Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 53

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 50 Archive 51 Archive 52 Archive 53 Archive 54 Archive 55 Archive 60

Improvement about guidelines in Time

Quote:

12-hour clock Not 24-hour clock Not
2 p.m. 2pm 14:00 14.00
2:34 p.m. 2.34 PM 14:34 1434
12:04:38 a.m. 12.04 38″ A.M. 00:04:38 or 0:04:38
noon 12 noon 12:00

The suggestions in "time" section seems to be weird because:

  1. It does not even follow what other formal or official standards (eg NIST standards) suggest.
  2. Its guidelines even conflicts with what the referenced articles 12-hour clock and 24-hour clock say. They don't follow what it says.

Mistake: p.m, pm & PM are definitely acceptable. Evidence:

  1. The initialisms "AM" and "PM" are variously written in small capitals ("am" and "pm"), uppercase letters ("AM" and "PM"), or lowercase letters ("am" and "pm"). Additionally, some styles use periods (full stops), especially in combination with lowercase letters (thus "a.m." and "p.m."). -- the guide in 12-hour clock
  2. A.M. and P.M. may either be written in all capital letters or all lower case, but choose one style and stick with it. -- englishplus.com and Oxford Advanced dictionary
  3. The use of period/dot (.) is optional. -- Oxford Advanced dictionary

Mistake: noon or 12 noon are definitely acceptable. Evidence:

  1. "noon" or "12:00 noon" and "midnight" or "12:00 midnight" should be used (rather than to 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., respectively) to avoid confusion. -- nist.gov (mentioned also in 12-hour clock)
  2. The tables in 12-hour clock and 24-hour clock uses 12 noon and 12 mindinight too. -- the guide in 12-hour clock

Mistake: For 24-hour, discretion may be used to determine if the hour has a leading zero.
It's strange that the article says that. There is no discretion as to whether a leading zero is used. It is more to do as a standard or a matter of taste. If one follows formal standard strictly, 24-hour usually use leading numbers. This includes major time sites like NIST.gov, greenwichmeantime.com, and so on.

A better explanation on Noon and Midnight

AM and PM - What is Noon and Midnight?

AM and PM start immediately after Midnight and Noon (Midday) respectively. This means that 00:00 AM or 00:00 PM (or 12:00 AM and 12:00 PM) have no meaning. Every day starts precisely at midnight and AM starts immediately after that point in time e.g. 00:00:01 AM (see also leap seconds) To avoid confusion timetables, when scheduling around midnight, prefer to use either 23:59 or 00:01 to avoid confusion as to which day is being referred to.

It is after Noon that PM starts e.g. 00:00:01 PM (12:00:01) -- greenwichmeantime.com

I'm going to update the above (to include the instructions in 12-hour clock and 24-hour clock, and some major time sites) if no one oppose it. --Wai Wai (talk) 15:11, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I can't really decide whether I like what you are proposing without seeing the exact text you plan to use. Stephen Turner (Talk) 15:57, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
    • The above is more or less all of the proposals. If you agree (generally) with the above, I will put the text up for a review. There is nothing new anyway. What I try to do is to make it consistent with at least what is mentioned or done in 12-hour clock and 24-hour clock. The existing guideline conflicts with them, which is bad. --Wai Wai (talk) 16:18, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
      • I think we should probably permit AM and PM as an alternative to a.m. and p.m., as the upper-case versions seem to be the normal spelling in the United States. I haven't understood what other problems you perceive in the current text, which you are trying to correct — we already forbid 12 a.m. and 12 p.m., for example. Stephen Turner (Talk) 03:46, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
        • They are: 1) noon and 12 noon are definitely acceptable. 2) No discretion is needed to determine if the hour has a leading zero. 12-hour normally doesn't use leading zero; 24-hour usually does (reference given above). Any opinion? --Wai Wai (talk) 05:11, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
          • I agree with both those points in principle. I think that some people find "12 noon" tautologous but I don't have a problem with it. I'd still like to see the proposed text before giving a definite yes. Stephen Turner (Talk) 15:57, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I have some doubt that AM and PM are preferred in the United States. And "12 noon" is redundant. It seems like such changes amount to having no style, which can be done more concisely, if that is desired. Maurreen 17:11, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

People say "12 noon", to distinguish it from "24 midnight". --Jumbo 21:28, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe that both PM and p.m. should be acceptable (not, though, P.M. or pm). And 12 noon is not redundant. Rmhermen 22:08, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, 12 noon is not redundant.
sorry, why do either P.M. or pm is not acceptable? Anyway, I see all 4 styles in different formal writing. Read 12-hour clock too. All of them should be acceptable.--Wai Wai (talk) 15:11, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
The misunderstanding here is what the MoS is for. It's not saying that PM is wrong, for example, just that we have made an arbitrary but well informed decision to use p.m.; where possible without causing flame wars we want WP to have a consistent look and feel. And we don't have to follow any external guides or standards, although they inform the debate. Rich Farmbrough 22:22 8 August 2006 (GMT).

But it is not the way it should work:

  1. Wikipedia is a place which respect more than 1 style and formatting.
  2. Multiple style should be allowed, not being biased to one single style of the particular convention or in that particular country (eg the cases of American vs British spelling).
  3. Wikipedia is intended to be read by different users all over the world. Your choice of formatting or style may not acheve this goal.
  4. Some of the suggested style do not even confront to the standards (eg discretion can be made as to whether leading zero is used in 24-hour clock format). I don't know why a rule is made to against stanards for no particlar reasons.
  5. Users feel free to pick any style as long as it is clear and acceptable.
  6. The style guide still allows "inconsistency" (in the choice of style/formatting), like this style guide will state people can choose between "AD/BC" and "CE/BCE".
  7. A consistent look and feel can still be achieved even if more than 1 style exist. The point is to mantain consistency with the user's choice in that article.

Also bear in mind I am not disagreeing with WP having a style, but there is something between "no style" and "one absolute style". I'm disagreeing with "one absolute style" (when other accpetable or standard styles exist) or against the Wikipedian philosophies. It is not necessary to rule out one absolute style only and ask all others to follow. Just like this style guide will state people can choose between "AD/BC" and "CE/BCE", and so on. There are quite many situations where the style ask people to choose either one and keep consistency. Why do you think only "one absolute style" must exist everywhere? Why do you think you must pick one only and ask all others to follow?

I realise you would like to keep things consistent, but accepting either one is not the only way to keep consistency. Allowing both acceptable standard and kindly ask others to maintain interally consistency also works; just like you set rules to allow using arabic numbers in some cases, using numbers in words in other cases. Otherwise why don't you just allow one format only in all cases?--Wai Wai (talk) 10:08, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Wai Wai's changes

I've just reverted all Wai Wai's changes made in the last 12 hours or so. Changes this extensive must be discussed on the talk page first and reach consensus here. I'm sure some of them are fine, but others are controversial, and some of them were badly phrased too. Stephen Turner (Talk) 15:50, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

They are not really big nor major proposals. Most of them are copyedit work (eg reorganization, integration, redundancy removal, inconsistency fixes, and so on). Instead of reverting all the changes which is clearly inappropriate as stated by the policy, review the edit. If you feel there are something which may not be alright, discuss it then in the talk page.
How about if you try to read the page once now and see if there is anything which may not be alright? I deem you will find it is mostly the same wine but with a new bottle. No new nor major nor core contents have been changed or proposed. And if you think something might not be okay, you can always discuss it in the talk page. Thank you --Wai Wai (talk) 16:15, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
A lot of them are just copy-editing, but there are several new pieces of advice in there too. Also it's very difficult to work out everything you've done because of the number of paragraph breaks and moved sections. (Have you looked at the diff?). At a minimum, every new policy should have been discussed here first. (And I don't know what you mean by "clearly inappropriate as stated by the policy" — which policy are you referring to?) Stephen Turner (Talk) 16:22, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
As to the new pieces of advice, some of them may be just copied or derived from other policies. It's not something completely new. Some may be just an additional note or advice (which expand or enrich the main one).--Wai Wai (talk) 10:12, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Stephen's reverts. Until there is a concensus reached (or at least a discussion) here first, no changes to the manual should be made. In units of measurement, a few things that Wai Wai changed that do not have a concensus: making the non-braking space optional; and not spelling out numbers (wasn't Centrx trying to get us to spell out up to 100?). Also the first sentence in "choice" about international units is covered in "conversions". So I changed some things.--MJCdetroit 03:34, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
(NB I wrote this simultaneously with MJCdetroit's comments).
I started reverting the bits I disagreed with, but as I read through it, I found that I disagreed with almost everything you'd done.
  • New or changed advice should never have been added to the page without discussion here first.
  • Your reordering of sections seemed worse because there was too much preamble before getting to the important stuff.
  • Breaking paragraphs into bulleted lists made it much less readable, as did the excessive number of sub-sub-section and sub-sub-sub-section headings.
So I'm sorry, but I reverted everything again. I don't like to do that, but I'm afraid I found that most of the edits made the page worse. But maybe someone else could review it and offer an opinion?
Stephen Turner (Talk) 03:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Status quo ante Wai Wai --MJCdetroit 03:50, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
See my replies below. Most, if not all, you say can be done through improvement (not reverting). The general rule applies (as stated in wikipedia's policy): Improve it, rather than deleting it.--Wai Wai (talk) 10:12, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Dear Stephen Turner:
The word "policy" I use is not strict, that is I simply refer to some wikipedia standards or principles or philosophies. It does not necesarily mean any standalone official policy which is being voilated (eg "three revert rule" policy). Anyway, here's the extract of what reverting is deemed appropriate:

  • Reverting should be used primarily for fighting vandalism. -- Help:Reverting
  • Be respectful to others and their points of view. This means primarily: Do not simply revert changes in a dispute. When someone makes an edit you consider biased or inaccurate, improve the edit, rather than reverting it. -- Wikipedia:Resolving disputes
  • Does the editor do is something very similar to vandalism? Even the update has some big problems, it is not the excuse to revert it. In the case of NPOV, people usually do it wrong by using: "lack of neutrality as an excuse to delete" Quoted from NPOV (its philosophy applies): Many of us believe that the fact that some text is biased is not enough, in itself, to delete it outright. If it contains valid information, the text should simply be edited accordingly. -- NPOV
  • Unless what one writes is near to completely non-sense, or useless or rubbish. Revert is not something which you should be taken lightly. The bold policy does not apply. We are bold to create/improve it, not bold to destory/delete it.
  • Reverting should be used primarily for fighting vandalism or anything similar to the effects of vandalism.

I realise my edits may not be perfect, but that's the process of wikipedia. I post a preliminary edit. People will try to edit and improve it. We don't need to make sure it is 100% acceptable and perfect before it can be put. Consensus will be reached during the edit process.
I would revert my changes first (so others have chances to improve it). According to these policies or principles, if you feel my edits are very devastating or near vandalism, feel free to revert my edits (hopefully with reasons provided, so I know how to improve it, instead of starting at ground level again).
--Wai Wai (talk) 06:03, 7 August 2006 (UTC)


My role

Some people or editors may find this iformation useful. I'm a member of countering systemic bias. Simply speaking, it is a bia due to the nature of the system (wikipedia). Most editors here are coming from United States or in countries where English is their mother language. Most of the information/comments are biased towards the western. Opinions or information from Africa, Asia and South America are missing.

What I am trying to do is:

  1. Resolve the problem that "the information and perspective in the articles or sections may not represent a worldwide view." In this case, most style tend to be one-sided and in favour of one style standard (mainly United States or western).
  2. Integrate contents from various articles or policies, and remove the redundancy.
  3. Make sure the guidelines comply with major wikipedia policies, standards or philosophies.
  4. Make it consistent throughout the page.
  5. Make it consistent throughout different guidelines and policies.
  6. Resolve discrepancies and conflicts occurred within the same article.


--Wai Wai (talk) 10:07, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Editing procedures and requirements

As regards the comment of "no changes to the manual should be made until there is a concensus reached. Every change has to be discussed in the discussion page first."

It's clearly wrong unfortunately. Please read the following:
Major philosophy (official policies):

Improve pages wherever you can, and don't worry about leaving them imperfect. However, avoid deleting information wherever possible. -- Wikipedia:Editing policy
perfection isn't required and don't worry about messing up. It is what wikipedia is - the editing process will take care it all. -- the five pillars of Wikipedia.

Specific guidelines:

Feel free to update this page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes. -- guideline of updating style pages

Explanation (Note: The following is just a rough guideline. It is never intended to be complete or extensive):
Things which may need discussions before editing:

  • Major or fundamental proposals
  • Proposals which may be against major wikipedia philosophies or policies
  • Important changes which is not going to or has reflected general consensus

Things which may not need discussions before editing:

  • ideas, rules, or information copied/derived from other guidelines or policies (since they have reflected general consensus already)
  • sub-proposals expanding or enriching the existing one
  • Changes which is going to or has reflected general consensus (maybe supported by official policies or the like)
  • Non-content-specific changes like copyedit, integration, reorganization, categorization, formatting and style etc.
  • minor changes or edits

In the forthcoming days, I will try to explain some of the reasons why I make the changes. Nevertheless it is very time consuming and it is impractical to explain every single change, including copyedit and minor ones. Priority has to be decided. If anyone has any doubts about any of my changes, please specify which one and what your doubts are, so I will know which are in higher priority and focus my explanations on them. Consensus and agreement could be made in this regard.

Please give me a few days to respond. Best regards.
--Wai Wai (talk) 10:07, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Reversions

Wai Wai. Please try and understand this section of the MOS has come about through continual discussions and consensus of the edits. Your edits here are not the same as if you were making edits to say the article on Queen Elizabeth. Your changes here are effectively telling all editors how all other articles in wikipedia should look or not look. Therefore, in matters dealing with the MOS, I think most editors here would rather proceed with caution. --MJCdetroit 14:00, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Wai Wai, you should note that your changes have been reverted four times by three people.
You do not have consensus. Changes within style guide and elsewhere in Wikipedia namespace call for more consensus and discussion than changes in article namespace. Articles are about facts; the style guide is intended essentially as direction and advice. For you to continue as you have been appears to place your ideas above those that the community has determined.
The best way to work toward the changes you desire is to leave the project page alone until there is clear acceptance on this page. Maurreen 14:45, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Wai Wai, can you please discuss your changes before making them. You have been reverted a number of times and some of your changes I object to such as changing the practice of putting spaces between digits and units for measurements in parentheses. If you are unwilling to list and discuss the changes you wish to make then you will keep being reverted. --Clawed 06:53, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
It is not okay to revert people's contributions, as stated in revert policies. If every change has to be discussed, the page will be locked. We feel free to update this page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes. Most of my update is copyedit: merge, redundancy removal. However I think I should not mix things together. Maybe I should do it bit by bit. I was concentrating too much at that time (You see, I have spent 1 whole day for this edit, and I deviate a bit from what I originally intended to do). --Wai Wai (talk) 06:51, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Wai Wai -- Do you not see that you are going against consensus? Both the established style and repeated requests for you to first discuss your changes and get agreement before making them? Do you not see how little support your changes have among other editors? Maurreen 07:17, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I realise there are some problems which we have to work on. However this alone does not justify a "revert" as far as the policies are concerned. The polciy has stated a "revert" should be dealt primiarily with vandalism. Unless you think all of the updates are vandalism or near vandalism, I don't see why it justifies a "revert". Policy has also stated we should work on the problems. Improve/Modify the articles, rather than deleting/reverting it.

After all, I am willing to work on the problems or consensus issues. Please specify the problems and what your doubts are, so I will know which are in higher priority and focus my explanations on them. I will try to explain some of the reasons why I make the changes. Consensus and agreement could be made in this regard. Please give me some time to fix the problems before you make your decision.--Wai Wai (talk) 09:22, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

  1. This is a style guide, not an article. I pointed out some of the difference earlier.
  2. Given that you change so much, it is hard to analyze and list. Given that there is general disagreement with your changes, the burden is on you. Please specify -- on the talk page -- what you see as the problems. When you get consensus agreement, then it's OK to change the style guide for that aspect. Maurreen 09:32, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I have never heard of the above rules. Would you mind tellingme where it state so, including it is the updater's burden to prove there is the general agreement before an update is possible? I have stated it already: Feel free to update this page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes. -- guideline of updating style pages.--Wai Wai (talk) 09:49, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

They are not so much rules, but judgment common to at least several people involved with this.
But seeing that you like to quote things …
From Help:Reverting: "However, sometimes a revert is the best response to a less-than-great edit, so we can't just stop reverting."
From Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines: "Amendments to a guideline should be discussed on its talk page, not on a new page - although it's generally acceptable to edit a guideline to improve it."
But your edits here are obviously not seen to be improvements by the other people involved.
From the project page: "The consensus of many editors formed the conventions described here."
If the consensus is "Do X" and that is changed to "Do X, or Y, or Z" by one person and other people disagree, then it is no longer a convention established by consensus.
You are trying to change conventions already established by consensus. Do you not see that consensus is need to change what is already established by consensus?
It is not that every single edit anyone makes to the style guide must be pre-approved. It is that edits that engender disagreement, especially to to a policy or guideline, should be worked out on the talk page before proceeding further. Do you not see the difference?

Maurreen 10:19, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

The point is not all are major changes. It is wrong to revert COMPLETELY because there are some problems in the update. Please read the following:
Major philosophy (official policies):

Improve pages wherever you can, and don't worry about leaving them imperfect. However, avoid deleting information wherever possible. -- Wikipedia:Editing policy
perfection isn't required and don't worry about messing up. It is what wikipedia is - the editing process will take care it all. -- the five pillars of Wikipedia.

Specific guidelines:

Feel free to update this page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes. -- guideline of updating style pages

If every change needed to be done through discussion, why the page is not locked up? What's more, reverting should be used primarily for fighting vandalism, as stated in the help:reverting page.

When someone makes an edit you consider biased or inaccurate or problematic, improve the edit, rather than reverting it as stated in Wikipedia:Resolving disputes.

Unless what one writes is near to completely non-sense, or useless or rubbish. Revert is not something which you should be taken lightly. The bold policy does not apply. We are bold to create/improve it, not bold to destory/delete it.

However what people doing are reverting all changes but there are only some areas problematic.

Spacing in unit measurement

Spacng should be optional since I find both formatting style (ie spacing or non-spacing) in different formal writing. For example, my Oxford Intermediate English Dictionary uses non-spacing one, as in "For this recipe you need 500g (five hundred grams) of flour".--Wai Wai (talk) 06:53, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Nearly every style issue has professional style guides that advocate for different styles, but that does not mean that Wikipedia must allow all of them, or even necessarily any two of them. We develop our style guidelines based on consensus, which allows many styles on some issues, and only one or two on others. (The most common single restriction is to follow only one guideline on single issue throughout a single article.) Often these consensuses (consensi?) are carefully negotiated compromises. The real questions are, what have we negotiated for this issue, and does it still hold? ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Jeff. Maurreen 07:41, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Wai Wai. JARED(t)  15:02, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I am for following the almost universally recognised SI standard, prescribing a space. −Woodstone 18:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Jeff/Woodstone. Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:23, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I said this a little lower on the page, but for the record, I agree with Jeff and Woodstone.--MJCdetroit 22:26, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
But, I mean, SI standards and ISO standards don't mean that it is the only way to write something. It is only a guideline for those who feel insecure without having set rules. It makes NO DIFFERENCE whether there's a space or not. Both on Wikipedia and in the real world, it should be up to the writer to decide which is asthetically better. Standards mean nothing! JARED(t)  22:30, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't see the need why we need to force all editors to use one single standard, not to say there are other kinds of problems. People tend to defend by saying "consistency", and "consistency" is always good. Really? However they forget they are making things complex and go in the other way round. Take the case of "numbers in word" (extracted):

  • Whole numbers from zero to ten are spelled out as words in the body of an article. Use numerals in tables and infoboxes.
  • Numbers above ten may be written out if they are expressed in two or fewer words, except in tables and infoboxes. Example: "sixteen", "eighty-four", "two hundred", "twenty million" but "3.75", "544", "21 million".
  • Fractions standing alone should be spelt out unless they occur in a percentage. If fractions are mixed with whole numbers, use numerals.

Summary:

For number zero to ten, spell out the words.
For number above ten, two situations:
- expressed in two or fewer words, spell out the words.
- otherwise, use arabic numbers.
Fractions alone, spell out the words.

Fractions mixed with whole numbers, use arabic numbers.

Where is the consistency? The rules tell us to uses numbers in words sometimes, uses arabic numbers in other times. Originally the style guide intends to keep things simple and consistent. However when people are working on it, they tend to forget their original goals and deviate from them - making rules complex, splitting hairs, trivial, inconsistency, inconvenience to editors, and so on.

People tend to forget simplicity is the best. If editors were not spending time on trivial style or formatting, much of their time saved could be used to improve the real "contents" of the article. It is what benefit the visitors most.

By the way, it is going to be a very minority consensus if you take the whole community [the world] into account. Only a very few wikipedians are engaged in the discussion.--Wai Wai (talk) 07:31, 12 August 2006 (UTC)


You seem to disagree with WP having a style in general, at least to some degree. That's OK. You don't have to follow the style guide.
Many other people do want WP to have a style. In a a way, loose style or less style can be more complicated -- editors don't need to decide which style to use, because they can refer to the style guide, where many such matters have already been decided. Maurreen 07:41, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
No. You get me wrong. I am not disagreeing with WP having a style, but there is something between "no style" and "one absolute style". I'm disagreeing with "one absolute style" (when other accpetable or standard styles exist) or against the Wikipedian philosophies. It is not necessary to rule out one absolute style only and ask all others to follow. Just like this style guide will state people can choose between "AD/BC" and "CE/BCE", and so on. There are quite many situations where the style ask people to choose either one and keep consistency. Why do you think only "one absolute style" must exist everywhere? Why do you think you must pick one only and ask all others to follow?
I realise you would like to keep things consistent, but accepting either one is not the only way to keep consistency. Allowing both acceptable standard and kindly ask others to maintain interally consistency also works; just like you set rules to allow using arabic numbers in some cases, using numbers in words in other cases. Otherwise why don't you just allow one format only in all cases?--Wai Wai (talk) 09:10, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Another possibility is for you to work on just one paragraph at a time, or in a day. Smaller changes are easier to digest.
I also disagree with the super-small subsections you've been making. Maurreen 07:50, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion taken. I'm working too hard on that day. I will try o update bit by bit next time. As to sections, section starts at 2nd level. What I'm usng is just 4th level (the 3rd type of section). There are articles which use 4th level. And I don't see why we must restrict ourselves to using 2 types of sections only (ie 2nd and 3rd level). Anyway, it is just a style issue. If all people don't like it, just undo the section formatting.--Wai Wai (talk) 09:28, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Spacing. I agree with Jeff and Maureen. There should be a non-breaking space between unit and symbol. I think that a rare exception can be made when the measurement itself actually becomes a title for something and is usually written without the space; e.g. 35mm camera, 6.1L Hemi, and the oympic events, etc. However, in those cases, I can live with the space if we don't want to make any exceptions. MJCdetroit 14:59, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with the non-breaking space part too. However spacing is not always necessary. It is not rare exceptions. I have read different formal articles about that. I see there are cases where both are acceptable (eg 56 km or 56km). I don't see the reasons behind why we must prefer one style and depreciate another.
Beware that we should take systemic bias into consideration when generating rules. Systemic bias is the inherent tendency of a process to favor particular outcomes. The term is a neologism that generally refers to human systems; the analogous problem in non-human systems (such as scientific observations). After all, Wikipedia is intedned to be read by all people over the world.--Wai Wai (talk) 15:21, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

The current decade

I am sure this has come up before, but I don't see anything on the project page. User:GoDot is insisting on calling the current decade "the 2000s" as in "bank redlining had largely diminished by the mid 2000s" (Seattle neighborhoods). I find this very confusing: if someone says "the mid-1900s" they mean around 1950, not 1905. But since this is a user with whom I repeatedly find myself disagreeing, and since the MoS doesn't yet address the matter, I'm simply bringing the question here. - Jmabel | Talk 02:23, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Did you try to look at 2000s or 1900s? Compare to 21st century and 20th century. Christoph Päper 13:38, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Update on Olympic Debate

I know it was a loooooooong time ago that we were debating on whether or not a space should be put between the number and the unit of Olympic Event names. The IOC official site does not put space, so one would expect the Wikipedia articles should do the same (e.g. 10km), but according to this overcited page, it was kept according to the WP guidelines (e.g. 10 km).

I recently received a long awaited reply from the IOC in which the Sports Director Kelly Fairweather noted to me that the IOC is "working with the International Federations to define the exact terms to be used for disciplines and events." She stated that the project would be completed by October 2006 and the IOC website after that point would be the place to find the official terminology. Until then, "there is no one approved terminology."

I just thought some others would like to know. JARED(t)  21:19, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


As a sidenote, I find both formatting style (ie spacing or non-spacing) in different formal writing. For example, my Oxford Intermediate English Dictionary uses non-spacing one, as in "For this recipe you need 500g (five hundred grams) of flour".

Anyway, I think people are getting hypercorrect. What's the difference between 500g and 500 g? Will people get confused when reading either style? People are wasting too much time on trivial issues, and making things complex, not to say it requires huge efforts and good memories to comply with all these trivial rules.

They tend to forget simplicity is the best. Accept both. Pick either one you like the best. How easy life would be then? After all, standards are all created by humans. No standards must be formal or informal. They are all relative in nature. If time are spent on more important issues, the world would be much better. --Wai Wai (talk) 07:09, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I agree. The usage of either one is relative to the situation in which it is used. Different articles (topics) may require the use of different methods, but I'm really not up for arguing for it... JARED(t)  15:01, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Indian numbering convention

This has probably come up before: Should the Indian numbering system (hazar, lakh, crore, arab...) be used in articles about Indian subjects? Should exponential breaks be done in the Indian system (i.e. 1,00,000 as opposed to 100,000)? Thoughts? -- Samir धर्म 09:57, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing me at that article - I came across an article with a comma after two digits once and was very confused! Are numbers other than lakhs and crores commonly used? My opinion, off the top of my head, is that it would probably be reasonable to use the Indian names and style of digits when referring to Indian subjects (thus complying with the MoS requirement to use the local form of English), but also advisable to write the number out in the more common style to avoid confusing non-Indian readers who might think it was a typographical error, e.g. "five crores (5,00,00,000 or 50,000,000)". -- Arwel (talk) 12:54, 10 August 2006 (UTC)