Alphabetising with fanciful and modern honorifics (titles, salutations)

Hiya gang!

What a beautiful day to tidy my studio and get hung up on some random unimportant minutia…

So, Queen Latifah and Queen Pen: sort order wise, should they be under e.g. “Queen Latifah” or “Latifah, Queen”? It’d be nice to have consistency one way or the other.

  • We’re talking about an honorific, not a forename
  • It’s fanciful, but I’m guessing that shouldn’t matter

Is there a consensus here? For that matter, “DJ” and “MC” are essentially modern honorifics. It looks like the sort name should generally be e.g. “Shadow, DJ” and “Hammer, MC” which makes sense.

Curiously, hardly anyone seems to be applying this logic to “Grandmaster”, so we get e.g. “Grandmaster Flash” instead of “Flash, Grandmaster”. Is there a distinction I’m missing here? I’d argue his name isn’t Grandmaster Flash, so much as his name’s Flash and he’s recognised as a grandmaster. Is it simply that once the honorific’s a long word, it starts to feel like part of a stage name? Or that people get dubious when it’s self-applied? I’m kind of curious where to draw the line.



They are not really “titles”, just stage names. It would always be written as “Queen Latifah” or “Grandmaster Flash”.

Would you get away with Ms Latifah or Mr Flash? As these are the titles the performer chose they should stay in order as it is the artists stage name and not a title.

Another example would be Professor Green - he is listed under “P”

Note that all of these examples are not the artists Real Name.

The DJ and MC tags are more of a job title. So I see a logic of those having a sort order applied.


Ah, OK, so with a stage name in particular, the title isn’t treated as a separable title then. (I’d still say it’s a title – clearly Queen isn’t her stage forename – but it’s a stage title.)

That’ll teach me to make an assumption.