Enclosure (1) to COMDTINST 5230.42A
12. The actual data element name must not be repeated in its own definition.
13. The Class Word must appear within the text of the definition.
3.2 Data Element Naming Rules: This section addresses rules for constructing data element
names. Appendix C provides issues and examples in the use of these naming rules.
Rule 1: Data element names shall be derived from the data element's definition. Where
possible, develop the definition using a single, simple sentence. The data element name must
reflect the contents of the definition. Definitions must be clear, complete and comprehensible by
CG personnel. Guidance on the formulation of data element definitions is provided in section 3.1
Rule 2: Class Words are reserved; i.e. they shall not be used as Modifiers or Prime Words.
Rule 3: Each data element name shall have one Class Word taken from a pre-defined
Class Word list. Class Words may be added to the standardized list upon approval by Commandant
Rule 4: Each data element name shall have one Prime Word taken from a pre-defined
Prime Word list. The Prime Word must be positioned as the first or second word in the data
element name. Prime Words may be added to the standardized list upon approval by Commandant
Rule 5: Each data element name shall contain a sufficient number of Modifiers and
Qualifiers to fully describe it (up to four modifiers per Prime Word and one modifier plus two
qualifiers per Class Word).
Rule 6. The sequence of words in a data element name are: (1) Modifier if required +
Prime Word + (1 to 4) Modifier(s) if required + Class Word + (1 or 2) Qualifier(s) if required.
The Prime Word must precede the Class Word within in a data element name. The
minimum number of words in a data element name is two (Prime Word + Class Word), and
the maximum number of words is nine.
Rule 7: Data element names shall not contain articles, conjunctions or prepositions. Plurals
of Class Words/Prime Words are not permitted.