Names and naming

Robert Brook

Within the text of Hansard, there are some terms that are often used in a manner peculiar to Parliament. Often we have had to choose to use some terms which may not be as clear as we might like. We have to strike a balance between Parliamentary use – and everyday use of a similar word.

We currently call each person who appears in the text a ‘Member’, as in ‘a Member of Parliament’, being both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We’re presently identifying Members in a rather straightforward way – and expect to be able to move to a more accurate method of dealing with individual people in the next month or so.

We’ve also called each piece of text recorded after a name a ‘contribution’. Most of these are obviously speeches, which include ‘interjections’ and ‘indications’. Some text has no attached name, being ‘procedural’. There have been suggestions that ‘contribution’ might have been an overtly positive term: any suggestions for a more neutral word would be welcome!

Posted in: Historic Hansard

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