Hello! My name is... K365

Our patron asked her daily question again yesterday, and there was some confusion over who she was asking about. I thought she said one (female) name, but she was saying something else. When I told her the person she was asking about was a character on television, not a male comedian, we had a very lengthy back-and-forth trying to figure it out, until I realized what happened. When I got off the phone, my coworker (who knew exactly who I was talking to) said "we need soundex when we talk to her." "Yeah," I said, while secretly trying to recall whether I had ever heard of this resource. I admittedly remember only a select few resources from the two reference classes I took in library school, but I had no idea what she was talking about! (I think I 'fessed up quickly).

Soundex is a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound. The National Archives maintains the rules for the current soundex system, and uses the system to code names in the census. It can be a helpful tool for genealogists (which, I am not) to account for all the variances a name can take. To determine the soundex code for the name you are searching for, you can do it manually, or use the soundex calculator.

Soundex Coding Guide, from the National Archives
1: B, F, P, V
2: C, G, J, K, Q, S, X, Z
3: D, T
4: L
5: M, N
6: R
Disregard the letters A, E, I, O, U, H, W, and Y.

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