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Archiver > TMG > 2004-03 > 1079048996

From: Darrell Martin <>
Subject: RE: [TMG] Date Modifiers
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 17:49:56 -0600
References: <><009801c4079a$07d4ef90$4401a8c0@RichardA31>
In-Reply-To: <009801c4079a$07d4ef90$4401a8c0@RichardA31>

At 12:52 PM 3/11/04, Richard Damon wrote:
>You can actually get 6 possible versions of a date, as you can add the "?"
>symbol to each of "say", "circa", and plain. You probably don't want to try
>to come up with a specific meaning for all of them but a standardized
>circa/circa? or say/say? distinction. From what you describe it might make
>sense for a say/say? (say? being less precise).
>I too wish there were more choices, having an est. and a calc. While I
>personally don't have a need for about, I can understand those that would
>like it.
>Richard Damon

Hi, Richard:

To me, the use of a question mark indicates the reliability of a date, not the size of the range in which it may have happened. For example (and I would *always* define my terms in any output for others) I would make a distinction between "circa 1852" and "circa 1852?". The first says that I can't pin the date down any more than that it is close to 1852. The second says the same thing, but *also* says that my evidence is not good enough for me to be confident that even that indefinite date is correct; perhaps the event really happened close to 1862 instead?

I wish there were a way that date sureties could be output in narrative text. I also wish the user could enter any date qualifier at all, and TMG would store and output it *unaltered* without resorting to an irregular date.


Darrell A. Martin
a native Vermonter currently in exile in Illinois

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