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Initials of Authors in IVP NBD


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#1 Harry Hoffner

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:57 PM

In the electronic version of IVP's New Bible Dictionary which I have licensed on the pages that list all the abbreviated items only the full form is given for each, not the abbreviation. This means that from the abbreviations in the text one can easily enough click a link and find the full form. But If one wishes to find all occurrences of "Priestly Narrative" in the NBD, and enters it as a search, one is taken to the entry in the list of abbreviated items "Priestly Narrative", but not to any of the scores of occurrences of that under its abbreviation, which is.... what? "P.N.", "P."? Do you see what I mean? The abbreviations should accompany the list of abbreviated items. One would never guess (at least *I* wouldn't) that "forthcoming" is abbreviated as "f.c."! Or "Law of Holiness" as simple "H".

:blink:

PS:

And if one does search for "P" to find references to the Priestly Narrative, one gets kazillion occurrences of "p." (page number).
Harry Hoffner. Emeritus Professor, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Founder & Editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.


#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 09:59 PM

Your points are well taken. I confess that the list of abbreviations in this module leaves much to be desired, and we will try to improve it in a future rev.

I am sure that had we received a full etext of the tables of abbreviations, we would have included it, and I am also sure that our people did the best that they could with the etext they received. Yes, the abbreviation should of course be included along with the full name. It is in other modules. In this case there is only a list of Books and Journals followed by a conflated list of Classical Works, General Abbreviations, and Contributors which also includes some abbreviations which were omitted from the print copy which I have in hand.

It is unfortunate that the editors chose P as the abbreviation for the Priestly Narrative, as it is also a common initial and an abbreviation for page. I see no way to find the allusions to the Priestly Narrative in this module. I suppose that we could have edited the text in order to use a unique and searchable abbreviation, but it is not our policy to edit the text, rather to give as accurate a version as possible of the printed text. The same limitation applies to the Anchor Bible Dictionary. These works were not initially planned for release electronically, so these kinds of issues were ignored no one expected to be able to search the entire dictionary for references to P.
Helen Brown
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