I am making a list of movies, where should I put films that contain articles in their names? I know normally articles are ignored but in this context the naming is also part of a film's design, so should it be different?

So how would you list the following from A-to-Z?

Of Mice and Men
A Serious Man
The Bourne Identity

  • 1
    I've seen it done in several different ways. If you decide to ignore articles, only ignore "a", "an", and "the". Prepositions, foreign language articles (Das Boot) and foreign language prepositions (A la Mode) should never be ignored. The articles are usually, but not always, placed after the title, as Tragicomic suggests. – Peter Shor Mar 17 '11 at 14:06

The article is usually placed at the end of the title, following a comma, since this makes alphabetic scanning easier.*

Bourne Identity, The
Of Mice and Men (Prepositions retain their original position.)
Serious Man, A

*The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (18.51, 18.53)


If you are making alphabetical list then just make alphabetical list.

But if you are making alphabetical list for users of some website, then please include the names of such movies under both the possible alphabets.


The Bourne Identity should show up under B as well as T.

This will be good for the users as most of them (including me and google :)) don't really bother (or know in my case) about the articles.

  • Wouldn't it be misleading to include a film name twice in the same list? Suppose someone were interested in the length of the list. Such repetitions would distort that. (Thinking like a programmer here, I know.) – Robusto Mar 17 '11 at 15:44
  • The idea of including an entry twice is interesting but it isn't helping answer the question. The question is "How do I alphabetize this?" Your answer says, "Just make alphabetical list." – MrHen Mar 17 '11 at 16:09
  • @downvoter: I think this is harsh. If you want more clarity as to what is meant then you should ask for it. I read "just make an alphabetical list" as suggesting that the OP is right in saying that the propositions are part of the design. - +1 for including the name twice - this is usually what a good index does (and is helpful in my opinion) – Tom Mar 17 '11 at 16:57
  • @Tom: I did clarify my downvote with my earlier comment. – MrHen Mar 23 '11 at 15:09

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