RE: re indexing glossary items

Subject: RE: re indexing glossary items
From: Gurudutt Kamath <documentor -at- vsnl -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, Indexers India <indexi -at- yahoogroups -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2004 16:41:57 +0530


Greetings from a new indexer from India. I have found this discussion
fascinating and thought I will add a few points:

a)I personally would not index glossary items. An index should have
pointers to the content. A glossary to me is not the main content and
should therefore not be indexed. It is a good idea to indicate that a
Glossary exists in the Index. If items are defined in the content, then
they need to be indexed. If something is important to a document then it
will be in the content and not in the glossary.

b)Someone showed me Knuth's multiple volumes on algorithms and computer
programming as an example of a good index. Indeed, it was a rich index.
It was fascinating for me to see names being indexed: with the names
provided in brackets in the original language -- Arabic names in Arabic,
Indian names in Hindi. Interestingly, the glossary terms were included
in the index. I instantly disagreed with the approach. This to me is
like having an entire description on Arrow signs on the road. (Example:
Airport right arrow, Taj Mahal (the one build by Shah Jahan and
dedicated to Noor Jahan...) left arrow)

c) Interestingly, the Chicago Manual of Style (13th edition*) states
that the glossary should not be indexed:

"Most of the back matter should not be indexed: glossary, bibliography,
and so on. Appendixes should be indexed if they contain important
pertinent material omitted from the main body of the text, but not if
they merely reproduce documents...."

Both the Chicago MOS and the Microsoft MOS do not themselves index the

d)Lori's post is a decade old. Hans book too must be likewise. It would
be interesting to know what Lori Lathrop, Nancy Mulvany and Hans H.
Wellisch have to say on this.

(ASIDE: *It took me some time to realize why bookshop persons asked me
whether the book is on fashion when I was hunting for the 15th edition!
Hope to get the book soon.)

Guru (a humble page on indexing,
including a group for Indian indexers.)

James Jones wrote:

About indexing glossary items, I found a short article on techwrl by
Lori Lathrop from Jan 1994 (below). It might be a post to this list from
1994, don't know.

and quoted:

One of the best books on indexing, _Indexing From A to Z_ by Hans H.
Wellisch, says:

"... Glossaries are often included in books on topics whose terminology
is still unstable or full of neologisms and specific usages of terms by
the author. The presence of a glossary should be indexed, and the terms
defined in it (which will almost inevitably be employed in the text and
thus have index entries) should also be indexed, preferably by a
subheading "defined" ...." Xxxxxx


re indexing glossary items: From: James Jones

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