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DATETIME  May 2011

DATETIME May 2011

Subject:

Re: New approach about question marks - a suggestion

From:

Markus Flatscher <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Discussion of the Developing Date/Time Standards <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 22 May 2011 16:25:33 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (29 lines)

On Sun, 22 May 2011 16:05:01 -0400
 "Bruce D'Arcus" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM, Markus Flatscher
[...]
>> Not to stretch things---just to make sure we're on the same page: you still intend to distinguish precision ("approximate") and certainty ("questionable"), right?
>
>I believe that's the intention. But I have to say, the distinction
>remains entirely opaque to me. What's the real difference between
>"2000-01-01?" and "2000-01-01~"? To me they both seem to say "a day
>somewhere around January 1, 2000; not exactly sure though."
>
>I would hope the spec can clear this up.

This is how I see the distinction, maybe this helps:

(1) The natural-language surface phenomenon that reflects this distinction is "ca." (precision/"approximate") vs. "?" (certainty/"questionable"). 
(2) I can be _certain_ that a date is imprecise (approximate: "ca. 1 March 1999"), or I can be uncertain about whether the date is correct ("1 March 1999?").

Sidenote: It's a distinction that feels natural to people in text encoding, since it applies generally, not just to dates. Cf. TEI P5 Guidelines, section 21.2 "Indications of Precision" (http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/CE.html#CEPREC)

Markus

--
Markus Flatscher, Editorial and Technical Specialist
ROTUNDA, The University of Virginia Press
PO Box 801079, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4318 USA
Courier: 310 Old Ivy Way, Suite 302, Charlottesville VA 22903
Email: [log in to unmask]

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