Alphabetizing

Q. I can’t locate an answer to this question. Are proper names with particles alphabetized based on the particle or the first element? I.e., which comes first, “da Rosa” or “Dario”?

Q. If the title of a magazine article contains the word now, as in “And Now Gay Rights,” should it be alphabetized under N?

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Q. In a bibliography where the title of an unsigned article is a date (“1939: The Beginning of the End”), does the bibliography begin with this entry, or is it alphabetized according to its spelled-out word?

A. It’s usual to file a title like that under the spelled-out version of the number, in this case, nineteen. However, in lists where many such titles begin with numbers, you might rather group them all in numerical order at the beginning. In rare instances you could post an important title at both locations or add a cross-reference directing the reader to the location of the full citation.

My question is: Why nineteen? What if the title were 1,939 Pieces of Candy? The convention of saying “nineteen thirty-nine” for a date is simply that, a convention. For 2014 there is not yet a common convention: I have heard both “two thousand fourteen” and “twenty fourteen.” I would think that the correct method is to alphabetize by spelling out each number individually. Also, in the computer age when tables and other finding aids are programmatically generated, using the number-by-number approach requires only ten lines of computer code. Your existing answer would require an infinite number of lines, one for each number.

Q. I’m encountering reference lists that include names that do not use the typical structure of “surname, first name.” Typically I follow CMOS in cases that seem clear. However, in some dialects or cases, there aren’t surnames, exactly, and authors have asked me to keep entries as is, without commas. I find this all very confusing. Would you please advise?

Q. Are pallbearer names and honorary pallbearer names supposed to be alphabetized by last name in a funeral service program?

Q. I work in a publicity department where we routinely sort back issues of national news publications. I have trouble figuring out how to sort publications with New York in the title: the New Yorker, the New York Times, New York Magazine, the New York Review of Books. Would the New Yorker come before New York Magazine, treating the final e in New Yorker as alphabetically prior to the first letter of Magazine, or would you put the New Yorker after all the others that contain New York followed by a space?

Q. We need to alphabetize a list of donors but it’s difficult to find a consistent format. Who to list first in a couple with the same last name? Jane and John Smith, if the wife is the principal donor, and John and Jane Smith if the husband is? We have the same confusion regarding couples with different last names. John Smith and Jane Doe, when he is the main donor, and Jane Doe and John Smith, when she is? And what’s the rule for alphabetizing such couples? Do you alphabetize by the first name listed or the second? Does inconsistency matter?

Q. How do I alphabetize “Prince Michael of Greece” as an author name?

Q. I am alphabetizing book titles in our elementary resource library. Would the title In the Days of Missions and Ranchos be filed under I for In or D for Days? I think it should be I but our district office said D.

Q. I’m alphabetizing a list of schools for a journal of children’s prose and poetry. Do I alpha-order a school with The as the first word under T, or do I use the first significant word? E.g., The Hun School: T or H?