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I have a project to parse names and there's a thing called title (mr. dr.), suffix (esq. ph.d.) and generation (ii, iii, jr.), but I don't have the faintest idea what p.s. is.

It's in the following format and it's a lawyer:

Sunde, Kit T. P.S.
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Does this name appear in a long list of names, or in a letter, or something else? I guess I'm asking if the Letters could be unrelated to the name somehow. –  Sam Apr 3 '11 at 4:27
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It's definitely part of the name. It appears as I typed it above in a field specifically put there to indicate name. –  Kit Sunde Apr 3 '11 at 5:22
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

P.S. Stands for Professional Service Corporation it's a legal designation like Inc. or LLC.

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Capitalised initials following a name often represent a professional qualification, falling within your suffix category. For instance, a name listed as John Smith, MD tells you that John Smith is a doctor of medicine (MD is originally from the Latin “Medicinæ Doctor”).

So, that’s what I would expect them to be here. There’s no qualification abbreviated as P.S. that’s well-known as MD or PhD, but googling suggests it can sometimes represent either Professional Surveyor or Police Sergeant. For a lawyer, I guess Professional Surveyor is more likely.

Alternatively, the way you write it, Sunde, Kit T. P.S., it looks perhaps like those are middle initials — some very prolix parents named him “Kit Thomas Percival Snyder Sunde” — and the space separating the T. and the P.S. comes just from careless typing. Could that be the case in your source data?

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Excellent point about it being middle initials. I think for my data set it isn't, but it's a good warning for others. –  Kit Sunde Apr 3 '11 at 3:31
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It can be several things, depending on the person's profession, e.g. professional service, personal service, public servant…

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