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> Would [title-sorting software that ignores, e.g., "The"] not run
> into problems if you were sorting book/article titles such as
> 'The The: the History of a Band' (I believe there was a band
> called The The), or '"The Taming of the Shrew": A Feminist
> Re-appraisal'?

Well, yes, either you'd have to have very smart software that knew
how you wanted these sorted (or at least knew to flag them as
potential mis-sorts), or they would be incorrectly sorted. I suppose
inasmuch as the former would be either difficult and time consuming
(if you were writing it) or expensive (if you bought it), yes, it is
a problem. But I doubt it's insurmountable.

I think it's a really good open question as to which is harder --
getting the software right or encoding a sortable version. (Of
course, if you had software, it could in theory generate the sortable
version for you :-)


BTW, your examples become less problematic the more fully encoded
they are, I think:
  <title><name type="band">The The</name>: the History of a Band</title>
  <title><title>The Taming of the Shrew</title>: A Feminist Re-appraisal</title>