Alphabetizing: Is It A Lost Art?

I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what about Google Reader irritated me. Overall, I really like it. It has come a long way since it was first introduced. However, today, it finally dawned on me. Google Reader that doesn’t remove the initial articles in titles of blogs when alphabetizing (Bloglines does). As such, A Wandering Eyre is the first in my list of blogs rather than right after Walt at Random – and the number of blogs beginning with The is rather unwieldy. This is extremely frustrating when I’m specifically looking for the goblin in the library, The Liminal Librarian, The Other Librarian or one of the many other blogs that start with the.

This makes me grouchy!

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6 Responses to Alphabetizing: Is It A Lost Art?

  1. Hmm. Now that’s interesting. “A Wandering Eyre” is in the A’s in my Bloglines subscriptions…preceded by blogs that have a punctuation mark (quote or whatever) as the first character.

    I wonder if Bloglines just throws away “the ” when preparing a sort key?

    Actually, I’ll bet that’s it: My very first sub is The “M” Word, followed by “Self-plagiarism is style” followed by ‘Brary Web Diva followed by A Fuse #8 Production and all the other “A ” blogs. So it’s filing double-quote M, then double-quote S, then single-quote B, then A…

  2. My Bloglines is the same. When alphabetizing, it throws away the “the,” but not the “a.” Weird.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I went back to look in Bloglines. I guess that I must have edited the title of A Wandering Eyre to Wandering Eyre at some point – making it show up in the right spot. (because these things bother me). It is very strange that Bloglines discards the “the” but not the “a.”

    The “M” Word is the first blog in my Bloglines list whereas it is filed as the first blog with “The” in the title on Google Reader. Wacky!

  4. That makes sense. GR is just taking what it sees as the blog title, no changes. The quote puts it at the beginning of the The group. Both aggregators are behing consistently, but according to different sets of rules.

    I subscribe to one blog where the title is HTML coding for an image…That one, I edited out of pure frustration.

  5. Reader will ignore quotes and some other special characters when sorting. However, it doesn’t drop “The” , “A or other prefixes since we did not want to risk messing up the sorting order in non-English languages. However, you can rename your subscriptions to what you wish, so that they end up in the order you desire.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the information about Google Reader. I appreciate the fact that GR is consisitent – unlike Bloglines. I ultimately understand the difficulties inherent in alphabeticizing in different languages. However, it is extremely frustrating at times (and I’m not just talking about GR – there are plenty of examples of this). I’m a fan of consistency. Certainly, I can rename the subscriptions – but then I end up with something like Librarian, The. I like to know what the official name of a blog is if I am going to quote from it. It would be wonderful to be able to set the preferred language in the preferences in order to allow for variances in grammatical rules in different languages.

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