Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates)

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Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) gives the general principles of how Wikipedia deals with the representation of numbers and dates.

This present naming conventions guideline concentrates on the aspect of how numbers and dates are represented in article titles, that is the names of the articles where the content is (as opposed to redirect pages that also allow non-standardized article titles).

The approach of this guideline is listing recommendations by article content type.

Articles on years, articles on numbers, article names containing non-date numbers[edit]

By convention, an article name that is a number in Arabic numerals represents a calendar year in the Common Era, up till several decades in the future. Such articles give an overview, in the form of a list, of the major events that took place (or are planned to take place) in that year. In general the use of number-only page names should only be used for "Year in Review" entries.

For years BCE, the format is "<year number> BC", for example 44 BC.

So, if some numbers, that don't indicate a year, have a specific meaning, an additional qualifier or disambiguation technique is needed:

Note that numbers in Roman numerals are usually pages that redirect to:

  • the related number article for lower numbers
  • the related year article for higher numbers, e.g. MMVI redirects to 2006

Unless, of course, the letters, not read as Roman numerals, compose a word with another meaning, e.g. MIX.

There is a unicode range of characters that is specifically used for Roman numerals, for example "" (0x2160) and "" (0x2170) - such (individual) characters are redirect pages to the corresponding number page: for instance both "" (0x2160) and "" (0x2170) redirect to 1 (number). For other uses it is discouraged to use these characters in wikipedia article page names. Note also that no automatic case conversion to upper case takes place when these characters are used as the first character of a wikipedia page name (in other words: "" and "" are two different redirect pages).

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers).

Articles on other standard time periods[edit]

Days[edit]

  2014 (Thursday)
  2013 (Wednesday)
  2012 (Monday)
  2011 (Sunday)
  2010 (Saturday)
  2009 (Friday)
  2008 (Wednesday)
  2007 (Tuesday)
  2006 (Monday)
  2005 (Sunday)
  • All days of a year cycle have an article in the format "<Month> <day number>", e.g. February 27 [[February 27]] which displays as February 27, depending on your date preferences.
  • Additionally, days from some recent years (currently: 2003–2005) have an article with a title in the format "<Month> <day number>, <year>", e.g. February 27, 2003 - these articles on a specific day of a specific year can be reached from the "<Month> <day number>" articles via the {{ThisDateInRecentYears}} template. An example of this template is displayed on the right.
  • Of course there are also the articles Sunday to Saturday, without numbers in the article name.

Months[edit]

Decades[edit]

  • Format: "<year ending on 0>s( BC)", e.g. 1970s, 40s BC. For avoidance of ambiguity, (decade) is added as a disambiguator for the first decade of a century (or the last decade of a century BC), e.g. 1800s (decade), to which for instance 1800–1809 redirects. 1800s is a disambiguation page.

Centuries[edit]

Millennia[edit]

Articles on events[edit]

Events recurring at regular intervals[edit]

There are many events that repeat on a regular or semi-regular basis, such as the Summer Olympics or the U.S. presidential elections. For important events, we will want a separate article for every time the event was held. For such events, one question that arises is: "What's the best way to disambiguate this series of articles?".

Year in front[edit]

Example: 2000 Summer Olympics

While the date is up front, this gives a maybe undue focus to the year, rather than to the event - This format is however widely used, so acceptable as Wikipedia page name format.

Year at the end, with comma[edit]

Example: United States presidential election, 2000

Although, in general, use of punctuation marks in article names is discouraged, this format with a comma is widely used (according to some testing this even appears to be the most used format for several types of events), so it is an acceptable format for Wikipedia page names.

This is the preferred format for elections: "<Demonym> <type> election, <date>" (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Elections).

Without date[edit]

Also numerical disambiguation for recurring events exists, if this is a usual and generally recognisable way to indicate the event. E.g. Super Bowl → from Super Bowl I (1967) to Super Bowl XLV (2011), etc.

Other events[edit]

For events that recur at non-regular intervals, for instance Ecumenical councils, the articles on the individual events usually avoid a date indication, but are numbered/characterised otherwise (e.g. place of event, combined with numerical), for instance: Fourth Council of the Lateran; First Council of Lyon; Second Council of Lyon; Council of Vienne - similarly for Crusades: First Crusade, Second Crusade, etc... Note, however, that exceptions to the rule of avoiding dates are applied according to established practice, for instance: Crusade of 1101 (minor crusade, not numbered, and generally indicated by the year it occurred).

Note that for numbering usually a text version of the numbers is used for these types of events, or (exceptionally) Roman numerals, if that is the most established practice (e.g. World War I, World War II).

If a time indicator is used in the title of an article on an event that doesn't recur at regular intervals (or didn't recur at all) there's no "standard format" for the representation of the time indicator, so there is for instance: Crisis of the Third Century; German Crusade, 1096 (one of the developments of the First Crusade); May 1968 events in France, etc. The format of the date depends, in these cases, from established practice in history books and the like. In general, however, abbreviations for years or months are avoided (e.g., Jan '68 → January 1968); for centuries numerals are given in text, capitalised (e.g., Crisis of the 3rd century → Crisis of the Third Century)

For disasters (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Disaster management#Naming convention), the recommended format is "<year> <place> <event>". Examples: 2006 New York City plane crash, 1700 Cascadia earthquake. This is only a "soft" recommendation, if no other more appropriate name is available. Counter-examples include Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Pan Am Flight 103, Minoan eruption, Krakatoa (no separate article about its best known eruption), and Kyrill (storm).

Article titles containing an indication of duration[edit]

As for events that don't recur on (semi-)regular intervals, article titles containing a reference to a time period (not a date) are not bound by strict rules, apart from using the most common name. However, generally, in these cases numbers are written in text, and abbreviations are avoided. Some examples:

Articles on people[edit]

For ordinals applied in titles of articles on persons see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people)#Ordinals and several culture-specific naming conventions like Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles), Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Western clergy), etc..., and examples in, for instance, Category:Pharaohs and subcategories.

Apart from such ordinals, it is recommended to avoid any type of numbers in the title of an article that is about a single person, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people)#Qualifier between brackets or parentheses:

[...] Try to avoid abbreviations or anything capitalised or containing numbers (apart from where more specific guidelines specify particular exceptions to that) [...]

A notable exception to this is contained in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ancient Romans):

Article titles for the biographies of ancient Romans often need to be disambiguated. The Romans used a limited number of names, and family names were carried on for generations (see, and prosopographical lists such as Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi for a specific example). Article titles may be disambiguated through an epithet or agnomen commonly used in English or by a parenthetical word or phrase: Antoninus Pius, Constantine the Great (an anomaly among article titles for emperors), Papirius (pontifex). Other forms of disambiguation include:

  • Highest office. Men who had a public career should usually be distinguished by the highest office held: Lucius Cornelius Scipio (praetor).
    • If more than one man by this name held the same office, add a date for disambiguation: Quintus Fulvius Flaccus (consul 237 BC). If a man held the office more than once, use only the year of his first term.
  • Notability. A Roman who held no office may be distinguished by most notable activity, occupation, or role: Gaius (jurist), Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi (usurper).
    • This form of disambiguation may be used instead of highest office if the figure achieved greater notability in another area: Marcus Antonius (orator).
    • "General" is usually too vague to disambiguate Roman men, as the English word represents a broad category of military commands and titles among the Romans, and such commands were common among the ruling elite.
  • Personal relationship. If a person's primary notability is a familial or other personal relationship to a better-known person, it may be acceptable to disambiguate accordingly: Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (husband of Claudia Antonia).

Various examples[edit]

Examples illustrate the various ways dates and numbers can show up in article names.

Straße des 17. Juni 
Name of a street in Berlin. The name of this street refers to a date ("17th of June") - the whole is kept in German, while that's the way the street is referred to, also in English. Note that the point after the number 17 is the German way of writing what in English translates to "th" (in German this point is pronounced as "ten").
October Revolution 
Traditional name for this stage of the Russian revolution—although it took place in November according to Gregorian calendar: both the October 25 and the November 7 article mention the event, the first according to Julian calendar, the second according to Gregorian calendar.
The Excursions of Mr. Broucek on the Moon and in the 15th Century 
Opera by Janacek - "Century" with a capital and "15th" (not "Fifteenth"), according to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (operas).
Symphony No. 0 (Bruckner) - String Quartet No. 10 (Beethoven) - 1. X. 1905 - Minute Waltz - etc 
Numbering and naming of compositions according to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (pieces of music). "1. X. 1905" is nothing more than a date, 1905-10-01, which happens to be the name of a musical composition—but since, as a date, "1. X. 1905" is in a format not similar to any notation format that is used in English, it doesn't need to be disambiguated from calendar-related articles.
E17 
Letter/number combination with various meanings, so this leads to a disambiguation page.
HMS Tiara (P351) - A-B Helicopters A/W 95 - etc 
Several vehicle names contain combinations of numbers and/or letters, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ships), Wikipedia:Naming conventions (aircraft), etc.
XIII 
Disambiguation page from which, for example, 13 (number) and XIII (comic) can be reached.
Titanic (1953 film) - 36 (film) - Ocean's Twelve - etc 
Film titles according to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (films).
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Paris in the 20th Century - etc 
Titles of books (and other publications) use the conventional way the (English version) of the publication's title is printed. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books).
Queen Elizabeth II - Queen Elizabeth 2 
Both are redirect pages, the first to the queen ("II" used as ordinal in the name of a royal person), the second to the ship ("2" used as a number, in a ship's name).
4th of July - Fourth of July 
Another example of two redirect pages, that go another way, depending on the way the number is written: the first redirects to the July 4 day article, the one with the text version of the number redirects to Independence Day (United States).
September 11, 2001 attacks 
a.k.a. 9/11 - several options for the name of this page were considered (and the page has a high number of redirects pointing towards it) - however the final choice of the page name does not necessarily set a "standard" for formatting page names containing a date.
Triple J Hottest 100, 1989; Triple J Hottest 100, 1990; etc. 
An annually compiled list of each year's most popular songs, as determined by listeners of the Australian radio station Triple J. The year in question goes on the end after a comma.


See also[edit]