Q. Your style manual shows an example of “Truman, Mrs. Harry S. (Bess).” In an index under “Truman,” does Harry S. come before or after Mrs. Harry S. (Bess)? That is, does Bess come before Harry or does Harry come before Mrs.?

A. In alphabetizing, your first strategy is to look at the next letter or word rather than jump to a word later in the string: Mrs. Harry S. (Bess) starts with M, so put her after Harry. (Your question reveals that you’re still using the 14th edition of CMOS; in later editions, CMOS avoids the use of “Mrs.” as a keyword in indexing.)