alphabetical order

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Does D'Lego come before Dalton in alphabetical order?  With names, do capitals come before lowercase in order?

asked Aug 22 '13 at 00:05 Tracy New member

2 answers


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If it's being alphabetized by a computer, the second character would be read as an apostrophe, which is ASCII character 39. Lower case 'a' is ASCII character 97, so D'Lego would come first. In manual alphabetizing, no distinction is placed on capitals. A computer reads a capital 'A' as 65, 'B' is 66, while lower case 'a' is 97, 'b' is 98, so it does place a priority on capitals.  I've sorted many databases alphabetically, and I, and most other programmers,  would force the entire character string to upper case for sorting purposes, which would eliminate this problem.

link answered Aug 22 '13 at 02:55 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Interesting! Thanks so much!!

TracyAug 23 '13 at 14:00

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Lewis has a much more current answer than what I thought of.  The last time I had to alphabetize names was working in an office with papers that needed to be filed by customer name.  Today, records are more likely kept on a computer.  If they aren't then my answer is to pick a method and make sure everyone in the office knows what the rules are.  If you disagree with the way the boss wants to do it, bite your tongue & do it her way.  The only thing that really matters is that everyone knows where to find what they are looking for.  In my office long ago, we originally had filing rules that included looking at punctuation or capital letters.  But the gal who did the filing kept messing it up, so I decided to change it to what made the most sense to her.  We all had an easier time finding things after that.

link answered Aug 22 '13 at 03:19 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

To complicate matters more, a space is character 32. If someone types in a space before the name starts, ' Azalea', for example, it would come before 'Aardvark'. I would strip out any leading spaces in the database field and force to upper case to create an index. The good part is that the computer was very consistent in the way it worked; people, not so much. It was fun for quite a few years, but I would hate to have to do it now. Everything that I did is obsolete now, anyway, including me.

Lewis NeidhardtAug 22 '13 at 14:44

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