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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Even here in Non-Asia, going from someone's full name to the their family name is not easy.

    For example, many names of the form "X Y Z" are first name X, middle name Y, last name Z (like Sean Michael Burke)
    But many X Y Z names (typically in Latin America) are first name X, primary family name Y, and second (mother's) family name Z, like Mario Vargas Llosa -- he's Mr. Vargas Llosa (his father was Ernesto J. Vargas Maldonado, his mother was Dora Llosa Ureta). So:

    Sean Michael Burke -> Burke, Sean Michael
    but:
    Mario Vargas Llosa -> Vargas Llosa, Mario

    But wait, there's more! I've heard that when alphabetizing Icelanders' names, you alphabetize by the first name. That is, "Björk Guðmundsdóttir" [bjork.com] is sorted under B -- but I think she's still Ms. Guðmundsdóttir, not Ms. Björk.

    An adaptation of what librarians do when cataloguing, would be for you to add a "_" before the start of the last name so you know where the sortable stuff starts. But I don't think that tells you how to turn the name into [Title] [Lastnamepart]. I.e., if you tag Wen Ho Lee as "_Wen Ho Lee", that doesn't tell you whether it's Mr. Wen or Mr. Wen Ho -- it just tells you to sort under W. God only knows what we'd do if he had a son with the same name: Wen Ho, Jr., Lee?

    RUN AWAY!