation below used to be the Basic Indexing Guidelines guidance on punctuation (mostly don’t include). Notwithstanding the above Knowledge Article and except for the project @annewandering mentioned, I haven’t seen much definitive guidance anywhere on punctuation. Given the newish KA that @annewandering cited and the fact that the system seems to ignore punctuation most of the time, may we assume that including it is OPTIONAL if a project is silent on the issue? That is, if a project wants punctuation it will say so, otherwise we may include it or not? And, under those circumstances, a Reviewer should accept either option?
Or, is the default position as the old BIG says below, and DON’T unless told TO INCLUDE punctuation. Please clarify. Maybe add a Punctuation link/subsection to the General Indexing Guidelines laying out the default action when a project does not have specific instructions on this.. THANKS.
From the old Basic Indexing Guidelines as of 2017.
• No punctuation should be included except apostrophes or hyphens when they were written as part of a name or place-name.
I'm not a computer expert, or even a middle schooler when it comes to these things. But, wouldn't it make sense NOT to start using periods after every initial just based on storage space? It seems like billions of punctuation marks and spaces would be wasteful!
There is an article found in the Help Center titled "How do I review a batch?" which may help with this question.
These instructions say:
Note: You can disregard the following errors, which will be corrected automatically before publication.
However, as @annewandering cited in article ""How should I index punctuation? https://www.familysearch.org/en/help/helpcenter/article/how-should-i-index-punctuation, some projects do require including punctuation. Please check the Project Instructions and the Field Helps to see if there are directions regarding the use of punctuation. Hope this helps!
Yes, I remember that article now that you've cited it.
So, may we conclude from these two articles taken together that unless the Project Instructions or Field Help specifically direct us to include punctuation, we may choose to either keep punctuation or ignore it when indexing or reviewing?
Perhaps in the General Indexing Guidelines, why not publish a clear-cut statement to that effect?
Thank you for your comments!
I agree with @John Empoliti there should be a clear-cut statement made about this in the GIG because it goes against the "mantra" indexers are taught when they start "index what you see." I am sure they see those periods that were typed with those names in some of those rosters. As I have stated before, I have come across and indexed projects that required that period be indexed if it was on the page. So telling indexers to index what you see with no clarification causes confusion and is a clear contradiction of instructions.