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  1. #1
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    More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    I have a new list of 12k records. As usual, the input is all over the board. Lastname, firstname, Firm Name, INC
    (e.g. Man, Jaz Trucking, INC.) Some are personal entries (Man, Jaz) AND as fate would have it, many contain no commas at all.
    I need to prep this list for a mail out and am at odds on where to start.
    Actually I started by searching for commas and that brought up only 900 entries.

    Are backward name fields acceptable in mail outs?
    If not...How do the pros do this?

  2. #2
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    Just an observation - if you have no consistent way (e.g. presence or absence of a comma) to indicate whether the last name comes first, then regulations or no regulations it is impossible to guarantee that you have names in the correct order. Notice my name - both parts can be first or last names.

    If things are as bad as you say they are, no matter what you do automatically you'll need to do manual proofreading. I'd do what you can (e.g. flip names if there's a comma between them, search for hardcoded strings like Inc., Ltd.) and then hire a temp to proofread and correct.

  3. #3
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    I'm sure I've seen utilities that can do this mentioned in previous posts, usually under the heading of parse or parsing. I did a quick search on parse and found this previous post by Charlotte.

    Theres an example "ParseStuff.mdb" at Rogers Access Library.

  4. #4
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    I'd pretty much go along with what Douglas had to say. Even looking for a comma can be misleading, as in your "Jaz Trucking, Inc.". I'd be in favor of just leaving it the way it is and don't even try to re-arrange the names, rather than risk messing them up (unless you want to manually check and change them).
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  5. #5
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    So in otherwords...If you got a piece of mail addressed to Liqourman, Mark
    You wouldn't be offended... <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    When I get mail from CitiBank or Chase, I just know that there is a kick- <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> prog doing this parsing.
    I'm just wondering how the pros do it.

    Rupert, those posts were more simplified than my stuff.
    First and last names only. Flipping and parsing.
    Although, there was a link to a prog that did mid-level parsing.
    Perhaps there's something there.
    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    I know there was a post sometime back about a programme that you could buy, which could parse just about anything! But I'm afraid I didn't make a note about it at the time, and I've looked back through old posts looking for it without any success!

  7. #7
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    Well, seeing as how you misspelled my name (it should be Liquorman, not Liqourman), I might be a little offended! <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39> But seeing how people have mangled my name over the years, I don't think it would upset me too much!
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  8. #8
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    Sorry...I am the wolrd's most dyslexic typist. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Either way..
    That's a fun name! <img src=/S/thewave.gif border=0 alt=thewave width=225 height=33>

  9. #9
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    Found it!
    I knew I'd seen it somewhere, have a look at parse rat -- mentioned in this post by Charlotte.

    Extract----
    Name Parsing? The CD-ROM you bought has names like "de la Mere Michael S Arnold Jr Dr Psychtrst Residence" in it. You can hardly use it as a mailing list in that format. No problem, ParseRat will change it to "Dr Michael S Arnold de la Mere Jr" (and if you want, it will even leave off the "Jr" or export the name in fields as "Dr","Michael","S Arnold","de la Mere","Jr").

  10. #10
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    Actually, you're probably wrong. Most companies contract out their direct mailing or they may have departments that do it, but in either case they buy lists and those lists are just as bad as what you got. In fact, they buy very large lists and throw out a large number of the names because they *are* impossible to work with.

    However, most of those commercial lists have a flag to indicate whether the address is business or personal or they have a "company name" field. If your list has that, you can ignore the business names (just use them as is) and focus on the personal names. If most of them don't have commas, you'll have to use what you got for people. You'll also have to manually examine all of them with commas, since you don't really want John Jones, Jr to be translated into Jr John Jones. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> The programs I've worked with handled a lot of common names and had algorithms for parsing some uncommon ones, such as French, Spanish, and Portuguese names, but they still couldn't cope with many Southeast Asian names, and if you have a name like James Martin, you can't tell which is really the first name, so a parsing utility won't help. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Charlotte

  11. #11
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    Re: More mailing madness (ACC97-SR2)

    I'll be ...darned.
    In the GMTA report today...
    I came to that conclusion just yesterday and started a series of update queries based on filtering strings with
    ("Inc. INC Co. CO, trucking, supply blah blah blah) everything I thought applicable to my particular scenario.
    Using those queries I created a switch using a a T/F field to shorten the scope of the script.
    The result- I whittled the list down to under 4K...that 75%!!

    There are several ways to scale a mountain.
    I usually opt for the path that is least likely to result in injury....even if I have to slow down or backtrack a bit <img src=/S/burnup.gif border=0 alt=burnup width=31 height=31>


    Thanks for all of the extra help. <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>

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