[STYLE-570] Naming for "op." catalogues

officialstyle
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f23c5038fc8>

#1

Hi!

This is an official style question but relevant to classical only, so opening it here.

STYLE-570 suggests we should decide on a naming schema for the “op.” catalogues of composers. Right now they’re a messy combination of “ComposerName’s Opus” and “ComposerName’s Opera” - but the first is singular, and the second is confusing - since they could suggest it’s operas by this composer.

I’d suggest to use "“ComposerName’s Opuses” instead. Yes, yes, the term is originally Latin and had the Latin plural opera - that said, every dictionary I’ve checked except Merriam-Webster gives “opuses” as the first option for the plural, and even M-W says “opera, also opuses”. And it’s much less confusing IMO.

Opinions?


#2

#3

I would prefer “Works by opus number”, but “Opuses” is the preferred plural according to most style guides.


#4

That sounds reasonable to me too. “Works of Beethoven by opus number” or whatnot? (otherwise search would be messy)


#5

I’ve been using this format but don’t have that strong opinion about it.

Fine for me too. By selecting this we might actually skip 20 pages of discussion about the correct plural form :grin:


#6

We could also simply make it “Composer Name Work Catalogue” and use it for all unnamed numbered lists of works. That way we can avoid the tricky plural of opus altogether.

By the way I don’t really remember seeing the plural of opus (whatever plural) all that much, most writers seem to avoid having to use it, probably for the same reason. See for example the page for opus in the OED or the Wikipedia page for opus number.


#7

Not sure why all our bike sheds need to be the same color (is there really a need to standardize this?), but—since we’re heaving an exercise in C. Northcote Parkinson’s infamous law—

Personally, I’d just use “«Composer Name’s» Opus” and not bother with the plural. Opera would be fun to explain to people over and over again. Opuses just looks funny to me. Opi (using the octopus → octopi transform) would be silly, and that’s a silliness to which Wiktionary confirms English has not yet stooped.

I would strongly prefer to keep the composer’s name in there. Just “Works by opus number” make its too easy to select the wrong one (think of when you’re adding a few new works by a few composers, and you can currently use the completion history in the add relationship dialog—without the composer’s name, it’d be unusable.) I’d take “Opi” over that.

Maybe “«Composer Name’s» Numbered Works” Or “«Composer Name’s» Published Works”, if we really have to avoid the o-word :innocent:. Or just “«Composer Name’s» Works" if we want it short.

Honestly, a lot of these generic catalogs actually have better names (with catalogers, no less).


#8

I hate to admit that I wasn’t even thinking about this. I bet it’s common for people to link to catalogs from work page and it really doesn’t help when you can only search with the title. It would be a nightmare to see some hundreds of “Works by opus number” as a result without any data about composers linked with them.

We could survive without standardizing but there’s clear benefits of it. When people add catalogs but fail to link them with composers we aren’t easily able to find these if composer name isn’t included on the title. To differentiate between multiple catalogs linked with composer it might be necessary to mention the word opus in some soft of form.

Consistency with titles typically help with searching data. Should you search for works or opera? Another argument is that formatted titles look so much better on lists and make them more readable. If someone would like to list catalogs related to German composers would look silly to return “Opera of X”, “Works”, “Opuses by X”, etc. Searching for only opus catalogs is possible when titles are on the same format.


#9

Well, yes, obviously, I didn’t mean to name every series literally the same thing…

Something like “Works of Beethoven by opus number”.


#10

Since it seems we all agree the composer’s name needs to be included, I think we ought to just let Fearless Leader pick one.

:musical_note:   Hail, Pottsylvania
        Hail to the black and the blue!    :musical_note:


#11

Ok, let’s do “Works of X by opus number” then - avoids the plural nicely! starts changing series names

Edit: Updated series style.


#12

Heh, heh, Opuses…

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I’ll leave now.