From: Edward C. Zimmermann
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2011 2:44 AM
> We are not, I think trying to avoid centuries but to avoid the
> conflicting uses, viz. (errant) views on when a century starts, resp.
> ends. The length, however, of a century (of years) is always the same:
> 100 (L. Centum) years.
I agree. Or I would say: we define a century as any (arbitrary) 100 year
period, but we DO NOT name or enumerate centuries as in "first century",
The problem is that ISO 8601 includes the feature where you can specify,
say, 19 to mean 1900 through 1999, and it calls this feature "century".
Granted it does not say that that period is the 20th century, but the fact
that it distinguishes this form of a "century" by allowing this shorthand is
odd. It seems to be saying (though not explicitly) that a century is a
100-year period beginning on a 100 year (zero based) boundary.
So we could:
(a) not include the feature. just profile it out. We don't really need it,
there are other ways to express 1900 through 1999.
(b) leave it as is. Call the feature "100 year period" and include the note.
I believe it is an extraneous feature, and given that plus the ambiguity in
8601, I would prefer (b).