Talk:anno Domini

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Spelling Variants[edit]

Beer Parlour discussion[edit]

has been moved to attached page Talk:anno Domini/BP April 2006

Capitalization[edit]

According to the OED, Anno Domini should be capitalized. All quote examples given in the OED are so capitalized. --EncycloPetey 14:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Your examples are British English. The American Random House Dictionary of the English Language disagrees, showing as entries *A.D. < L annō Domini, and *annō Domini, and *A.H. < L annō Hejirae, etc. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (fourth edition, 2000), also says annō Domini. See if you can find cites of formal Latin texts that show it capitalized à la OED. In any case, annō Domini is correct in American usage, and so that’s how we’ll leave it. You can insert a note that says the British capitalize both words. —Stephen 14:49, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
For a Latin example that capitalizes Anno see the closing paragraph of Shakespeare's last will and testament (1616):
Probatum coram Magistro Williamo Byrde legum doctore Commissario etc xxiido die mensis Junii Anno domini 1616 Juramento Jahannis Hall unius executorum etc.
And who wrote Shakespeare’s last will and testament in Latin?—Stephen 15:04, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
For an American example see the Constitution of the State of Florida (1838):
Done in Convention, held in pursuance of an act of the Governor and Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, entitled, "An Act to call a Convention for the purpose of organizing a State Government," passed 30th day of January, 1838, and approved 2nd February, eighteen hundred and thirty-eight. In witness whereof, the undersigned, the President of said Convention and Delegates, representing the people of Florida, do hereunder sign our names, this the eleventh day of January, Anno Domini, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the sixty-third year; and the Secretary of said Convention, doth countersign the same.
Government documents are well known for capitalizing all sorts of words that normally should not be, including in your example "a Convention," and "and Delegates." Just because you can find some bad American writers among our 300,000,000 plus people, that doesn’t make them right and the AHD or Random House wrong. —Stephen 15:04, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Check Wikisource. The will of Benjamin Franklin also capitalizes Anno Domini, as does the Treaty of Paris (1815). You have yet to provide any actual quotes in which the phrase is not capitalized. Just because a book claims that somthing is right does not mean that anyone follows that convention in actual practice. --EncycloPetey 15:08, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who spelt the name of our country, the "united States". You continue under the impression that the exception proves the rule. It doesn’t. —Stephen 15:14, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Exception? Every document at Wikisource that I have searched for and checked capitalizes the phrase, as do the full set of quotes provided in the OED. Capitalization is the rule, not the exception. I again note that you have supplied no evidence, citations, or attestations to support your position. --EncycloPetey 15:16, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I consider the AHD and Random House to be excellent evidence, and the ultimate arbiter of American orthography. —Stephen 15:27, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I believe you mean that you consider them to be excellent sources or refernces. Neither book seems to supply any actual evidence. --EncycloPetey 15:29, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
No, I mean that they are excellent evidence and the last word in matters of American orthography. —Stephen 15:38, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Usage notes[edit]

How much relevance does placing "AD" before the year have on the meaning of "anno Domini"? I would think a reference to the usage note at AD would be enough. Alternatively one could alter the note to say that "anno Domini" is said before the year, but that's less clear in my opinion. Davilla 20:39, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Historically, the phrase has preceded the year. Inversion of this order seems to be a recent phenomenon. I'm unsure of the cause or the probable time it began. --EncycloPetey 20:45, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

"Spelling variants" section arrangement[edit]

The "Spelling variants" section appears outside of either language header, before the TOC even. I presume this was deliberate on someone's part, in an attempt to forestall debate by each new visitor (but in the process of course artificially highlighting the contention). This is a very nonstandard arrangement; this is the only page in all of en.wiktionary that has it this way. Is it really necessary? I'd like to move it down. –Scs 02:09, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


anno Domini/BP April 2006[edit]

The following was moved from Beer Parlour.--Richardb 13:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


According to the OED and according to the citations supplied therein, as well as evidence in the form of citations I have supplied from the Mayflower Compact (1620) and from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (1859), the phrase Anno Domini should be capitalized. As such, I moved it to be capitalized. Stephen G. Brown has moved it back repeatedly without offering citations or evidence. What does the community think? --EncycloPetey 14:43, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

First, your examples are British English, not Latin. The American Random House Dictionary of the English Language disagrees with you, showing as entries *A.D. < L annō Domini, and *annō Domini, and *A.H. < L annō Hejirae, etc. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (fourth edition, 2000), also says annō Domini. Your claim that I have moved it back without offering evidence is patently false, because I countered your OED with our Random House and American Heritage. In any case, annō Domini is correct in American usage, so there are no grounds for moving it at this late date to the British spelling. —Stephen 14:56, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Remember, our criteria for inclusion of information specifically exclude dictionaries. We can cite them as reputable references advocating "anno Domini" in a ===usage note===, but without citations of the use of "anno Domini" there's nothing to justify it standing at that title—while the number of citations so far proferred for Anno Domini certainly justify it standing at that title unredirected (even if anno Domini may later get its own, separate page, when evidence is accrued). —Muke Tever 16:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
This is different. The phrase clearly merits inclusion. The question is about orthography, and virtually all professional American writers and typographers have always turned to the AHD, Random House, Websters, or a house manual of style as the authority on matters of orthography (and those who write the styleguides themselves turn to the AHD, Random House, or Websters). The argument that numbers should be the deciding factor in anything involving quality or beauty or anything of that sort is silly. Using that logic, most people are the best writers of English, and H.W. Fowler writes poorly...a ridiculous notion indeed. Using that logic, "why r u" is better English and higher style than "wherefore art thou." Numbers and cites prove that something exists, but they are no indication at all of best practice. When Americans write "Anno Domini," it’s because they are simply guessing how it should be because they are too busy to look it up or they just don’t care. —Stephen 14:14, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say the amount of the numeration was relevant. I said that it takes three citations for us to have an entry on a word. Three citations were already given for Anno Domini so there is no reason in the universe why it shouldn't have an entry. If you want to decorate it with admonitions not to use it culled from reputable sources, that's fine. But it's a failure of NPOV to tell people that a phrase shouldn't exist because you or anybody doesn't like it, for whatever reason. —Muke Tever 22:13, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I never said anything of the sort (concerning "shouldn’t have an entry" and "admonition not to use it"). The page anno Domini already existed, and EncycloPetey wanted to move it to the newly created Anno Domini. Nobody has suggested that Anno Domini is not used or does not deserve an entry; it’s the original anno Domini that he feels doesn’t deserve an entry. We have pages such as analyze and analyse where each mentions the alternative spelling, and color and colour. This has never been about the existence of Anno Domini at all, but about anno Domini. EncycloPetey kept insisting on having only his version and reducing the old page to a redirect, and has been insisting that there is no evidence that the old page is either correct or used, and I have been insisting that the old page is not only correct but is also used by reputable writers. As Eclecticology points out, the spelling anno domini is also in use, and I don’t mind if it has an entry of its own or is mentioned as an alternative spelling. I only insist that the original page anno Domini is correct and that there are no grounds for deleting it. —Stephen 19:39, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
All right; I had read in the original comment "Stephen G. Brown has moved it back repeatedly without offering citations or evidence." and my mind entirely discarded the previous statement relating the same as what you just restated. —Muke Tever 12:57, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Stephen has discussed this on his talk page before. I get where he is coming from but I must admit all my sources too, like EP's, show it with a capital A. Ultimately I think we have to be led by citations on this kind of issue. Widsith 14:54, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Currently, Anno Domini has only a Latin entry. This entry contains English quotations!?! Ncik 15:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
This is easily fixed (and now done) by adding an English header. BTW, one of the quotations I suppiled on the Talk Page is in Latin. --EncycloPetey 15:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it’s in Latin ... written by Shakespeare. If I recall, he was a British subject by birth. —Stephen 15:20, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
You have casually dismissed each and every instance of capitalization as an "exception" to your view, and yet every source and WikiSource and each quote in the OED capitalizes Anno Domini. You have yet to provide a single documented example to support your position. It seems that capitalization is the rule, and your viewpoint is an unsupported minority view at best. I will be examining medieval Latin texts from Hungary and Croatia when I get home, to see what light they shed on the situation. I may even have a few medieval Italian and German texts in Latin to examine. --EncycloPetey 15:26, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I trust the AHD and Random House far more than I trust Florida lawmakers, ancient mariners, or any of your other examples. I consider the AHD and Random House to be authoritative in matters of American orthography. —Stephen 15:34, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
It's a blind faith you have -- one that lacks evidence and relies solely on someone's saying so. Believe as you will, the totality of citations is against you. --EncycloPetey 15:39, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Certainly no blinder than your faith in your sea captains, old poets and state law-makers. Your citations are examples of bad usage and poor education. Nothing you’ve said can stand against the American authorities that I have already named. —Stephen 15:47, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
use-mention distinctionMuke Tever 16:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
It's not blind faith when you can see the evidence. Q.E.D. As I understand your argument, the evidence is "bad" (as you put it) because it contradicts your sources' unsupported assertion. There is a very important distinction between attested and asserted that you are missing here. --EncycloPetey 15:53, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
It certainly is blind faith if you believe in the evidence that you have given, in opposition to what I have named. Your examples are bad usage because they are wrong from an American perspective, and they are wrong because they are not correct American usage. Besides the examples I’ve already mentioned, the AHD and Random House also have entries for annō Hebraico and annō Hejirae. The entry at the AHD goes on to say:
annō Domini
SYLLABICATION: an·no Dom·i·ni
ADVERB: abbr. A.D. or a.d. In a specified year of the Christian era.
ETYMOLOGY: Medieval Latin annō Domini: Latin annō, ablative of annus, year + Latin Domini, genitive of Dominus, Lord.
Other American sources include:
  • The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993...anno Domini
  • The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993...A.D. is an abbreviation for anno Domini.
  • The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002...It stands for anno Domini, a Latin phrase meaning in the year of our Lord.
  • Sir Richard Hawkins, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. 1907–21...entitled The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins, Knight, in his voiage into the South Sea; anno Domini, 1593 (printed 1622).
  • The Encyclopedia of World History...A.D., or anno Domini, in the year of our Lord.
  • Roget’s International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases...anno Domini [L.], A.D.; ante Christum [L.], A.C.; before Christ, B.C.
  • The Cambridge History of English and American Literature...adds more explicitly that this was in anno millesimo xiiii ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesus Christi.
—Stephen 16:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to approach this from a slightly different angle. What is the correct capitalization in Latin? That page should exist with a Latin header. It appears from this conversation that the borrowed term in English should be listed under capital A. It's not clear to me if the lowercase should be considered an alternate English spelling. Davilla 17:18, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Never mind. It appears the Latin is correctly placed at anno Domini. The diacritic on ō is ignored for the entry name according to Wiktionary policy. But shouldn't annō Domini redirect? Davilla 19:25, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
A definition of anno Domini wouldn't count, but use of "anno Domini" in the definition of A.D. would, whether in a dictionary or otherwise. This is sufficient evidence IMO. Davilla 20:52, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
The problem with this is that the best American usage is lowercase ‘a,’ and I consider the capital to be sloppy style. I have already suggested that a note be added to the effect that British usage prefers the capitalization, just as we do with the other words that we spell differently. As for the capitalization that was followed in Latin one or two thousand years ago, it was all handwritten or chiseled in stone and caps and lowercase usually didn’t have the same effect or degree of standardization that today is the case. —Stephen 17:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
More proof:
I can find thousands of these anno Domini with the click of a mouse. —Stephen 18:28, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
What a brilliant demonstration of why we need "The Information Desk" so our newbies are not faced with flame wars such as this. Which, I must say, seems an almost deliberately concocted flame war. Just agree to disagree, pleeeease ! Put in a redirect and a note about the usage being different in US and UK, and leave it at that. We've got better things to do, surely ! And please, take this petty war out of Beer Parlour and put it in the talk page of the article(s), where it belongs. --Richardb 00:56, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
This is not a flame war. This discussion is useful and informative. Widsith 09:25, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
To a newbie looking for help, this looks like, smells like a flame war (Certainly no blinder than your faith in your sea captains, old poets and state law-makers. ). I didn't say it wasn't useful or informative, it's just inappropriate for here. This Beer Parlour is just becoming so overcrowded and noisy with everyone bringing their petty squabbles here. Just put an "ad" here, and take your discussion off to the appropriate place. Before Beer Parlour becomes too big even if you have got a broadband connection !--Richardb 13:53, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, still, it belongs in the Tea room. I'm inclined to move this entire bit there. — Vildricianus 12:07, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
The Random House Handbook and the Globe and Mail Style Book both use anno domini. Eclecticology 00:56, 3 April 2006 (UTC)