Names of collectivities and organizations [166]


Discussion of encoding the names of collectivities and organizations using <name> and <orgName>, including distinctions between collectivities and organizations


The WWP uses the <name> element to encode the proper names of collectivities. We define a collectivity as the sum of its members; the name of the collectivity refers to the members of the collectivity, rather than to some organization or official body to which they belong (and in fact there may be no such organization). Collectivities may be quite small: for instance, the members of a family (the Guelphs, the Capulets).

We use the <orgName> element to encode the proper names of organizations. We define an organization as a persistent, identifiable unit which has some sort of ontological status apart from the existence of any members: an official shell or container.

Note that in some cases there may be collectivities whose names are closely related to the organization which contains them (e.g. the Masons) and there may also be cases where it is hard to make the distinction, depending on the wording of particular cases (e.g. the Masons). However, the cost of being wrong in these cases is low, so encoders should not spend too much time agonizing over minute distinctions.


Example 1. Proper names of collectivities, which should be encoded with <name>. Note that these collectivities’ names are often based on a proper name (e.g. the name of a country, leader, family, or organization). Note also that they may be used in the singular to refer to one member of the group, and these should also be encoded with <name>.
the Catholics, a Catholic
the Masons, a Mason
the Greeks, a Greek
the Muggletonians, a Muggletonian
the Luddites, a Luddite
the Bolsheviks, a Bolshevik
the Borgias (in the singular, names of family members should be encoded with <persName>)

Example 2. Proper names of organizations (which are encoded with <orgname>)
The Court of Star Chamber
The Queen’s Bench
The Text Encoding Initiative
The Order of Free and Accepted Masons

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