Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 91

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The fluid ounce

Resolved: Question answered.

Just a thought - should there be a comment as to the fact that the fluid ounce as a unit has two (and a half) definitions, and should be specified in a manner similar to gallon? Or would that be a case of over-advising when they differ by only about 5%? --Neo 16:40, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

When editing, one should always try to be specific; U.S. fluid ounce or imperial fluid ounce, not just fluid ounce. However, should we have a specific comment here in the MOS/MOSNUM? No. The examples regarding the gallons, tons, and miles are general examples. Those examples should imply that when a unit has the same name in the imperial system as the U.S. customary system but measure differently then an editor should be specific. —-- MJCdetroit (talk) 17:02, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course there exist certain contexts in which this 5% difference is unimportant enough that it would not be appropriate to make the distinction. Need this be specifically mentioned, however, I'd tend to think not. Jɪmp 16:17, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Especially since the imperial ounce is basically irrelevant for prose in Wikipedia (except in historic contexts). Christoph Päper (talk) 21:57, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Hyphens between number and unit

Unresolved: Proposal open: Don't space when not conventional to do so; don't hyphenate when unit abbreviated.

This is a merged version of two separate discussions, since the issue raised is identical in both form and function. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:37, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Sporting context

Phrases like "100m Dash" and "100m Relay" are far more common than their spaced equivalents "100 m Dash" and "100 m Relay", according to Google. Should there be another exception to "Values and unit symbols are spaced (25 kg, not 25kg)" from MOS:NUM#Unit symbols and abbreviations? Art LaPella (talk) 03:54, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

If you follow google blindly you will end up with a random hotch-potch of exceptions that would defeat any attempt at standardisation, whereas the whole point of the style manual is to promote uniformity. If you don't like "100 m dash" why not hyphenate? (100-m dash). Thunderbird2 (talk) 09:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, except that hyphens are not used to link values and abbreviated units (WP and SI agree on this). May I suggest that m be spelt out rather than abbreviated in such contexts: "100-metre dash"? Tony (talk) 12:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I do not care whether the unit is a symbol or written in full. But please don't use a hyphen. The famous quote is: If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad. Lightmouse (talk) 12:51, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I take hyphens seriously, as do all serious writers, and I'm not mad. Tony (talk) 14:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Do not take it personally. It is only a quote. Lightmouse (talk) 15:00, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Tony; the hyphens belong there with spelled-out units, not with unit symbols. And the spaces belong there. Gene Nygaard (talk) 23:50, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Concur with Gene and Tony on the hyphens thing. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 15:07, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
The 'space before units in names' issue has arisen in the Fireams Project. They are considering whether the convention should be '7.62mm' or '7.62 mm'. Please contribute at: WP Firearms.
Lightmouse (talk) 19:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) And although we don't have to follow SI, they do say not to hyphenate double-adjective values/units when the unit is abbreviated (i.e., is a symbol). The same applies to measures of time (12-hour shift; 12 hr shift). IMO, it's a good rule. Note that the American Chemical Society prescribes differently, and many journals follow its house style:

Hyphenate a number and a unit of time or measure used as a unit modifier—12-min exposure, 10-mg sample, 20-mL aliquot, 4-mm-thick layer

I don't like the look of it. Tony (talk) 07:22, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I concur. Hyphenating an abbreviation seems pedantic to me. Feezo (Talk) 05:32, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Don't entirely concur; it is perfectly normal (but optional) to hyphenate compound adjectives. It's part of what helps us determine that they are compound adjectives sometimes. While these examples, in this rather blank context, are not ambiguous, the case could easily be different for the same strings if found in prose that was thick with numerals. It should be left to the discretion of the editor. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 11:32, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Military context

A disambig page 4.5 inch (114 mm) gun has entries for these articles:

  • QF 4.5 inch naval gun
  • 4.5 inch (114 mm) Mark 8 naval gun
  • BL 4.5 inch Medium Field Gun
  • 4.5 inch Gun M1

Of course, standard hyphenation would give "4.5-inch gun". Is there some specific exception for hyphens in military and naval specifications of gun bores and similar measurements? If not, there are a lot of articles to be moved, most of them bound to ruffle a few feathers, and then many corresponding corrections in the text and/or infoboxes. Is this worth doing? Chris the speller (talk) 05:43, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Those article names look correct to me. I only use the format "40 millimetre gun" and "40 mm gun". I only replace a space with a hyphen if a reasonable reader is likely to be confused otherwise. My guideline is simple to understand, simple to apply and consistent.
I know that others disagree and have more complicated rules. One rule appears to be 'adjectival forms must have hyphens'. My knowledge of English grammar is unsophisticated so I can't use such abstract rules (I have similar problems with rules that require me to spot prepositions and 'short words' in 'Headline Case'). I can't see why "40 millimetre gun" is adjectival and therefore requires a hyphen and "40 mm gun" is not adjectival and does not require a hyphen.
Similarly, I never add a hyphen to "20th century" but many people on Wikipedia do. Perhaps the 'adjectival form' question applies there too.
I am not alone in questioning the hyphen. Others include Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, Sir Ernest Gowers, and Fowler. Unfortunately, I appear to be in the minority in questioning it on Wikipedia. Lightmouse (talk) 12:26, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Lightmouse to the extent that those names "look right" to me too, but I suspect this to be another one of those UK vs US style issues. Where I would normally write "40 mm gun" (or equivalently "40 millimetre gun"), I suspect an American would prefer "40-mm gun" (or "40-millimeter gun"). My reasoning is that in both cases the "40" is an adjective, and Americans love hyphenating adjectives. In my opinion both are correct. Thunderbird2 17:15, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, North Americans are less likely to hyphenate double attributive adjectives than other English speakers. See MOS on hyphens. All the same, I encourage NAs to use hyphens where they make it easier for readers, particularly in highly scientific/technical text, where the experts become used to perceiving commonly used double adjectives without hyphens, without realising that in an encyclopedia the text needs to be more accessible. Tony (talk) 04:48, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Tony, that section on hyphens is very well written. I assume that you wrote much, if not all, of it. I frequently learn from your contributions. I do use hyphens for many of the cases there even if I do not know how to describe why. I am not convinced of the need for hyphens in *all* of the cases listed there. I would almost certainly not add hyphens to "well meaning gesture", "the turkeys were hand fed" and "the child was well behaved". I do not know what an 'NA' is, but I support your appeal to use the hyphen as a tool to make things easier for readers. Lightmouse 20:04, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I would hyphenate the first of those (and am an American). As with other MOS debates in which alleged US vs. UK issues arise, this one does not consistently play out geographically in actual practice. Many people, regardless of where they grew up, drop the hyphens while others prefer them. PS: The second two would not be hyphenated by anyone, vs. "the hand-fed turkeys" and "the well-behaved child". Most who are conscientious of hyphenation of compound adjectives at all, would hyphenate "the hand-fed turkeys", but a somewhat smaller percentage would hyphenate "the well-behaved child" due to some CMoS weirdness on this topic. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing NAs is an abbreviation for "North Americans". Thunderbird2 20:01, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Yep. 23:37, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Meta-discussion: Terms of art

Hmm... I detect a terms of art conflict here. Definitely in the gun world, "9mm" is a term of art; it is a name for a caliber of bullet and the weapon that fires it, that is derived from a measurement. It isn't really "nine milimeters" (= "9 mm"), nor is it ever spelled out as "nine-milimeter" (unless someone foolishly constructs a sentence that requires this conversion by putting it at the beginning). In fact spacing 9mm would be a very bad idea, because if you write "9 mm pistol" you are talking about the world's smallest firearm (remember, we do not hyphenate the compound-adjective measurements when the unit is abbreviated: 9-mm pistol), not a caliber. And in looking around on this (Google, gun sites, etc.), the spaced spelling is pretty close to astronomically dwarfed by the non-spaced version. I think that "100m dash" is a similar case; it isn't a measurement per se in that context, but the name of an event in athletics competitions that happens to be derived from a measurement. MOSNUM is already making a term-of-art exception or two, so adding a couple more won't kill anyone; it just needs to be unambiguous so it cannot be misinterpreted to permit non-spacing otherwise. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 11:28, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Resolution

I call for closure on this one. The proposal as I understand it is that we clarify the guideline to:

  1. Make it clear that number-unit phrases are not hyphenated when the unit is abbreviated or when the number is given in numerals instead of spelled out, even if used adjectivally (as in 4.5 inch (114 mm) Mark 8 naval gun - "4.5" is numeric even though "inch" is spelled out, and "114 mm" is both numeric and abbreviated)
  2. State that for usages derived from measurements that have become names, and where those names are not usually spaced, do not use a space (as in "100m dash")
  3. At least for the next generation or so, state that we continue providing US unit conversions after metric ones, but continue to prefer metric as the leading unit except for cases where US units are customary/standard, in which case provide both units again, but lead with the US[*] ones. (Note: This third issue was also raised in the very first topic shown on this page as of this writing, i.e. before upcoming archival. The topic name is "Proposal for a minor change in the requirement for unit conversions". I had called for an RfC on it, but am instead explicitly re-opening it here, as this discussion also re-raised the issue, indicating that its closure at the original topic was incomplete.)
  4. Completely deprecate UK imperial units, since they have been supplanted by metric, with the only exceptions being the very rare cases in which they remain customary or standard for the usage in question (e.g. measuring the height of horses in Hand (length) units).

* By "US", I mean "usually US, and to a diminishing extent, Canadian and American-influenced Caribbean, customary units, and rarely UK imperial units that often but do not always perfectly coincide with US customary ones". An example is snooker tables, which are mostly a .uk/.au/.nz/.za/.ie item but which remain specified in – largely non-North-American – snooker governing body standards publications as having playing surfaces that are "6 feet by 12 feet", long after the metric system has supplanted such units more generally, and indeed the balls and other equipment are specified in millimetres and grams. I.e., we need to account for weird exceptions like this.

Specific language may need to be worked out, but at least agreeing on these 4 points explicitly will help us get there.

SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:36, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Conversions: Confusion and Clarification

I accidentally saved this edit while half way through typing the explanation. Hopefully the edit speaks for itself, but just in case it doesn't, what I meant to say was this:

  • The end is ensure comparable precision
  • In order to achieve this end, sometimes it is necessary to use more sig figs in the converted number than in the original (the example being 1 mi converted to 1.6 km).

Thunderbird2 (talk) 14:01, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

That isn't really the problem, nor the solution. Furthermore, it is misleading, becauew 1 mi often ought to be converted to 2 km, and sometimes it has even less precision than that and ought to be converted to 1 km. Gene Nygaard (talk) 14:35, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree that 1 mi should occasionally be rounded to 1 km, but to say so would have changed the intended meaning of what was already there. To implement your implied suggestion would involve making the advice context sensitive. Do you have a form of words in mind? Thunderbird2 (talk) 14:42, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I oppose this clause and would like it removed. It is sometimes totally false. Furthermore, I would be surprised if it makes the slightest difference to what people do for the minority of cases where it occurs. Lightmouse (talk) 14:59, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
If the 2nd half of the clause is controversial, why not leave it out altogether? ie leave only
  • Converted values should use a level of precision similar to that of the source value; for example, the Moon is 380,000 kilometres (240,000 mi) from Earth, not ... (236,121 mi).
Thunderbird2 (talk) 15:21, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


One of the many factors involved here, something I didn't make clear before, is that this problem more often arises not with numbers such as "one mile" or "1 mi" but rather, more likely, with numbers such as "30 miles" or "600 feet" or whatever. Using "1 mi" as an example is especially bad.

If one mile really should be 1.6 km, maybe that miles figure ought to be expressed as "1.0 mi".

In cases such as "30 miles" or "600 feet", the problem is that we have trailing zeros before the decimal point. Those might be significant zeros; be we don't know by looking at one individual number whether they are or not: "600 feet" might be accurate to the nearest foot, or it might be accurate to the nearest hundred feet or the nearest ten feet. We simply don't know by looking at one number, isolated from any additional clues we might pick up from the context. Furthermore, it isn't necessarily limited to decimal precision; that 600 foot figure might actually be to the nearest 25 feet, or to the nearest 50 feet. Or it might itself be a conversion of an unstated original number expressed as 200 yards, whose precision might be the nearest yard, or the nearest 10 yards, or the nearest hundred yards.

  • Note that if the trailing zero follows the decimal point, as in the case of the "1.0 mi" I mentioned above, it should usually be considered significant.
  • Sometimes you can tell by comparing to other numbers used in a similar context in the same article.
  • Or you can tell from your general knowledge that, for example, heights of mountains are often expressed to either the nearest whole foot or the nearest whole meter (while also recognizing simple common knowledge such as that if you are talking about an active volcano, the numbers often are much more imprecise).

Comparable precision is an admirable goal. Those who ignore one set of measurements ought to get basically the same information as those who ignore the other set of measurements. The problem is that the real world doesn't always help us out, in our efforts to determine how precise (and how accurate as well) these numbers really are. And you aren't going to write a simple rule which will always work for that.

Another factor to consider is that even if our sources of information themselves contain a conversion of a measurement, such conversions are often the least reliable information contained in the source. Often they are added by some innumerate clerical worker quite removed from the whole process, not by someone familiar with the making of those measurements and their actual precision. Wikipedia isn't the only place where people make ridiculously overprecise conversions (and OTOH, underprecise ones as well), nor are we the only place where people misidentify the units being converted and consequently use an improper conversion factor, where people use conversion factors too imprecise for the actual precision of the measurement, or simply transpose some numbers in entering a number into a calculator or in transcribing the results in the text. Gene Nygaard (talk) 15:24, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Other clues from the context that are far too often ignored are words such a "roughly", "about", "approximately", "roundly", and a host of others. There are already far too many "roughly 1 mile (1.6 km)" entries in Wikipedia now, we don't need to encourage more of them.
Some people just don't seem to understand the philosophy of including conversions. We are not trying to provide people with conversion factors by including these conversions. Rather, we are trying to present information that makes sense, even if the number being converted from isn't well understood by a particular reader and is therefore ignored by that reader. Gene Nygaard (talk) 15:40, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I hear no defence of the present wording - only criticism. This I interpret as consensus to remove the offending text, in the form of the second sentence. Thunderbird2 (talk) 19:04, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Frequent links to 1916, 1945 etc because they are war years

The article Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope has solitary year links to 1915, 1916, 1939, 1940, and 1945. An editor says that these solitary year links are required to provide 'context of wars'. These years are frequently linked on Wikipedia. What do people think about linking to years for 'context of wars'? Lightmouse (talk) 11:29, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I'm the editor, and I think it is useful to provide these links, they provide context that the reader would not otherwise be able to acquire. Woodym555 (talk) 11:32, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I bothered to go to 1916, to find the following information at the start, which really enlightens us on the topic, except for one item buried in the middle. The blood transfusion thing might just be relevant, but really, this is a diversion we don't want when reading the article, which would be very wanting if it needed this entertainment in the middle of concentrating on its account.
For heaven's sake there's nothing stopping the rare diversion-hungry reader from typing in the four characters and going there manually.

1 January - The Royal Army Medical Corps first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled.
  Impressionist painter Monet paints Water Lilies series.
5 January - Rainmaker Charles Hatfield - begins; it will cause flooding around San Diego, California
8 January - Allied forces withdraw from Gallipoli
13 January/14 - A heavy storm sweeps through the Zuiderzee in the Netherlands, causing extensive damage. This storm helped the Dutch parliament to decide to build the Afsluitdijk and build polders in the current IJsselmeer.
17 January - The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) is formed
18 January - A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite struck a house near Baxter, Stone County, Missouri.
23 January to 24 January In Browning, Montana, the temperature drops from +6.7°C to -48.8°C (44°F to -56°F) in one day, the greatest change ever on record for a 24-hour period.
24 January - In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad the Supreme Court of the United States upholds the federal income tax
28 January - Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jew appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Tony (talk) 11:39, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Was that a rebuttal? Woodym555 (talk) 15:30, 29 November 2007 (UTC) unhelpful Woodym555 (talk) 15:46, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
That was January Tony, Allied Forces withdraw from Gallipoli is context, Gallipoli was a very important battle. All throughout that page there are lots of links to battles and people within the context of World War One. The argument that they could just type it, could be said for every single wikilink. What is wrong with having it wikilinked? Is it harming the encyclopedia to have 5 years that provide some context, wikilinked? Woodym555 (talk) 15:46, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing special about those years, and the year articles are incomplete (while if encyclopedically complete would be unusable and take 30 minutes to load, so they are screwed no matter which way you look it). They are not useful to anyone other than someone specifically seeking a chronology (e.g. "I wonder what was going on the year I was born"), in which case they are going to be very disappointed, since little if any editorial judgement and effort has been brought to bear on the year articles. They do not provide context, they simply provide a completely random list of entirely unrelated things; that is anti-context. It is what WP:OVERCAT calls a non-defining intersection with regard to the Category namespace; the underlying concept applies just as well here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:09, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
If they are incomplete or suffer from a lack of editorial judgement, then improve them, you know, build an encyclopedia? The same could be said for must stubs, they provide little context, so remove them. I am fed up of this kind of reasoning, improve them if you don't like them so much. The years do provide context. If you wanted to know what other battles/incidents that would affect the decision making in 1916 for a particular battle, say Gallipoli, then you would use the 1916 article as a starting point. In that sense, it works. Also, would the person who brought me before this Kangaroo Court care to offer their own opinions on the matter? Woodym555 (talk) 12:35, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I have to partially disagree. I don't think there is much of anything to be done for actually improving the year articles, and this is why hardly any editors work on them. They are confused, confusing and arbitrary. What has been happening is the creation of more focused, topical year articles - 2002 in sports, 2002 in film, etc., that do show evidence of editorial judgement [and before anyone complains, yes I do consciously prefer the "judgement" spelling outside of the context of legal cases, where it is always and only "judgment"] and which provide actual context. The 1947 article is pretty much useless for the point you illustrate, but there are other, more focused, articles about 1947 that don't suffer so much from this problem. Hope that is clearer. I do not want to come across as being opposed to Wikipedia having any chronology articles! — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:33, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I understand the point, but 1947 isn't linked. Woody (talk) 23:37, 18 December 2007 (UTC) (previously Woodym555)

Coordinates for Rivers

For what part of a river should the title coordinates be? Should it be the mouth, the source, central location, midpoint or what? S♦s♦e♦b♦a♦l♦l♦o♦s (Talk to Me) 20:33, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

The source is usually not really an identifyable single point. At the mouth it also spreads quite often, making the end point unclear. Very often, in the middle it is a well defined stream. So I would go for a point on the river somewhere in the middle. That should preferably defined as a point equally far from the source and the mouth. Displaying a map centered on that point to a certain scale is then likely to show the whole river. −Woodstone 10:29, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
If the source is ill-defined, and the mouth is also ill-defined, then surely a point half-way between them is also ill-defined? I would choose the river mouth, which for most rivers is pretty unambiguous. Thunderbird2 10:58, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
At the source and mouth there is often a wide geographic spread. At the middle, mostly the stream is well defined. Which point exactly to choose still has some one dimensional variablility. Any choice would be a good indicator of the river. A possible choice could be to consider the furthest source and termination points. Still it is theoretically possible that this does not define a unique point for a winding river, but let's check how serious this might be. Still the argument is valid that a map centered on the given coordinate should have a good chance of showing the whole river. −Woodstone 05:04, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I would suggest that this issue is raised on the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Rivers page and the results of the conversation reported back here. --Philip Baird Shearer 14:34, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geographical coordinates recently mentioned there is a {{Geolinks-US-river}} which uses the start and mouth of a river. -- SEWilco (talk) 05:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
That is a template (and a regional one only). Here we were talking about the title coordinate, which has a special role in an article and must be unique. As a refinement of the definition we might use:
  • the point on a river, closest to the midpoint of the smallest circle containing all of its up- and downstream branches.
Woodstone 05:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
(Sheesh! Does this talk page need archiving! Glad I've chosen not to wade in here often!) Woodstone, it does my heart good to see such a sensible suggestion put forward. But do please remove that incorrect comma, and preferably adjust the wording a little: a point on the river that lies nearest to the centre of the smallest circle that encloses the river, with all of its upstream and downstream branches. How's that? Use a point, not the point: there might be more than one, equidistant from the centre. Use centre, not midpoint: it's unnecessarily distracting to have an echo of the word point in the same sentence.
– Noetica♬♩Talk 07:31, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Inconsistent

This article states:

  • "Wikipedia has articles on days of the year, years, decades, centuries and millennia. Link to one of these pages only if it is likely to deepen readers' understanding of a topic. Piped links to pages that are more focused on a topic are possible (1997), but cannot be used in full dates, where they break the date-linking function."

All dates and years in this article shouldn't be linked, should they? Kameejl (Talk) 16:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand what you are asking. Tony (talk) 04:45, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Dates and years are linked in this MOS (e.g. 1998 instead of 1998 and 8 November instead of 8 November). The MOS prescribes that dates/years should only link to date/year article "if it is likely to deepen readers' understanding of a topic". Most years/dates in this topic are (formating) examples and are not likely to deepen readers' understanding of this MOS, hence, they should not link to date/year articles. Kameejl (Talk) 09:22, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, there are just a couple in the "Dates if birth and death" subsection. Feel like delinking them? If there's a numbered date (8 in 8 November), that's autoformatted. I wouldn't use the autoformatting dysfunction, but I think some folk would object to changing that on the page. Tony (talk) 10:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Please make the MOS conform to the MOS. Lightmouse 20:08, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Definitely. Partial dates shouldn't be linked. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

How should we treat dates in general? Per guideline stated above practically all dates and years should be unlinked (f.e. how is 1981 going to deepen a reader's understanding of Metallica? Or December 2 in Britney Spears?). I totally agree with this guideline and tend to remove all unnecessary date and year links I come across. I think those links attract attention - one is more likely to see the blue text when quick scanning an article - but they link to articles generally unrelated to the articles they are in.

So how should we treat days of the year, years, decades, centuries and millennia? Kameejl (Talk) 12:32, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

They should generally not be linked, but as the guidelines suggest, there might be cases where linking can deepen a reader's understanding. Linking December 2 and 1981 in Britney's article is correct, so that the date can be formatted to suit readers' preferences, not that following either link will deepen understanding. Tony staunchly opposes utilizing this autoformatting, but his opinion is not consensus, as much as we appreciate many of his other contributions. I recommend following the guideline. This guideline could have its own examples corrected where the year alone is linked, as in Genghis Khan, where 1162 should not be linked. Chris the speller (talk) 16:12, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I have a script that unlinks all date fragments (solitary years, solitary months etc). It leaves full dates linked in accordance with guidance (although I share Tony's dislike of linking them too). It is easy to use. Feel free to use it directly or take pieces of code from it. Ask at my talk page if you want to know more. Lightmouse (talk) 20:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Please archive

Someone who is both expedient and neutral about arching, please archive this page. It is getting so long that it is again causing browser crashes (both Safari/Mac with under 1GB RAM, and Firefox/WinXP with 1GB ram). Please also archive this note along with the rest of the archving, or someone may think the page still needs to be archived. I would do it myself, but, eh, my browsers keep crashing! D'oh. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:41, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Done. Jɪmp 07:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)