More than a name…..

Everyone in this world has a name. When we hear a name however, it is really hard to precisely know what it consists of and how the consisting parts should be written. A name might, for example, contain salutation, one or more titles, given names, initials, one or more family names, and additions. Here’s an example of a name with different name parts:

Mr Peter M Smith PhD

  • Mr – Salutation, also called honorific, a polite way of addressing a person
  • Peter – Given name. The name given to a person at birth. You have male and female names, and sometimes a name can be carried by both. But, in general, it is possible to derive the gender of the person from his/her name(s).
  • M – Initial. An abbreviated form of a given name
  • Smith – Family name
  • PhD – Addition, in this case an academic title

This may appear easy, but due to all different naming conventions in the world, it is definitely not! At Human Inference, we have automated this process by creating a Firefox plugin that can help you interpret the various name parts and assign a gender to the name. It also finds the names which most closely resemble the ones you typed as input.

You can type the full name of a person, and that’s all you need to do. The plugin will make the most probable interpretation, based on the vast knowledge of names it has. It places the parts in the appropriate fields and displays the predicted gender. On top of that it will give you close alternatives for the names or for the way the input can be interpreted. These are shown as a list of suggestions when you right click on the input field. If you think that any of the other suggested interpretations is what you were looking for, you can click on it and it is displayed instead.

Summarizing, the plugin

  • can correct the mistakes that you made writing someone’s name.
  • can be used to segment the name correctly.
  • can provide you with closely resembling suggestions.
  • can predict the gender of the name.
  • is free of charge! Continue reading ‘More than a name…..’