On Tue, 9 Aug 2011 10:36:08 -0400, Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress wrote
> Ed - if your argument applies only to a date within an interval than I can
> go along with it. And rather than say "at some point in the future ..." I
> think it would be best to remove the example.
> You're not suggesting that in a standalone date, a placeholder "u" always
> means that it will be filled in later, are you?
But why not "later"? "Never" is not possible since it embodies such strong
certainty. And if one knows with certainty that it can't ever be filled in..
then the reason is clearly one of information and precision.. and the u(s)
were incorrectly used..
Is not "u" ALWAYS a placeholder.. or better.. should we not view "u" always
as a placeholder?
A "standalone" date such as 2001-1u-u8 ... what do the "u"s here mean.. what
does the expression say? A date such as 2001-uu-12 is saying that an event
took place on the 12th day of a month to be filled in later in the year
2001. And a date such as uuuu-07-04? That's 4th of July in a year that will
be "filled in later". The wait can be short or the wait can be long as
waiting for Godot..
In "standalone" dates the expressions 2001-12-uu and 2001-12 are not the
same. They have different precision and are telling different stories..
The confusion comes as soon as we let "u" be anything other than a
placeholder "to be filled in later".. Why a placeholder has been used
instead of using a digit or a digit and an expression of approximateness or
uncertainty (using one of our postfix unary operators) is beyond the scope
of our concerns and does not matter..
Edward C. Zimmermann, NONMONOTONIC LAB