Aside from the dates, the second set of categories are things that you might append to the beginning (or maybe the end) of a name when talking about him formally:  Captain James Kirk, Sir Paul McCartney, Prince Rogers Nelson (ha ha, joke), Professor Roy Hinkley.  The word or phrase makes some sense when “de-inverted” back to the beginning of the name.

You would not normally do the same with things from the first set of categories.  It would probably not be Architect Mary Hancock, Of the North Oxford Association Chris Nichols, Cree Indian Henry Budd.  The word is purely explanatory.

This is the difference between a title and a description.  It seems pretty straightforward to me except when, as in the case of “Professor,” the usage is ambiguous.

Pete Wilson
Vanderbilt University

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Fairclough
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 8:09 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Must X00 $c be in parentheses in RDA authorities? - addendum

PCCLIST readers,

Where is the rationale that results in the use of enclosing parentheses for addition of

·         Fuller form of name (

·         Profession or Occupation (

·         Other Designation (

but a preceding comma for addition of

·         Title or Other Designation Associated with the Person (

·         Date of Birth and/or Death (

·         Other Term of Rank, Honour, or Office (

Is this just legacy punctuation from earlier codes, ones that endowed punctuation with bibliographic significance?  Perhaps such usage is documented in the minutes of a committee somewhere.

Here's one source in which I didn't find such information:
PCC Post RDA Test Guidelines

Moreover, I submit to you that the distinction between "professor" as an occupation versus as a term of rank, etc. is too nice for practical use.  But it reflects, to a degree, differing semantic fields between British and American usage.   I dare say German usage differs yet further.

Sincerely - Ian

Ian Fairclough
Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian
George Mason University
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