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This guideline is a part of the English Wikipedia’s Manual of Style. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. This page guides the presentation of numbers, dates, times, measurements, currencies, coordinates, and similar material in articles. The goal is to make the whole encyclopedia easier and more intuitive to use. Where this manual provides options, consistency should be maintained within an article unless there is a good reason to do otherwise.
The Arbitration Committee has ruled that editors should not change an article from one guideline-defined style to another without a substantial reason unrelated to mere choice of style, and that revert-warring over optional styles is unacceptable. Quotations, titles of books and articles, and similar “imported” text should be faithfully reproduced, even if they employ formats or units inconsistent with these guidelines or with other formats in the same article. If necessary, clarify via , article text, or footnotes. It is acceptable to change other date formats in the same article to provide consistency, so long as those changes would otherwise be acceptable. Relative-time expressions are acceptable for very long periods, such as geological epochs: Humans diverged from other primates long ago, but only recently developed state legislatures. See also Wikipedia:Overview of date formatting guidelines. Articles on topics with strong ties to a particular English-speaking country should generally use the date format most commonly used in that nation.
In some topic areas, the customary format differs from the usual national one: for example, articles on the modern US military, including US military biographical articles, use day-before-month, in accordance with US military usage. If an article has evolved using predominantly one date format, this format should be used throughout the article, unless there are reasons for changing it based on strong national ties to the topic or consensus on the article’s talk page. The date format chosen by the first major contributor in the early stages of an article should continue to be used, unless there is reason to change it based on strong national ties to the topic or consensus on the article’s talk page. Where an article has shown no clear sign of which format is used, the first person to insert a date is equivalent to “the first major contributor”. Either convention may be appropriate for use in Wikipedia articles. CE notation consistently within the same article.
Exception: do not change direct quotations, titles, etc. Do not change the established era style in an article unless there are reasons specific to its content. Seek consensus on the talk page before making the change. Open the discussion under a subhead that uses the word “era”. Briefly state why the style is inappropriate for the article in question. A personal or categorical preference for one era style over the other is not justification for making a change. It is advisable to use a non-breaking space.
YBP, the Smith artifact to 5000 YBP. Other era systems may be appropriate in an article. Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar or both, as described below. Current events are dated using the Gregorian calendar. Dates of events in countries using the Gregorian calendar at that time are given in the Gregorian calendar.
BC are given in the Roman calendar, which was neither Julian nor Gregorian. Julian equivalent is certain, it may be included. For dates in early Egyptian and Mesopotamian history, Julian or Gregorian equivalents are often uncertain. Follow the consensus of reliable sources, or indicate their divergence. Uncertain, incomplete, or approximate dates, below. In tables and infoboxes where space is limited, pres. Date mathematics templates are available for other age calculations.
To indicate “around”, “approximately”, or “about”, the use of the spaced, unitalicised form c. Where both endpoints of a range are approximate, c. The linked forms should not be used on disambiguation pages, and “active” followed by the range is a better alternative for occupations not relating to the composition of works, whether it be musical, grammatical, historical, or any other such work. Context determines whether the 12- or 24-hour clock is used. 12-hour clock times end with lower-case a. Where several times that are all a. 24-hour clock times have no a.
Give dates and times appropriate to the time zone where an event took place. Monaco attacked a Pentagon computer in the US, use the time zone for the Pentagon, where the attack had its effect. En dashes for use of hyphens and dashes in obscure situations. Abbreviations yr and ya for more information.