Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 27

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New try at BC/BCE/AD/CE paragraph

I haven't chimed in before today, but I do think the recent edit war is ridiculous.

Here's the old paragraph:

Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. Normally you should use plain numbers for years in the Common Era, but when events span the start of the Common Era, use AD or CE for the date at the end of the range (note that AD precedes the date and CE follows it). For example, 1 BCAD 1 or 1 BCE1 CE.

And here's my suggestion, which I think addresses everyone's stated issues.

Blacklined from my original suggestion (should be the same as the unblacklined version just below):

Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. When an article only references includes dates in the CE/AD era, there is no need to use the era name. For dates early in the CE/AD era, it may provide clarity to use the era name but is not required. You should always use era names for dates in the BCE/BC era. When an article references includes dates in the BCE/BC era or both eras, it may provide clarity to include the CE/AD era names, but is not required. You should always use era names for all dates ranges of dates that span both eras. (note that AD precedes the date and all other names follow the date). For example, AD 1 or 1 BCE1 CE. Note that AD precedes the date and all other names follow the date.

Current version (I will list edits below as I make them):

Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. When an article only includes dates in the CE/AD era, there is no need to use the era name. For dates early in the CE/AD era, it may provide clarity to use the era name but is not required. You should always use era names for dates in the BCE/BC era. When an article includes dates in both eras, it may provide clarity to include the CE/AD era names, but is not required. You should always use era names for ranges of dates that span both eras. For example, AD 1 or 1 BCE1 CE. Note that AD precedes the date and all other names follow the date.

Chuck 18:42, 3 August 2005 (UTC) Edited Chuck 21:20, 3 August 2005 (UTC) Edited to address Rl's concern. Chuck 20:37, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

That doesn't sound right. When you say "When an article references dates...", you actually mean to say "When a range references dates...". Otherwise it would make no sense. Rl 18:53, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand your replacement, but your point is valid. Changes made above. Chuck 21:20, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
"When an article references includes dates in the BCE/BC era or both eras, you should use era names for all dates" — Let's take Paris as an example. That article includes dates in both eras ("Paris was occupied by a Gallic tribe until the Romans arrived in 52 BC."). The wording as proposed not only allows, but suggests that we should add era names to all dates in the Paris article. Rl 07:33, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Do articles, or indeed ranges, reference?

Point. I lost some of my confidence in common sense, so I am somewhat sensitive to ambiguous wordings that might fit an agenda. I do not want to end up with editors going through articles adding their flavor of AD/CE to every date just because some events mentioned in the article happened over 2000 years ago. Rl 19:37, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

First, I'd appreciate comments on why my version (as modified by Maurreen) above is inappropriate. It's much shorter and it preserves what I am advised the current guidance to be. By reducing all references to BCE/CE/BC/AD to a bare minimum, it improves readability greatly. In particular, note there is no such thing as the "CE/AD era" - introducing new jargon isn't desirable.

Second, the intention is to rewrite what is already there so that it is clearer (in particular to those, like me, who aren't familiar with BCE/CE terminology). Chuck's proposed sentence "For dates early in the CE/AD era, it may provide clarity to use the era name but is not required" appears to be new. Something along those lines may or may not be desirable - whichever it is, it's best to discuss a proposed change separately from the rewrite discussion, jguk 19:07, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

First, your version is inappropriate because it removes various clarifications that are valuable. In your version, its not even clear what you mean by "date notation". In the existing version and my suggestions, it is very clear. In addition, you have a history of POV in trying to remove or reduce any mention of the BCE/CE system. There's no reason to do so and we're not interested in sanctioning your clear POV.
Second, "CE/AD era" is not jargon. I have not created (nor tried to create) a new term. Slashes are not generally included within terms in English; in fact, a slash is an accepted way in english "to make clear a strong joint between words or phrases" (i.e. "the Ernest Hemingway/William Faulkner generation", "Or maybe this plague/onslaught of bad/ugly slashes is a recent/new phenomenon/thing"[1]). We could go back to using Common Era if you would prefer.
Third, the sentence "For dates early in the CE/AD era, it may provide clarity to use the era name but is not required" was added in response to one of the criticisms of your language. Its one sentence, why not discuss it? We're not talking about that many words here.
Fourth, Your stated intention originally was to "state explicitly 'Where an article only refers to events that happened within the last 2,000 years, do not use date notation', and to remove the reference to 'Common Era', which isn't well known." The first of your issues I included in a different form, because "last 2,000 years" is not really what we're trying to get at. I have also excluded any mention of the term "Common Era". We're not going to get rid of BCE and CE, though, because they are accepted terms and we're not going to delete them just because you don't like them. Chuck 21:20, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Agree. Chuck's four points, above, are bang on IMO. The wording he has proposed for the the guideline on eras, along with the strikethroughs, is the best yet. Sunray 06:33, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

To respond in order:

1. I've never explained my views on this, so the charge of POV is necessarily one based on your presumptions. Once the recent Slrubenstein proposal failed a number of editors tried to implement it. I, along with a number of others including RickK and violet/riga, resisted this on the grounds that failed proposals shouldn't be implemented through the backdoor. So not much POV there. My other edits have also been fully in accordance with WP guidance, and are not unlike many other edits made by many other editors - so there's no real reason to single me out. My strongest bugbear on WP is that too many articles are needlessly inaccessible to readers - and that this should change. We should write in a style that appeals to our readers (not our editors, or indeed, non-readers). To me, this naturally leads to an abrogation from taking points of view. The deciding factor isn't (or shouldn't) be my personal view, nor the personal view of any other individuals, but rather on what approach is best suited to our readers. This is no different to a commercial website deliberately adopting an approach that it believes will suit its customers, and if WP is to have as wide an audience as possible, is certainly the direction we should be going in.

As far as your comments that the reference to "Neither date notation..." may be unclear - perhaps "Neither the AD nor CE date notation..." would easily solve that.

2. Whether it's termed "jargon" or not, the phraseology is confusing. I also have no idea what the Ernest Hemingway/William Faulkner generation would mean. Does it refer to people alive at any time Hemingway and Faulkner were alive? Maybe to people alive when they were at their most productive? Those influenced by them who were of similar age to them? Or just people of a similar age? Out of context (and this is a short guideline for which there is no detailed explanation of context), it's difficult to understand. I'm quite willing to bet that if I asked the man on the Clapham omnibus what the BCE/BC era or the CE/AD era are, he'd have no idea at all.

3. I'm not unwilling to discuss the proposed change in the guideline, just stating that I think that discussion should be separate from the rewriting of the guideline. The rewrite is not intended to change anything, but only to make it clearer.

4. I thought the last 2,000 years or so was exactly what the guideline was getting at - though I appreciate that I am relying on what others are saying the current guideline means as (even after all this time) I struggle to get much meaning from it myself. If it's not the last 2,000 years, what is it trying to get at? jguk 07:14, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

I have to comment on Jguk's first point above. His view of what happened is based on assumption, not fact. He says: "Once the recent Slrubenstein proposal failed a number of editors tried to implement it..." This is simply not true. As one of the editors involved, and speaking only for myself, I can categorically state that I was in no way trying to implement Slrubenstein's proposal. I really didn't set all that much stock in the proposal, although I did vote in favour of it. What I was doing was trying to neutralize Jguk's virulent anti-BCE/CE crusade which had him going all over Wikipedia reverting BCE/CE edits to BC/AD (evidence presented in the ArbCom case on this matter revealed that Jguk had made over 1,000 such changes to over 700 articles). In cases where I didn't think that was in accordance with Wikipedia policy, I reverted him and attempted to discuss the matter and get consensus on the talk page. Request to Jguk: Please stop trying to promote an unfactual account of the BC/BCE revert war. Sunray 19:31, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

It seems I still have to suffer abuse for preventing an attempt by SouthernComfort to subvert the rejection by the WP community of Slrubenstein's proposal. It failed, SC tried to implement it all the same (and was encouraged to do so by Slrubenstein), and a number of editors weighed in to revert SC's edits, and another number weighed in to revert those reverting SC's edits. By standing up to SC's attempt to enforce his view on political correctness, I admit, I expected to be harangued - those who disagree with political correctness and those who stand up to support the community's decisions always are. But surely it's time to leave this to one side? Unfortunately you continue to try to besmirch me - despite the ArbCom clearly not seeing anything grossly wrong with my edits, like you continue to allege. If you want to present a factual account you will note that ArbCom supported my many edits to make date notation consistent within articles - which the vast majority of those edits were. This is hardly surprising, since the guideline clearly promotes this. Furthermore, they noted that editors should not go randomly changing date notation - thereby vindicating completely my stance of reverting those who have attempted to do so. So let's stop this nonsense about there being a "virulent anti-BCE/CE crusade" - the fact is that such a charge has been looked at by independent arbitrators uninvolved in the dispute, and has been rejected. Why can't you accept the ArbCom decision - which resulted in all participants (which included you as well as me) being reminded of the existing guidance?

Suffer abuse? If you stick to the facts, I won't have to take issue. As to the ArbCom decision, please show me where they "supported" your edits. They decidedly did not. Your last comment is factual: All participants were reminded of the existing guidance." This is factual. Now perhaps we could begin to start sorting this thing out. Sunray 07:10, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

So please stop this offensive nonsense of accusing me of an "anti-BCE/CE crusade". You are fully aware of the religious overtones of the word "crusade" and have already admitted that you use it deliberately to cause offence to me. What I have done has been pro-Wikipedia. I have supported the WP community's right to decide things against an editor who refused to accept that decision, and I have copyedited in accordance with current WP guidelines. I have also emphasised throughout the importance of putting our readers first - and that all of our own personal viewpoints, whatever they may be, should have no bearing whatsoever. It's just a shame that other users prefer politicking over making an encyclopaedia with as wide a range of readers as possible.

But alas, Jguk, feeling hard done by at the use of the word crusade, lapses back into vitriol, accusing others of politicking. (Of course, he isn't politicking!). As I mentioned to him before, one of the meanings of the word crusade is: "A vigorous, concerted action to promote or eliminate something." The word is apt in either sense. Sunray 07:10, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

With that in mind, can we go back to trying to rephrase this guideline in a way that everyone can understand? As noted, at present I just cannot decipher for myself what they are saying - and I know I am not alone. I have tried to make constructive suggestions myself already. This isn't trying to get one over on anyone - it's an attempt to make something clear to all. It shouldn't really be controversial, and certainly shouldn't have given rise to all this vitriol. Even Maurreen agreed with my edit (which is probably the first time we've ever agreed on anything). It's a shame others couldn't do the same, jguk 20:12, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Just to clarify for the record, I did not object to the edit and I saw no other objections at the time. Maurreen (talk) 14:09, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Of course. If you will stick to the facts and cease the vitriol, perhaps we can work on creating something that will be to the benefit of editors and readers. Sunray 07:10, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
Responses to Jguk's earlier comments.
  1. Fortunately, I do not rely on whether you have explained your POV or not. I rely on your statements and actions. You have consistently tried to elliminate or downplay any reference to BCE/CE dates on the Wikipedia. And why? Well, when I see you added one of the lesser known definitions of BCE — "Before the Christian Era" — to the BCE disambiguation page, without adding the other lesser known definition, the reason for your POV becomes clear.
  2. How is there not context? Earlier in this paragraph, we linked to meanings for BCE/CE and BC/AD; that provides the context someone needs to figure out what CE/AD is. Frankly, even without following the link, it is clear from the sentence "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable" that BCE is at least similar to BC and CE is at least similar to AD. If someone needs more explanation, they will follow the link. That's the beaty of wiki.
  3. Your rewrite made many more changes than mine did, yet now you don't want to make any changes... I don't get it.
  4. In case you've missed it, the current year is 2005. And it changes once every 365 days. The other term we could use is "in the current era", without capitalization or wikilink. Everyone who knows BC/AD terms knows that we are currently in AD, and everyone who knows BCE/CE knows we are currently in CE.
Response to Jguk's comment directly above:
I was not involved in this discussion before the last few days so cannot comment on the earlier stuff. Just by seeing your comments over that period, however, I find it hard to believe you are merely looking out for our poor readers; the evidence is against you on that point.:Chuck 20:37, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Responding in turn: 1. On the BCE disambiguation page, all interpretations of what BCE stands for should be noted - I added one that I knew about and that was missing. I wasn't aware of or didn't remember the "before the current era" interpretation. That's why I didn't add it. I was surprised at the edit summary, to say the least. How can not adding something you're not aware of be POV? Or to put it another way, if you look for bad faith, you will always find it even where there is none. 2/3/4. What's wrong with eliminating the jargon? The less complicated the constructions we use to describe the guideline, the better. The phrase the "last 2,000 years" pretty much suffices. It differs from what was exactly there before by excluding the years 1, 2, 3 and 4 - not a major concern, surely? Perhaps "since the year 1" would be better. 3. You say my proposed wording makes more changes than yours. The only change that I was aware of was technically excluding years 1 to 4 (see above). However, I admit (and have done above), that really I do not understand what the current guideline means. It uses terminology that (even despite all these discussions) I still have no intuitive feeling for or real knowledge of. So I have had to rely on what others have told me it means. As far as your final comment, I'm quite sure that if I, after all this debate, still fail to be able to understand something, that I am far from alone in not understanding it. At work, if I'm told that someone does not understand a sentence I've written, I re-write it. I don't argue that it's perfectly comprehensible (even when it is!). If one person struggles with it, I assume others will too. Conversely, if I can't understand something, it's a pretty fair bet that others can't understand it too, jguk 21:01, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

  1. Considering your level of involvement in the Common Era page, I find that hard to believe.
  2. Stop calling it jargon. There's no jargon. Say "I don't think that's very clear". But calling it jargon is no different than an ad hominum attack.
  3. Your change eliminates the clarification that AD goes before the year, while BC, BCE, and CE go after the year. Your change eliminates the clarification that date ranges that span both eras should include the era names.

1. When I first saw the Common Era page the comments in it quite simply did not stand up to scrutiny. The page is much better now, but has been bedevilled in the past by those who are trying to encourage usage of BCE/CE notation rather than actually report on what is meant by the term and what its real usage is.

2. It is jargon - because it is little understood except for a group of professional historians. The term has no currency amongst the general public where I am - I have never seen it. I do not understand the terminology surrounding it, and I do not believe I am alone in it. It is virtually unknown in India, and from the internet it seems it is not in general circulation in Australia, New Zealand or Canada too. Do you not realise that? You may be familiar with the terminology, those around you may be, but the vast majority of the worldwide public are not! I remain frustrated that those who use BCE/CE notation seem either to be unaware of this, or to ignore it completely.

As with most jargon, using it excludes those who do not understand it (and note that articles written by professional historians for other professional historians contain a lot more jargon that just the date notation). Jargon drives those who do not understand it or are unfamiliar with it away from articles (both reading and contributing). In short, it is a bad thing. Now you and your chums can carry on writing history articles for historians - but they will be little-read by non-historians. As far as the general public is concerned, they may as well not exist. I think that's a shame - history should be for everyone, not just an élite - but if the élite are unwilling to share, then there's little anyone can do. As far as a guideline is concerned, it is absolutely imperative that everyone can understand it.

3. This can be easily resolved with an additional sentence along the lines of "AD precedes the year, whereas BC, BCE and CE go after the year". The second point you have is so obvious there's no real need to spell it out - it's part of the general principle that date notation should be used where to do otherwise would make the date being referred to ambiguous, jguk 07:41, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

BCE/CE is hardly jargon and is not only used by historians. It is used by some of the great museums of the English-speaking world and by a significant number of academics in several disciplines in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. It has gained in popularity as a mechanism used in inter-faith dialogue. While you are correct that it is not in common usage among the public, is that really a serious concern? Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper. Presumably people who consult Wikipedia do so out of curiosity and in anticipation of learning something. If a term is unclear, is not the whole point of our project to encourage people to follow links or use the search tool to find answers? People may then think about issues related to date notation; whether BC/AD is a form of cultural imperialism or not, and whether BCE/CE is a viable alternative. People can actually form their own ideas about this. Sunray 09:56, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
We have a key point of agreement here - although we disagree on its import, namely that BCE/CE notation "is not in common usage amongst the public". I think that is a very serious concern when we are writing for the public. To be a good communicator you use language the person you are communicating to will understand. If you use language they do not understand they will either struggle to understand you and perhaps fail, or (even more seriously) just stop reading.
Someone chooses to read an article if it appears to be of interest to them, and I would suggest in the expectation of learning about the article's subject - not about other things. Yes, it is fair to leave links for users to read up on related articles, but that is not why a reader reads an article in the first place.
On the issue of date notation, it is quite proper to allow people who wish to read about alternative date notations (or indeed the history of the current worldwide standard BC/AD) to do so. But it is not reasonable to foist notation they will be unfamiliar with on a wide range of articles in the hope that they will wish to learn about date notations. Or put another way, if you read an article about Julius Caesar, do you not want to read about Caesar? You may want to go on to read more about the Roman Empire, his predecessors and successors - but it's quite a stretch of the imagination to suppose someone wants to read about date notation.
In summary, since we should be writing for the public, and BCE/CE noation is not in common usage amongst the public, we should not use it. However, where it is appropriate for the issue at hand (which is not the case for all historical articles or indeed many of them), we should provide links to the Anno Domini and Common Era articles. I have no problem with people who want to learn about BCE/CE being able to do so on WP, I do have a problem with people who have no desire to learn about BCE/CE having many articles made inaccessible to them in the hope that they may learn, jguk 11:51, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
You're repeating yourself. The terms are reasonably commonly used, and are becoming more common all the time. Having them in an article is no great hardship for the reader, nor does it cause any major confusion. Jayjg (talk) 17:41, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Define reasonably commonly used. Why should a reader endure any hardship? --ClemMcGann 21:46, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Hardship? How on earth is it a hardship to read an abreviation that one is unfamiliar with? It happens all the time. You don't give our readership much credit for being able to figure it out (as I did, the first time I encountered the term) or for being curious, or for wanting to learn. As to how common it is, a great deal of evidence has been presented that it is increasingly common (see the Common Era article). Some folks resist BCE/CE notation and would rather it went away. But it will not go away since the basis of the term is respect for readers from non-Christian cultures. Sunray 23:43, August 9, 2005 (UTC)

Hardship was your word, not mine. OK, Why should readers have to “figure it out”? It is not a matter of “wanting to learn”, what is there to learn? You are, I suggest, mistaken is assuming that this is an issue of “respect for readers from non-Christian cultures”. The use of CE meaning “Christian Era” is already twice as common as “Common Era”. Just do a Google. I asked for evidence to support your contention that “The terms are reasonably commonly used, and are becoming more common all the time”. You offer the article Common Era, an article which does little to recommend itself. Until a week ago it included the false allegation that “It corresponds to Oxford style and is used in the Oxford English Dictionary and ODWR”. You will be glad to know that this falsehood was deleted. The arguments in favor of CE are supported by articles from answers.com and from h2g2. It seems strange to me to see WP depending on another wiki as a reference. Yet the h2g2 wiki has resolved this question itself – in uses BC/AD! Perhaps we should amend the Common Era article here to reflect that reality? --ClemMcGann 09:48, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

This is straying rather wide of the scope of this talk page. it makes no sense to discuss the contents of the Common Era article here. I merely referenced that page to refer to usage (there are references in the body of the article). You have a strong point of view on this and I am sure that nothing I could say will modify it. However, it is a fact that within established Wikipedia policy, either form of date notation is acceptable. The guideline on Consensus provides the groundrules for agreeing on wording on particular pages. Perhaps you could try to live with that. Sunray 14:57, August 10, 2005 (UTC)

Hardship was your word, not mine, just as you referenced the Common Era article. I have yet to hear any valid arguments to favour CE. You mention consensus and mention living within it. I am pleased that you make that suggestion. Hopefully it means that you have adjusted you position. It was regrettable to see unilateral changes to dates. I have made the case for retaining the familiar BC notation on talk pages. I have yet to actually alter any date. I now hope that, in time, you will consider the reputation of wikipedia and the impact that this unusual notation has on our audience. In the meanwhile, lets see how the manual of style can be clarified. Regards, --ClemMcGann 16:38, 10 August 2005 (UTC)


Revised suggestion

Replace:

Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. Normally you should use plain numbers for years in the Common Era, but when events span the start of the Common Era, use AD or CE for the date at the end of the range (note that AD precedes the date and CE follows it). For example, [[1 BC]]–[[1|AD 1]] or [[1 BCE]]–[[1|1 CE]].

With:

Where it may be ambiguous as to which year in the Julian or Gregorian calendar is being referred to, use either BC and AD notation or BCE and CE notation to make it clear which year is being referred to. However, be consistent - that is, do not mix up BC/AD and BCE/CE notation within the same article. Neither AD nor CE notation should be used for articles dealing with events wholly within the last 2,000 years. Note that AD precedes the year, but BC, BCE and CE are shown after the year. For example: AD 230, but 150 BC, [[20|20 CE] and 135 BCE.

I think this covers the main objections to the earlier draft. The only "change" is that technically the years 1 to 4 are not within the last 2,000 years, but I do not see this as significant, jguk 07:53, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

This proposed change doesn't seem to me to be as clear as the current wording of the MoS. In fact, I confess I really do not see why we would need to make a change to the current wording. It is relatively simple and straight forward. It informs the writer and gives guidance. In short, it seems a good guideline. Have I missed something? Sunray 09:28, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
Yes. The current wording isn't clear to everyone - as evidenced by a proposal that was made actually to modify the proposal, and gaining some acceptance (by those unfamiliar with BCE/CE notation), being shouted down by others who were familiar with BCE/CE notation saying that the guideline already said what they were proposing. The aim is to get a guideline that everyone can understand, jguk 09:52, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Some minor edits to Jguk and one major addition:

Where it may be ambiguous as to which era of the Julian or Gregorian calendar is being referred to, use either BC and AD notation or BCE and CE notation to clarify. However, do not mix up BC/AD and BCE/CE notation within the same article. Neither AD nor CE notation need be used for articles dealing with events wholly within the last 2,000 years. Notation should always be used for dates in the BC or BCE era, or for date ranges that span both eras (such as 3 BC-AD 5). Note that AD precedes the year, but BC, BCE and CE are shown after the year. For example: AD 230, but 150 BC, 20 CE and 135 BCE.

Chuck 20:30, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

No one has been able to explain why we need to re-word the guideline on dates and numbers (eras). Jguk says that it isn't clear to everyone, but fails to explain in what way it is unclear. What is unclear about it? Sunray 06:12, August 13, 2005 (UTC)
I (and others, it appears) cannot understand it. It's hard to explain - you use and are familiar with BCE/CE terminology, etc. - I am not. Anything using this, talk of eras (which to me is a sort of general rather than a precise concept), and lots of abbreviations are just confusing. Pretend you'd never heard of BCE/CE terminology or the "common era" and you'll get close to how at sea I am with the phrasing, jguk 06:56, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

This is a stupid controversy - the policy should be that both terminologies are acceptable, but changing terminologies on a page is not acceptable. Whatever system (CE/AD) is first used on an article should remain that way. It's a pity so much time is spent doing this rather than worthwhile things... FranksValli 01:37, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

EDIT/ADDITION: In the future, or perhaps now, perhaps Wikipedia should have a policy that the CE/AD notation is not necessary for non-BCE/BC dates. In other words, timespans should only mention the numerical number of the year, as it's pretty self-explanatory they are CE/AD. Someone will probably think this is too extreme (the horror!), but it's a good way to resolve the debate, as the majority of pages are CE/AD. For the remaining that are BC/BCE or span between BC/BCE and AD/CE, the policy I mentioned above should apply. FranksValli 01:47, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
I hate to break this to you, but that is exactly the current policy. Jguk doesn't think its very clear, though. Chuck 04:13, 22 August 2005 (UTC)


Comma

This brings up one of my pet peeves. Assuming wiki links are used, if someone writes "December 7, 1941, is a day that lives in infamy," some will see it correctly with a comma following the year. But some will see it as "7 December 1941, is a day that lives in infamy," where the comma following the year is incorrect. —Wayward 21:45, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Wayward, I share your pet peeve. But as a practical matter, I doubt anything can be done. Maurreen (talk) 07:04, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
Isn't there a split in the authorities as to whether that second common belongs there? If so, or even if not, we could say that Wikipedia policy is to not use it here, not to put a comma following the year unless it belongs there for other reasons. But I have a similar pet peeve related to the use of "yyyy in aviation" and similar links on the years, which screw up the presence or absense of commas between the year and the day-month or month-day component. That either adds a comma which shouldn't be there, or omits one which should be there. Gene Nygaard 12:56, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

You're right that there are authorities pointing in both directions. I strongly doubt you'll get a proposal for WP to adopt a standard of omitting a second comma past Maurreen though, jguk 13:34, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

The two style manuals that I use both call for a comma after the year in MM/DD/YYYY format.
  • MLA, 2nd ed., 3.10.5: "If you begin with the month, be sure to add a comma after the day and also after the year . . ."
  • Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 6.46: "In the month-day-year style of dates, the style most commonly used in the United States and hence now recommended by Chicago, commas are used both before and after the year." —Wayward 23:22, 13 August 2005 (UTC)