Re: [ACAT] Inscrutability versus overkill in new authorities

Posting to Autocat

On 10/04/2013 09:57, Moore, Richard wrote:

Ultimately most punctuation in a catalogue record is irrelevant for resource discovery, but there’s no harm in being tidy about it. All the SI symbols are designed to be just that: “mm”, “cm”, “kg”, and so on. You can call them abbreviations but it doesn’t make them so. AACR2 didn’t leave it to choice either: 2.5D. treats “cm” consistently (and incorrectly) as an abbreviation followed by a full stop. The only difference is that RDA is consistently correct.

And calling them symbols also does not make them so, just because some organization proclaimed them to be. This is just like some church fathers getting together to proclaim that the woman’s place is in the home or that God hates gays. You can agree or not but there is no “correct” or “incorrect”. Only consequences. The consequences of these political sorts of pronouncements we see in the real world. In the world of cataloging such a pronouncement results in a Gotcha!

So as I suggested, in the interests of simplicity, these are the perfect sorts of things that could be left to cataloger’s judgment since they make no difference at all. This contrasts with cataloger’s judgment toward much more substantive issues of number of author tracings, whether to enter the 245$b and so on. Titles can even be in ALL CAPS which in online etiquette means that someone is screaming at you.

What makes “cm” so much more important than these other issues?

And of course, there are far more serious problems around cataloging that are being completely ignored. See why so many non-catalogers think we are navel-gazers?