One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A phonetic coding system intended to suppress spelling variations, used especially to encode surnames for the linkage of medical and other records.
- ‘No patients' names are collected; instead surname Soundex codes are used and strict confidentiality of the data is maintained.’
- ‘Algorithms based on parents' names, which employed Soundex codes to allowed for variation in the spelling of names, were used to identify siblings, and thereby to assign birth order and identify multiple births.’
- ‘Clinics provided data in a pseudo-anonymised form, using Soundex codes derived from surnames.’
- ‘Today's systems are more sophisticated than Soundex, but they grew from the same origins, experts said.’
- ‘The Soundex system used by the U.S. government failed to consider this nuance when checking his documentation.’
1950s: from sound + the arbitrary ending -ex.
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