At 07:12 AM 7/22/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>  Per previous discussion, I really would hate to see
>stuff like this in MODS records:
><namePart>[Smith, John?]</namPart>
>...and the already-mentioned:
>Can't we qualify this kind of stuff via an attribute switch?

Sure, if that's what people want to do. But given that:

1) Often today metadata is not being created by hand but is being
translated from one format to another
2) That there is a great variety of metadata out there
3) That you might not know all of the conventions of all of the metadata
that you are working with
4) That no one wants to re-code already existing metadata and
5) That interpreting all of these metadata formats will probably require
human judgment and therefore won't be solvable with algorithms....

I think that you WILL see things like "c. 1657".  And much, much worse.