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These guidelines should be applied to new content, and the process of applying them to existing content will be carried out as time and resources permit, according to priorities for usage. There are many terms in existing content that are not in compiance with current guidance. This is partly a result of historical practice in the source terminologies, and in some cases a result of multiple competing rules for determining term composition or word order that cannot all be simultaneously satisfied.

It is unrealistic to expect the phrasing pattern or the word order of the Fully Specified Name to ever be able to satisfy the wide variety of sorting and display requirements. Word order consistency for the sake of display or sorting should be achieved by using descriptions other than the Fully Specified Name, and in many or most cases will require the creation of descriptions in an extension and maintained as reference sets designed for this purpose by the end user, vendor, or national release center.