7.0597 Indexing (1/21)

Sun, 3 Apr 1994 23:47:04 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0597. Sunday, 3 Apr 1994.

Date: 1 Apr 94 15:07:26 EDT
From: "David A. Hoekema" <DHOEKEMA@legacy.Calvin.EDU>
Subject: Indexing

Having just this week received page proofs (and having forgotten my
promise to prepare the index), I can offer only a word of caution.
My editor, local editors whom I have consulted, and the Chicago
Manual, 14th Edition, are unanimous in regarding computer-generated
indexes as inadequate, because too inclusive and incapable of
recognizing equivalences, let alone adjusting the level of detail to
fit the discipline, the weight of a topic in the whole, and so on.
Perhaps some on the list will have used them successfully. I have
resolved either (a) to use index cards (as I have done previously) and
rely on the computer simply to alphabetize and clean up or, if I can
manage the cost, (b) to hire an indexer, which my editor friends
strongly advise.

The account in the Chicago Manual is well worth reading in any case;
the first few paragraphs, on whether authors should prepare their
indexes and how burdensome is the task, are even amusing.

|| David Hoekema, Academic Dean, Calvin College (Grand Rapids MI 49546) ||
|| tel. 616 957-6442 || fax 616 957-8551 || <dhoekema@calvin.edu> ||