Verbum Tip 2g: Multiple people with shared name

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Nov 8 2020 8:14 PM

Please be generous with your additional details, corrections, suggestions, and other feedback. This is being built in a .docx file for a PBB which will be shared periodically.

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Build Search for individual with name

Until now, we have ignored the drop-down selection menu that appears when entering the text search term. To disambiguate names, we now need to utilize it.

  • When one enters the text term “Mary” into the Search argument box (1), a drop-down selection menu appears with text entries at the top and various Faithlife tagging entries below.
  • For our example, we will select Mary (mother of Jesus) (2) which will generate a search argument in the form of <Person Mary (mother of Jesus)>. An explanation of this format is discussed below in an introduction to datatypes.
  • On mouse-over, an information card (3) displays. I have been unable to replicate the 162 occurrences shown on the spark chart.

Left side:

On the left is a simple text search on “Mary”. This yields 54 results but includes Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, Mary the mother of James and Joseph.

Center:

In the center the search argument is <Person Mary (mother of Jesus)> i.e. the results of selecting Mary (mother of Jesus) from the drop-down selection list. This yields 159 results but includes all references to Mary e.g. pronouns with Mary as an antecedent, “his wife” or “his mother” or similar phrases referring to Mary.

Right side:

To select places where the name “Mary” is used and it refers to <Person Mary (mother of Jesus), we need to select those cases where both are true of the same word. INTERSECTS is the operator used for matching multiple conditions on the same word or phrase. The search argument “Mary INTERSECTS <Person Mary (mother of Jesus)>” yields the 19 occurrences of the name Mary referring to the mother of Jesus.

Aside: Introduction to datatypes

So what is “<Person Mary (mother of Jesus)>? It is a data type reference, the basic link between resources in the Verbum ecosystem. The most common link is a Bible reference. However, many other resources have standard references that are datatypes – think Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), or Denzingers (DS), or most church documents. In Verbum, Biblical entities – persons, places, things and events – are data types.

The standard format for a data type is: <Datatype operator value>. In our case, <> indicates a data type reference, the data type is Person (Biblical is implied), the operator is omitted/allowed to default, and the value is “Mary (mother of Jesus)”.

While the terms data type, milestone, and section can be confusing as you encounter them first in the forums, they are all simple concepts when learned in a stepwise manner. They represent the height of Verbum jargon.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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