Talk:Old Style and New Style dates/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2


The article is currently too focused on the UK and devotes little space to developments in other countries. Examples of omitted interesting issues are which provinces of the Netherlands adopted the Gregorian calendar and which did not (in the framework of the Eighty Years' War), or how different parts of what today are Canada and the US adopted the Gregorian calendar on different centuries. It would also be good to add a table like those in the French and Spanish versions of the article that give the date of change from Julian to Gregorian calendar for every country. --Hispalois (talk) 11:35, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

The template {{Globalize}} that I added to the article has been removed by Jc3s5h (talk · contribs) on the grounds that "Old style and new style dates are specific to the English language and the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.)". If that is true, I see the point. However, why does the article then open with a picture of a Russian document? Why does it have a full section on Asian countries? It makes no sense to me.
I see how this article could be restricted to the UK, and Adoption of the Gregorian calendar be made the main article for the change of calendar globally. In that case, however, the wikidata items should be updated so that this article is no longer the purported equivalent of es:Cambio al calendario gregoriano or fr:Passage du calendrier julien au calendrier grégorien. --Hispalois (talk) 22:14, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
There are many subtleties just in English and the British Empire as it existed at the time, concerning the change from Julian to Gregorian, as well as regarding March 25 or January 1 as the beginning of the year. Then there is the matter of how modern English-language sources represent dates of this period. Trying to address how this is handled in other countries and languages, and calendars, in a similar depth would make the article too long. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:48, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Indeed we should reduce heavily the material about other jurisdictions that is currently in this article. And yes, the wiki data needs to redirected. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 13:04, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
I tend to agree with John Maynard Friedman – but if that's the consensus, it means a lot of work needs to be done on this article. It needs a clear statement in the lede stating that it only covers the British Isles and British colonies; a hatnote referring readers interested in other countries to Adoption of the Gregorian calendar; the transfer of a fair amount of material (including the lede image) to that article; and the redirection of the wikidata. I don't know whether, or how far, the terms "old style" and "new style" or their equivalents are used outside the British sphere. They're certainly sometimes used in English-language texts when referring to foreign calendars or dated foreign documents, but perhaps not locally. Are the changes in Asian calendars referred to as "old style" and "new style", and is that why we've ended up with such a relatively large section on Asian countries here? GrindtXX (talk) 22:18, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Nothing in the relevant sections of this article suggest that the East used [language equivalent to] the terms OS and NS. Even if they did [or more likely, western authors used an easy equivalence], the hat note would take care of it. Btw, at the time the term UK meant 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland', so no need to say British Isles. I don't think it will be so difficult to disentangle but it will take a couple of hours that I don't have, otherwise I'd be bold and just do it. Does anyone know the protocol for such a big move? [So that the original authorship/copyleft remains accessible?] --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 11:49, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

see above: #Duplicate articles -- PBS (talk) 13:42, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

This article will need further pruning, BUT we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater. While English language histories on non-European subjects will generally use one date, there is confusion on how English language histories and primary sources date events on mainland Europe. For example the Battle of Blenheim or the Glorious Revolution and also the start of the Russian Revolution. So it will be necessary to look at the dates in Europe from the first adoption of the Gregorian calendar up to the Russian Revolution if the explanation of Old/New Style is to be comprehensive. -- PBS (talk) 14:26, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't follow. Using your examples, [a] the Battle of Blenheim article says it uses the Gregorian Calendar but includes a footnote to say that contemporary British sources/references used OS dating and these have been converted as needed; it helpfully refers readers to this article for clarification; [b] Glorious Revolution uses the 'interim' New Style, same 'calendar drift' but start of year changed from Lady Day to 1 January; again it refers readers to this article for explanation. The October Revolution has no sensible connection with this article, if it does so than it needs to be it needs changing to refer to Adoption of the Gregorian calendar instead (but obviously after we've moved to Russian calendar change text out of here first. Perhaps I've misunderstood? Have you got in mind someone studying an account that was written in 1690 and coming to Wikipedia to clear up his/her confusion about dates? Surely that can be addressed by this article and the Adoption article each referring to the other - particular to general and vice versa. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 00:27, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
I have edited the interwiki equivalences in Wikidata, both for this article and for Adoption of the Gregorian calendar. --Hispalois (talk) 00:37, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
The examples I gave are in each case example of how Old/New style are used in academic writing. In the case of Blenheim like the Glorious Revolution a history describing events in Britain eg the day on which the Queen receives the news of the victory will be dated old style (Battle Story: Blenheim 1704 by James Falkner). The point being that it is necessary to include an explanation of the dates in Europe so that the use of old/new style can be explained in English language articles. You write "The October Revolution has not sensible connection with this article", yet an internet search on '"old style" Russia' shows that old/new style is used to describe Russian dates in modern English language articles up to the country's adoption of the Gregorian calendar. To be a comprehensive article on old/new style date usage in English language academic books and articles, I think this Wikipedia article needs to include those European details. -- PBS (talk) 20:40, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Assuming the revised article begins with a hat note such as This article explains the phased transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in the United Kingdom and its colonies specifically. For a more general discussion of the equivalent transitions in other countries (from old to new dating), see Adoption of the Gregorian calendar, it seems to me that the concerns raised by your examples are met. Your two examples from British [perspectives on] history will still be answered by this article. Your hypothetical students of Russian history may conceivably come here first, but the hat note I propose will send them to the general article. Do you agree? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 22:07, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Describing the skipping of days

@John Maynard Friedman: tried to improve the description of the skipping of days as follows:

The Gregorian calendar reform also dealt with the accumulated difference between these figures, between 325 and 1582 (1750 in the British Empire), by moving the current date to that which it would have been were it not for the error in the Julian calendar that had inserted excess leap days.

I have further revised it as follows:

The Gregorian calendar reform also dealt with the accumulated difference between these figures, between 325 and 1582 (1750 in the British Empire), by skipping 10 dates (11 in the case of the UK and her colonies) to restore the date of the vernal equinox to approximately March 21, the approximate date it occurred at the time of the First Council of Nicea in 325.

My reasons for the change are

  • The reason given is more fundamental.
  • The meaning of "moving the current date" is unclear; skipping dates is clearer.
  • "Error in the Julian calendar" in combination with "inserted excess leap days" might be confused with the error in the implementation of the Julian calendar between 45 BC and 4 BC, where sometimes leap days were inserted every three years instead of every four years.

Jc3s5h (talk) 13:23, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Yes, that is a big improvement.--John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:05, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

I've been bold

and just gone ahead and done it. Maybe I should have done a sandbox version first. If anybody really doesn't like it, go ahead and revert: we can discuss a sandbox version. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 00:45, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

I do not think you should have been bold without first discussing it further. You wrote above "Your hypothetical students of Russian history may conceivably come here first, but the hat note I propose will send them to the general article. Do you agree?" No I do not.
While most people who read this article for information on old and new style dates are going to be coming either from a link internally because this article is frequently used to explain old/new style, (or to explain that dates between primary sources and secondary sources can vary eg the dates in the Parliamentary sources for the execution of Charles I). However there is another set of readers who will be coming here because they have come across the expression in English language histories. Those histories will not just be about British history and topics that involved Britain directly. I gave the example of English language articles that use old/new style in articles about Russian history as well. There are other examples, eg at the Congress of Vienna the dates on the international treaties signed by the Russians use Julian as well as Gregorian dates. It is likely that histories that mention this fact will describe them as old and new style dates. There will be other histories that like the British example that describe conflict between dates using different calendars during the transition within Europe which may well describe the dates as new and old style. I intend to put back/revert that information that is useful for explaining the use of old and new style for dates other that within the narrow confines of British history. -- PBS (talk) 00:02, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I honestly believed that there was a consensus for change, it just needed one of us to spend the time doing it. I recognised your reservations about how we could best respond to readers who had come across the terms 'old style' and 'new style' [as opposed to 'Old Style' and 'New Style'] in other contexts and I thought I had addressed that by being more explicit in the hat note. Clearly not.
Please feel free to rescue or rewrite material you feel ought to be reinstated but when doing so please keep the majority readership in mind. You are within your rights to revert all my changes at this stage but I really would appreciate your forbearance if you possibly can. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 00:42, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Any English word or phrase may be used extended to situations beyond the way it had been used up to a certain point in time, or in a metaphorical sense. So in general, "old style" and "new style" may be applied to any kind of calendar change. I think I've even seen it used in mailing list posts about the way Coordinated Universal Time was used before and after the introduction of the leap second, or alternatively, before and after the proposed abolition of the leap second. I think the flexibility of English is understood, and need not be belabored. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:43, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Like John Maynard Friedman, I was under the impression that there was a consensus that this article needed to focus explicitly on the British change, leaving calendar changes in other countries to the Adoption of the Gregorian calendar and Dual dating articles. In my opinion, this article is now in a vastly better shape than it was only a few days ago, and I appreciate the work he has put into it. His distinction above between "Old Style"/"New Style" and "old style"/"new style" also seems valid, and a useful one to bear in mind. No doubt improvements can be made, but to my mind the focus should be on pointing the reader towards the appropriate article for his/her needs rather than diluting this article with extraneous matter. That said, a click on "What links here" does reveal large numbers of Russian and European-related articles that link for explanations of non-British dates. Perhaps we should be working our way through those, and redirecting as appropriate. GrindtXX (talk) 20:15, 17 November 2016 (UTC)


It is not going to be easy to disentangle non-British links to this article because there are so many. The only faint glow at the end of the tunnel is that most of the links are generated by Template:OldStyleDate and its variants. This template seems to be used particularly heavily for Russian [Empire] people in quite recent history. Before taking a proposal to Template talk:OldStyleDate, I would like to take advice here. This is what I propose:

  • that, when the template generates a wlink to 'O.S.', the target becomes 'adoption of the Gregorian calendar' rather than this article. Thus the template would become: {{{1}}} [[[Adoption of the Gregorian calendar|O.S.]] {{{3}}}]{{#if: {{{2|}}}| {{{2|}}}|}}

The effect will be not be evident in the articles that use the template. The only people that see a change will be those who wonder what the O.S. means.

Comments? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:54, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

I don't think you should be "disentangle non-British links" because as I showed with a Google search it is common for historical articles about Russia before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar to refer to old style dates. I think it is a big mistake to try to narrow the scope of this article only to British dates when they are also used to describe other situations in Europe. By doing so you are engaging in a form of negative OR by reducing the article to subset of the cases where the they may be used. This article should be one which can be linked from any article where the use of old/new style dating my be legitimately used if reliable secondary English language sources use that type of notation. -- PBS (talk) 00:02, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
With respect (and I acknowledge your expertise in this episode of history) but we have already discussed that issue and the consensus favours the changes already made. Readers of external media who wish to know more about other old style dates (i.e., the change to Gregorian dating in other jurisdictions) are greeted by a hat-note telling them where to find the information about it. It is not productive to continue to revisit the same debate here. You aware, I believe, of the escalation procedure should you wish to pursue the matter further. Meanwhile, the question to which this subsection invites prior comment is the change I want to propose at Template talk:OldStyleDate . Given the time elapsed, I shall take silence as assent. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 23:41, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I have made my position clear and you ought to take my last statement in this section as my position and not assume that because I have not replied to be an accpetatnce. Yu write "Readers of external media who wish to know more about other old style dates" it is not the dates that matter but the use of the terminology. This article should explain clearly why English language texts use old/new style, for whatever period that that they are commonly used. The term is commonly used to discuss Russian historical dates. You have not addressed this point. -- PBS (talk) 16:39, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
My reference to silence/assent is specifically about my invitation to comment on my proposal for the templates and only that.
This article should explain clearly why English language texts use old/new style, for whatever period that that they are commonly used. - I concur absolutely and invite you to write a section [and summary for the lead] about it, please! --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 00:23, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Use of the OS/NS terminology in English language publications that describe events in other countries

To respond to the concerns of user:PBS, I have written a new section [same title as above] that I hope provides the information required. I'm sure it could be improved! --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 18:15, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Duplicate articles

@user:PanchoS I have removed you header from the top of the article. Maintenance templates such as this which convey solely editor to editor information should be placed on the talk page that is what the talk page is for. Or put another way what possible information was included in {{Duplication}} that is informative for readers?

I ran Earwig's Copyvio Detector: Adoption of the Gregorian calendar and Old Style and New Style dates and I do not see that there is much duplication between these articles.

-- PBS (talk) 23:20, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

There is a complaint claiming that Adoption of the Gregorian calendar was split off from Gregorian calendar without an appropriate discussion. So that gives us three articles that potentially could be combined. While this article and "Adoption of the Gregorian calendar" are not duplicates in terms of having the same wording, they cover much the same information.
I am inclined to think that three articles is too many. I don't know if it should be reduced to two or one. The subject is fairly extensive, and might be expanded further in the future. If it were all put into one, it would be a rather long article. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:10, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
If it is a problem then re-merge "Adoption of the Gregorian calendar" back into Georgian calendar unless Georgian calendar is considered too large (their current sizes of 51,792 and 23,141 do not preclude this). Currently 75 articles link to Adoption of the Gregorian calendar while just under 5,000 link to Old Style and New Style dates (4,965 links), which is many times a many as link to Georgian calendar (129 links). The reason for this is because it is necessary to explain in the footnotes of lots of articles why dates in the sources used in the article vary (Old Style and New Style), which is further complicated by the dual meaning of "New Style". There is also the question of dual dating (18 links) of which the current content is largely a fork of this article. I would be in favour of removing "Adoption of the Gregorian calender" section from this article and transferring any missing information to the dual dating article, as the term "New Style" (at least in English histories is not usually used for those conversions). -- PBS (talk) 16:22, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
OK, that makes four articles. I think consolidation to two articles, considering the large number of articles linking to Old Style and New Style dates, is in order. I don't think we can expect general encyclopedia readers to understand the distinction that some historians make about what is and isn't dual dating. Also, I have not yet found an authoritative source that says "If you're a historian, you must use dual dating in these circumstances, and you must provide a footnote indicating whether your dates are Julian dates in these circumstances" combined with widespread acclaim for the source making it evident that nearly all historians write that way. So even if we have an editor who is a historian and knows how it's done, we need a reliable source if we want to pass that advice on to readers. Jc3s5h (talk) 20:38, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree that these articles seem to need consolidation. Fragmenting them leads to wasted and duplicated efforts on the part of editors, and a harder time for readers trying to piece together the bits of information. W. P. Uzer (talk) 21:00, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

OK then I suggest that AFAICT the only section that is unique to dual dating is the lead. That can be included in this article.

Like Jc3s5h, I question the encyclopaedic use of the section "§ Use of dates from historical documents in contemporary documents" in dual dating as the section is not supported by sources that state it is standard practice or it is recommended practice in English language historiography.

The section "§ Countries that used lunisolar calendars" in Old Style and New Style dates and "§ East Asia" in dual dating can be merged into Adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

Whether Adoption of the Gregorian calendar is merged back into Gregorian calendar is something to be discussed either on talk:Gregorian calendar or talk:Adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

-- PBS (talk) 09:07, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

It seems to me that we definitely need three articles. They are each well known topics. The only debate is how much material should be in each. 'Old style and New style' is an important topic in modern Anglophone history and the article is widely linked. 'Dual dating' is the more general case (per WP:Worldwide perspective). 'Gregorian Calendar' is a more specific article about calendar technology  – it is not obvious to me why 'adoption' should have been forked from it. So if someone raises an RtM, I shall vote for no change. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 18:08, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Unless there are objection that need further discussion, I intend to move and merge the "Old Style § Countries that used lunisolar calendars" into Adoption of the Gregorian calendar; and create a short section in Old Style to introduce double dating mention that dual dating of year is used in place of using the notion of style by some reliable sources. -- PBS (talk) 11:53, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Support. And thanks. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:34, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Support as this is a sensible compromise. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 20:46, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I have not forgotten about this it is just I have been busy with articles around Waterloo (200th anniversary and all that). -- PBS (talk) 20:04, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

OK I have made the change to this article. -- PBS (talk) 14:02, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

What about this page? Daimler Ben (talk) 20:47, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

I revised that article yesterday, taking into account what has been discussed here. No doubt it could be improved further if anyone is so inclined.--John Maynard Friedman (talk) 10:19, 17 December 2016 (UTC)


I have included Ireland and its act in the article (diff). However when looking into that issue I came across this line in the British act: "In and throughout all his Majesty’s dominions and countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, belonging or subject to the crown of Great Britain" (Act). What if anything does Europe cover?

-- PBS (talk) 07:49, 13 September 2017 (UTC)