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Tardis:Manual of Style#Dates says:
The names of articles having to do with dates shall be in a cardinal number format. Thus, 1st January, 12th July and 2nd May.

First, the cardinal numbers are 1, 2, 3, etc., distinguished from the ordinal numbers 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. In other words, this is saying the exact opposite of what it intends.

Second, Wikipedia explicitly agrees with most linguists that the day in a date is an ordinal number whether or not it's written with the explicit indicator. A third of the article wikipedia:ordinal number (linguistics) is dedicated to explaining, in effect, that some countries write "September 5, 2011" with the "5" meaning the ordinal "fifth" (and pronounced that way).

Finally, the Wikipedia link given is to the article on set-theoretic cardinals, not the one on ordinary-language cardinals (which are under wikipedia:cardinal number (linguistics), and the same would be true if it were just corrected to "ordinal".

So, this should say something like:

The names of articles having to do with dates shall be in ordinal number format, with explicit ordinal indicators. Thus, 1st January, 12th July and 2nd May.

Or maybe a less verbose and technical version of the same idea. --173.228.85.35 11:01, September 5, 2011 (UTC)


For articles with dates, don't spell the numbers out. Use numerals. Use the form "1 January", not "the first of January".Boblipton 11:14, September 5, 2011 (UTC)

The whole point of the rule in the MoS is that you should use "1st January", not "1 January". If you didn't get that, that's yet anoher reason the rule needs to be rewritten.

On the other hand, if you're suggesting changing the rule instead of just fixing it to say what it's trying to say, that's a different subject, and I think it should be a separate thread. --173.228.85.35 00:59, September 6, 2011 (UTC)

MoS wording has been changed to reflect correct information. Thanks. --Tangerineduel / talk 13:36, September 6, 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll cry the mea culpa on that one. That's what I get for bleary-eyed editing. Thanks to the original poster for pointing out the error and suggesting alternative language.
To be honest, though, I think the mistake was "subconsciously intentional", as I've always thought we should be on a cardinal system.
Although I wrote the unintentionally confusing version of the rule, and will enforce it, I don't particularly agree with it. We work with ordinal dates here because of a belief on the part of the early editors of the wiki that this was "proper British". But I don't see any particular evidence that the British would find the use of a cardinal number improper in dates. Perhaps more to our purposes at the DW wiki, I can certainly point to time after time in many DW prose works where the cardinal form is used.
I simply don't think the ordinal form is at all the majority usage in the DWU. Worse, I think <day> <month> is weird enough for our North American editors. It's not the normal order of dates in North America, but the order can certainly be defended as the order in which dates are most often rendered in the UK. However, to force North Americans to also accept <day> <ordinal> <month>, when there's no clear evidence that this is the majority modern British usage, is a step too far. I mean, heck, if the BBC's official webiste uses the cardinal 1 January 2011 format, that should be a reasonable indicator of "standard British".
Additionally, supporting the ordinal number policy throws up significant technical challenges. It forces the usage of a fairly complicated template to convert to a cardinal number when you need to manipulate the titles of date pages. Sure, we've largely solved the "ordinal problem" on templates currently in use, like {{timeline}}, but if people want to manipulate dates in the future, they'll have to learn the ins and outs of date conversion first. Again, given that there is no preponderance of evidence supporting ordinal dates in the DWU, it's just an unnecessary inconvenience to have them.
I personally think we should move every single date page — in one swift little bot run; I'm not advocating that anyone but me have to put in the work — to the cardinal system. I say we go from 1st January to 1 January. Leave the redirect behind for those who like the ordinals, sure, but move the primary name to something which is easier to manipulate, takes less time to type, and is the majority usage in the DWU, anyway. Who's with me?
czechout@fandom   17:15:40 Thu 08 Sep 2011 
I agree with you.
The only reason the vast majority of people would care is if we confused them. I did a quick check of various websites and publications, and here's what I found:
  • Doctor Who site: cardinal
  • Torchwood site: cardinal
  • BBC One site: cardinal
  • BBC America site: ordinal
  • Starz site: cardinal
  • Radio Times site: cardinal
  • Radio Times publication: cardinal
  • TV Guide site: cardinal
  • TV Guide publication: both (in different uses)
  • Other TV networks: 1/1 cardinal in UK, 2/4 in US
  • Major newspapers: 3/4 cardinal in UK, 4/7 in US
  • Big Finish website: cardinal
  • Big Finish catalogue: cardinal
So, nobody is going to be confused by cardinal numbers.
There are a handful of pendants who disdainfully consider the cardinal spelling an American abomination. But a bit of research shows that they're just wrong. The US is in the middle of a transition to cardinal numbers, which the UK already went through a few decades earlier. Accommodating pedants is one thing; accommodating them when they're wrong is just stupid.
The only consideration left is the technical one, which is clearly in favor of cardinal numbers. So why not go for it?
Just make sure the MoS doesn't end up saying the opposite of the rule, or I'll end up misquoting it and being simultaneously pedantic and wrong, which would make me just stupid. :) --173.228.85.35 03:43, September 9, 2011 (UTC)

On a related note, Tardis:Manual of Style#Incarnations of the Doctor also uses "cardinal" where it means "ordinal". It might be worth searching for all occurrences of either word and making sure they're right. (These are exactly the kind of words that everyone mixes up all the time, no matter how well you know them: words you never use in everyday conversation, but which don't sound technical enough to make you stop and think.) --173.228.85.35 04:25, September 9, 2011 (UTC)

And thanks for another catch. That's been corrected now too. If you see any more, though I can't off the top of my head think where other instances might be, let me know.
Given your exhaustive stats from current real world usage, I really don't see a reason not to switch to cardinal dating. The bot run to make the switch would be fairly simple, but I'd have to do some tinkering on the {{timeline}} and the family of templates around that, in addition to a mindless bot run. For that reason, I'm setting the date for the change to 1 October, due to an overwhelming amount of other work I've got on at the moment. Anyone opposed to the move thus has more than half a month to make their case.
Just to be clear, this move will not result in the deletion of a linkable ordinal number date. So if you like 1st October, you can carry on doing that. But it will make the formal page name 1 October.
czechout@fandom   02:13:10 Wed 14 Sep 2011 
Exhaustive? Man, I wish I'd had you as an advisor back in grad school. :) --70.36.140.19 05:18, September 14, 2011 (UTC)

Closing discussion

As there were no objections, and it is now 1 October UTC, this discussion is now closed. The bot is changing over to cardinal numbers, but leaving behind ordinal redirects.

This means that the article is at 1 January, but you still have the option of linking to 1st January. The retention of redirects means that there is no need to change much of anything on the site.

Please do not delete ordinal redirects, though, as this will truly screw up the site.


czechout@fandom   02:53: Sat 01 Oct 2011 
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