When making lists of titles, it's common to write them with any leading article moved to the end (e.g. Lord of the Rings, The) in order for sorting mechanisms to think that the title begins with L and not T.

Some sorting mechanisms know how to ignore any leading articles automatically, and so can order the titles appropriately even if the article does appear at the beginning.

Is there an official name for the type of sorting that ignores the leading article?

  • 1
    ignoring initial articles. But how could there be something official? Who decides on official in English? :) For me, leading article is not clear.
    – Lambie
    Jan 18, 2022 at 18:37
  • There are standards for collation published by Unicode and doubtless others, and various style guides tell you how to sort (it's a necessary part of any bibliography). So you could research it by looking at different standards, but I have no idea if there is a name for this particular aspect.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 18, 2022 at 18:45
  • 1
    I don't think there's an official name. This page calls it bypassing initial articles. Jan 18, 2022 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


The term you're looking for is "human intervention" that supports some form of cataloguing. See Chapter 4.6 of Guidelines for Alphabetical Arrangement of Letters and Sorting of Numerals and Other Symbols that was published by the National Information Standards Organization and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop and maintain technical standards for libraries, information services, and publishers. https://www.niso.org/sites/default/files/2017-08/tr03.pdf

  • This is interesting but his question is very specific.
    – Lambie
    Jan 18, 2022 at 19:07

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