The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

The body of a reference work in relation to its index: an analysis of Wordsmanship

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (1996), 20, (1), 18–22.

Abstract

In Wordsmanship: a dictionary, common terms are headwords, and their rarefied synonyms are index entries; there is a complex network of cross-references among the headwords, but no references in the index. The compiler of the dictionary observes that use of the index will become unnecessary as the reader becomes familiar with the reference work. In the context of a serious analysis of the structure of this humorous book, general aspects of the design of a reference work in relation to its index are considered. It is concluded that indexers should be consulted at the design stage of reference books, as they may suggest reversal of the primary entries and the index entries, refine the cross-reference structure, revise locator notation, and select appropriate typography.

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Author details

Weinberg, Bella Hass