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How 2 Letter Surnames Work in OGSPI

The OGSPI  approach of grouping surnames in an index according to the first three or four letters works well for most of the alphabet. It stumbles, however, for a small group ( mostly Chinese in Toronto obituaries ) of families with surnames that are only 2 letters long.

We force 2 letter surnames like LI, LE, SA to index in the proper sequence by adding the unlikely sequence AAAQQ.
LE and LI in a 2006 Toronto obituary are actually typed into OGSPI by willing volunteers as LEQQ and LIQQ.
We expect LE to index with LEA and LI to index with LIA so the software search and replace logic auto-expands LIQQ to LIAAAQQ and LEQQ to LEAAAQQ prior to the main sorting step.
A later search and replace step restores LEAAAQQ to LE and LIAAAQQ to LI in the main text of the obituary.

The surname XU is only 2 letters long but it starts with the letter X so the logic first expands it to XUAAAQQ and then adds the sorting prefix WZZ to make WZZXUAAQQ.
Sorting logic for letter W puts WZZXOU then WZZXUAAQQ then WZZXUAN in the proper sequence for the actual surnames of XOU, XU, and XUAN
A later search and replace step restores WZZXUAAQQ to XU in the main text of the obituary.

Updated 2008-07-09 by John Allan of OGS Sudbury Branch

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