General Question

ETpro's avatar

Where does La Rochefoucauld come in an alphabetical listing by last name?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) January 22nd, 2011

Is the La part of the last name, or would it be treated like Rochefoucauld, Francois de La? Should Francois de La Rochefoucauld be listed under the Ls or the Rs?

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7 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Use the whole name and list him under “L.” That’s what Wikipedia does with him on its list of philosophers. Similarly, Peter van Inwagen is listed under “V.”

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire Thanks. I didn’t think of checking a list on Wikipedia. My fitst thought was to check a phone directory, but I no longer have on. :-)

CaptainHarley's avatar

“La Rochefoucauld” translates as “the rock foucauld.” So “the” is attached to “rock” which is part of the name. Thus the entire name would fall under the “Ls.”

ETpro's avatar

Why not the “de” which translates to “of” as in “of the rock foucauld”?

CaptainHarley's avatar


I have no idea!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ETpro The reason why La Rochefoucauld is listed under “L” and not “D” is because we call him “La Rochefoucauld” and not “de La Rochefoucauld.” That is, we alphabetize people by how we refer to them. That’s why Beethoven goes under “B” even though his full name is Ludwig von Beethoven.”

This might seem inconsistent with the fact that Peter van Inwagen gets listed under “V,” as does Martin Van Buren, but it has to do with the fact that the prepositions of other cultures have become part of the last name in the United States. Thus we refer to these people as “van Inwagen” and “Van Buren” (in accordance with the rule stated above).

(Again, this is based on Wikipedia. The procedure is outlined here.)

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire Thanks for the link. Thank goodness for Google, then. Without a GOogle search, we wouldn’t really know how someone we had never heard of before was regularly addressed by others.

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