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Archiver > TMG > 2011-03 > 1301269702

From: Terry Reigel <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] re irregular date
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 19:48:22 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

Rick Van Dusen wrote:

> In the present example, though, your approach has a big
> problem: We simply do not know, and therefore have to
> guess, what the actual date is; it's only recorded as Feb
> 29, 1767 which we know is incorrect. Only if other
> documentation comes to light would I feel at all
> comfortable in recording a different date.

Rick, I see a big problem entering Feb 29, 1767 in the date field, because we know it is wrong. You are right that we don't know what is correct. If there is no other evidence from which to draw a conclusion, I'd probably enter c. Mar 1, 1767. I'd then enter in the citation that the source shows Feb 29, 1767, but there was no Feb 29 in that years. I would do that because I regard what is entered in tag data fields as conclusions, supported by the citations. If one regards the data entered in tags as evidence, they you would use a different approach. Neither approach is inherently wrong, as long as one is consistent.

But in my view a report that says "[name] was born Feb 29, 1767 ..." is a problem because we know that can't be true. It seems to me if one is going to enter what a source shows even though we know it cannot be correct the output should be changed to something like "[name] was reported to have been born Feb 29, 1767 ... but there was no Feb 29 that year."

> I hold to my view that documents should be cited as
> saying what they say...

We don't disagree there at all. But we would appear to disagree about whether what is entered in the data fields is citing a source. In my view citations are in the Citations fields, and conclusions drawn from the cited sources go in the data field.

Terry Reigel

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