I'm sorry if this is not the correct community to ask this question, if not please suggest a transfer.
I'm compiling an index of sorts for a large songbook where all the titles and first lines of the songs (if not identical) are listed. However I'm running into a dilemma on how to treat spaces and commas.
The automated sorting will treat a space or a comma like it is a letter occurring before the "A", as follows:
A child of the King A Father over yonder Abba, Father Across the bridge
My personal intuition would be to ignore spaces and punctuation when looking something up, so I would expect the correct sorting to be:
Abba, Father A child of the King Across the bridge A Father over yonder
Is my expectation wrong or is it the sorting algorithm that needs revision? For now I've resorted to creating double entries so it would be found either way.
A child of the King A Father over yonder Abba, Father A child of the King Across the bridge A Father over yonder
A related question is how to deal with abbreviations (if that's not the correct term, please forgive my jargon ignorance)
‘t Was a day in early spring time
I'm currently listing it 3 times under
W, in order to make the index "fool proof". I can imagine plausible reasons for all three approaches (literal, actual or ignore "noise words"). Combine that with the spaces-rules and we have 6 entries for this phrase. In English this does not occur that often, but in Dutch it occurs frequently.
A third (less related) question is whether to list numbers before or after letters, and would it matter if they are Arabic or Roman numerals?
I was wondering if there are any official conventions?