Name suffix in sort name

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I was looking at the sort name guidelines, and was surprised to find this:

Harry Connick, Jr. has sort name “Connick Jr., Harry”

First, that is actually not the case (the sort name is “Connick, Harry, Jr.”), nor is this consistent with the practice I’m familiar with for many years. Besides, it doesn’t make sense logically for sorting names. Has this guideline changed for some reason?


It doesn’t appear to have changed recently, but I would agree with you it doesn’t make sense.

With some hypothetical Connicks I’d expect the sort order to be:

George Connick
Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Sr.
Isabel Connick
Ralph Connick, Jr.
Ralph Connick, Sr.

…but if sorted according to the guideline as written, we would get

Harry Connick, Jr.
Ralph Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Sr.
Ralph Connick, Sr.
George Connick
Isabel Connick

(I think that’s where George and Isabel would end up - the space in “Connick Sr., Ralph” would sort ahead of the comma in “Connick, George”)


Yes, exactly. I’ll also point out that the “Guess sort name” produces “Connick, Harry, Jr.”


the punctuation of the name will determine how the auto-sort sorts a name.
If there needs to be a different way to sort a name, you can write the sort name manually. you do not need to use the auto-sort.

Harry Connick Jr. is not the same as Harry Connick, Jr.
and they will be sorted differently


IMO they should not be. Those are both common ways to write the same name, as is “Harry Connick, Junior”, and that name should sort in between “Connick, George” and “Connick, Isabel”.


The point was, an inexperienced editor would end up something that does not match the guideline by default. Either “Jr., Harry Connick” if “Harry Connick Jr.” was entered, or “Connick, Harry, Jr.” if “Harry Connick, Jr.” was entered.


How does an automated system distinguish between Junior Wells (first name Junior) and JR Wells (first and middle names are John Robert).*
That’s why we can manually add the sort name instead of always depending on the auto-sort feature.

Using auto-sort in the case of Harry Connick, the comma makes the distinction that JR is a suffix. Without the comma, it is read as his last name.

*Sorry, couldn’t come up with a better example on the fly.


The original question was about the guidelines, not the auto-sort. I understand that auto-sort is never going to be perfect. There’s a reason why they used the word “guess” for it…


You seem to be missing the point @justcheckingitout. Even with the comma, the result is not what is called for in the guideline.

What is the process these days for getting a style guideline changed?


What is the process these days for getting a style guideline changed?

I believe you would go to and create a ticket for project “MusicBrainz Style”.


The guideline was changed via STYLE-958. :slight_smile: