7.0598 Rs: Indexing (2/72)

Mon, 4 Apr 1994 22:20:06 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0598. Monday, 4 Apr 1994.

(1) Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 9:22:39 -0400 (EDT) (16 lines)
Subject: RE: 7.0597 Indexing

(2) Date: Mon, 04 Apr 1994 10:18:16 -0400 (EDT) (56 lines)
From: GURT@guvax.acc.georgetown.edu
Subject: Re: 7.0597 Indexing

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 9:22:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: 7.0597 Indexing

The inadequacy of computer indexing, an issue raised by David Hoekema, is
only relevant in relation to automatic indexing programs. If one indexes
as one goes along, or edits the volume, by simply telling a sophisticated
word processor what terms to index, one has the same results as with index
cards, but with far less work.
In Word for Windows (2 or 6) one can build any custom indexes with
subcategories quite easily. I have even added an index button to my tool bar.
As a result I mark a term I want indexed, and click the button. The rest is
automatic. I
can also click the button at a specific spot and then fill in a box as I find
There are separate means for formatting the actual index.
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------70----
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 1994 10:18:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: GURT@guvax.acc.georgetown.edu
Subject: Re: 7.0597 Indexing

I've indexed dozens of books professionally, and I feel compelled to
put in my $.02.

First: it's true, you can always tell a machine-generated index
because it's just an inadequate list of words with strings of page
numbers. Your readers are probably better off looking at the table of
contents or the running heads. If you don't want to do it yourself,
hire somebody. Your publisher can suggest some indexers they know and

Second: may I suggest a method? You need two highlighters and a
pencil. Use a highlighter in one color for the main entries, a
highlighter in another color for the subentries. Use the pencil for
listing page numbers or for drawing lines connecting main and
subentries. You read the book and highlight, adding page numbers.
For example, suppose you use pink to highlight main entries, blue
to highlight subentries (like the lines on index cards), and the
following appears in your book (actually, it appears in Georgia
Green's _Pragmatics and Natural Language Understanding_,
references deleted, sense retained):

In most modern semantic theories, including various intensional
logics, the sense of an expression is supposed to determine its
reference, and the goal of the intensional logic that makes explicit
the mechanism by which this can happen is to determine the possible
sorts of functions from possible indices to their extensions or

I would highlight "semantic theories" in pink, "modern" in blue, and
I would type them into the index as

semantic theories
modern, 42

"Intensional logics" would be pink, with "goal of" in blue:

logic, intensional
goals of, 42

And so on.

When you've marked up your page proofs, you take them to the computer
and just start typing, alphabetizing as you go. There's software that
will help you with the sorting, but unless you index professionally,
it's probably not cost-effective.

Or you could just hire someone for $3 a page ...

Joan C. Cook
Department of Linguistics
Georgetown University