Wikivoyage talk:Time and date formats

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Draft and discussion[edit]

<begin draft for discussion>


Use the format of 10:30AM-5PM.

Use noon and midnight, not 12AM or 12PM.


  • Decimals not used when not required, eg not 5:00PM.
  • Where decimals are required, colon used as the separator, eg not 5.30PM or 5-30PM.
  • Ante meridiem and post meridiem abbreviated and capitalised as AM and PM.
  • Spaces and periods (fullstops) left out, eg not 10:30 A.M. – 5 P.M.
  • 12-hour format rather than 24-hour format, eg 5PM, not 1700.


Abbreviate to the minimum number of letters, ie M Tu W Th F Sa Su.


  • Spell out when it is part of a named day, eg Good Friday, Fat Tuesday.
  • If it looks odd or ambiguous in a particular context, spell it out.
We should use 2 Letters for each day, ie. Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su. This is more consistent and readable, and, in my opinion also more intuitive. (M 10am-3pm vs Mo 10am-3pm) - (WT-en) Nils Jan 8th, 2004


Abbreviate to three letters, ie Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec.


Use the format of 10 Jan 2003 (as dates appear when you add a name and time signature using 4 tildes).

  • Never use dates of the form 10/1/03. This example would mean 10 Jan 2003 or 1 Oct 2003 to different people.

<end main draft>

Points for possible discussion

  • Abbrevn for ante meridiem and post meridiem. I prefer am and pm to AM and PM - the full words aren't capitalised.
I prefer lowercase too. -(WT-en) phma 19:27, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)
  • Abbrevs for months.
  • Date format.

Holidays occurring on a fixed date

I expect that most people, including those not from a Christian tradition, know that Christmas Day is 25 Dec. But not every one will know the date of Boxing Day or ANZAC Day. Possible solutions:

  1. Give the date not the name, eg "Closed 25 Apr".
  2. Give the name and the date, eg something like "Closed ANZAC Day (25 Apr)".
  3. List holidays in the article for the appropriate level (eg national holidays in the country article, local holidays in the article for the state, county or whatever) and then use the name, eg "Closed ANZAC Day".

I think I prefer solution 3.

For holidays not occurring on a fixed date I don’t think there is any alternative to, for example, "Closed Good Friday". (WT-en) Nurg 18:42, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

What about Thanksgiving? Canada and USA both celebrate it but on different dates. Countries using the Julian calendar for religious purposes may celebrate Good Friday on a different date than those using the Gregorian. As to Fat Tuesday, even many Anglophones would know that better by its French translation, and I have to translate it to recognize it; and I wouldn't know how to find it on a calendar. -(WT-en) phma 19:27, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

I'd say solution 2 above is the obvious one to use as the default solution, because it is easiest to read. Solution three makes the traveller do more work in order to save editing effort or storage space, so I think it is wrong in most cases. The exception would be where it is a very common holiday; you don't need to give the date of ANZAC day in every Australia article. This then becomes a question of jdgement for the writer, but I'd say if in doubt, use pattern #2 above. (WT-en) Pashley 21:17, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

My comments[edit]

I'm glad this page has been started and I'm interested in seeing where it goes.

I don't have a big problem with going to am and pm versus AM and PM. My main concern is whether we should get in the habit of changing our preferred style on anything because the new style is marginally better than the old style.

Preferring one thing to another is fine, but by making something our standard, it means we're requiring ourselves to change any current content in that format. So, the advantages of any change should probably justify the work involved to change it.

I added a note on time zones. It should probably be obvious that times should be in the local time zone, but I made it explicit just in case. There are some cases where it might not be: The train leaves Paris each night at 9PM and arrives the next day in Lisbon at 4PM. Which time zone are the times in? I think most train and plane tickets use the local time on arrival and departure, but.

Also, it might be worthwhile to point out time range format. Like, "9-11am", "10am-4pm", "noon-midnight", "24 hours", whatever. --(WT-en) Evan 19:58, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

I would specify both time zones if they are different: "The train leaves Paris each night at 9pm MET and arrives the next day in Lisbon at 4pm WET."
As an absolute time, midnight belongs to the following day, but some places, such as bars and pizzerias, open in the afternoon and close after the following midnight. So 5pm-3am Friday ends on Saturday. -(WT-en) phma 21:08, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

Just curious[edit]

I'm not particularly opinionated about this, but why do we have to write "AM" and "PM" (or possibly "am" and "pm" if it gets changed) instead of "a.m." and "p.m.", which are the only accepted abbreviations in 3 dictionaries I consulted (Oxford Reference, Australian Concise Oxford and Collins Cobuild)? (WT-en) DhDh 13:29, 28 Dec 2003 (PST)

"am" vs. "a.m." vs. "AM" vs. "A.M." isn't particularly important. We went with "AM" to start off, and now there's some moves to use "am" instead. We can go through all 4 possibilities, as well as exploring some less obvious ones, like "ant. merid." or "M.A." or whatever.
We have suggestions as to why "am" would have been a better choice 6 months ago than "AM", and why "a.m." would have been better than both of them. What I haven't seen is a good reason why we should change from "AM" to either one of these right now. --(WT-en) Evan 08:21, 29 Dec 2003 (PST)
Use something that is easy on the eyes. AM is. am is sort of. a.m. isn't. Remember, we use these in short, crowded paragraphs about attractions etc. A point could be made to go with 24h format, since it is much easier esp. with noon/midnight. But since that would be opening up a whole string of arguments I'll ceede to the anglophiles on the point. Just don't make me use imperial units. (WT-en) Nils Jan 8th, 2004
Hey, thats not an anglophile issue; us Brits may be hopelessly backward on imperial units, but on the subject of 12/24h clocks we swing with the rest of Europe :-). Seriously I think most people who have enough english for wikivoyage to be useful can in general handle either clock format. What I certainly cannot handle is 12am or 12pm; I have no idea what those mean and in general usage I will always use 'noon' and 'midnight' (or 00:00 and 12:00). I don't really care whether wikivoyage stays 12h or goes 24h but I suggest we mandate 'noon' and 'midnight' if we stay 12h. --(WT-en) chris_j_wood May 14th, 2004
I think 24h time would solve this notation ( AM Vs am ) problem, along with noon and midnight. Looks like our signatures already use it so it would also add consistency. --(WT-en) Caffeine 16:30, 15 Mar 2004 (EST)
Another vote for 24h time format, with colon separator.
Should there be a link to this from Project:Manual of style#Formatting style?
The problem with 24 hour time is that a lot of people (i.e. travelers) find them confusing. Although I work in an organisation that uses a 24 hour clock, I note that many people are unable to convert between the two systems easily and are totally confused when confronted with a 24 hour time. While the people who are familiar with 24 hour time recognise the system, those who are not, won't. Using AM and PM is unambiguous. You just know it is 12 hour time. And so does everyone else. While I, personally, would happily accept 24 hour time, for clarity, I will instead plug for 12 hour time with AM and PM, NOON and MIDNIGHT as it is unambiguous and will nt be confusing or misunderstood.
As to whether it is AM, Am, am, a.m. or ante meridiem .... I do not think the dictionaries are necessarily the best guide. While a.m. might be the dictionary definition, it is only the consensus or popular way it is used. Dictionaries merely document the generally accepted way to use words, but word usage does change with writing style and usage. And when it does the definition in the dictionary will also change. I see that using AM (or PM) is the Wikivoyage style and usage definition. In other words it is our way of doing things, like american spelling, we have chosen a particular path for some very good reasons. Some of those reason include clarity, ease of writing and viewing as well unambiguous meaning. I do not think many people will confuse AM for amplitude modulation when expressed in the context of opening hours.
For times that cross time-zones, either identify the time standard being used or state it is the local time of each destination. -- (WT-en) Huttite 05:30, 1 Dec 2005 (EST)
I reckon 24h is less confusing and would be surprised if that puts me in a minority. However, what's most confusing of all about 12h is that so many people frequently get it wrong when editing - "AM"s which should be "PM"s and vice-versa, and of course "12 AM" and "12 PM".
How about entering times in a format such as [12:34] and then a truly standard "style" being applied when the page is output?
I've seen mention of "skins" somewhere - couldn't people then have times displayed in their preferred format?
(apologies for poor descriptions - not familiar with the terminology)

AM vs a.m.[edit]

Reopening discussion, as the policy was just changed w/o discussion. (WT-en) Jonboy 11:56, 1 March 2006 (EST)

The most common method for listing ante meridiem or post meridiem used in written text is a.m. and p.m. The only time that AM or PM is used is on time tables on doors of stores. Style guides recommend a.m. and p.m. Times should be listed as: 12:30 a.m. format

Why should we make the effort to change? It doesn't seem even remotely worth it to me. --(WT-en) Evan 14:17, 1 March 2006 (EST)
Why not use whatever the majority of airlines use? -- anon
From a graphics design point-of-view, lowercase looks much much better. Enough to make it well worth the change. I prefer the version without the periods. -- (WT-en) Mark 01:55, 8 March 2006 (EST)
AM and PM are widely used, e.g. on signs as someone mentions above. The issue here is not design in the sense of how it looks, but design for clarity, easy recognition. I agree am and pm look better, but I'd say AM and PM are obviously correct. (WT-en) Pashley 05:44, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

I think the all-caps version looks ugly, and that the periods look even uglier. Count me as someone who'd like to change to 'am' and 'pm' -- if we can go to the effort of completely changing telephone number formats, we can certainly manage switching times over, particularly since so few attraction listings actually include a time. -- (WT-en) Colin 23:18, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

Despite my comment above, after looking at a few listings, I agree. am and pm are more readable. So I'd say we should use am and pm in North america and 24-hour clock (see discussion further on) everywhere else. However, Evan's question is a good one; it may not be worth the effort of changing. (WT-en) Pashley 08:31, 11 May 2006 (EDT)

Can we get some consensus on this particular question? My opinion is that lower case am or pm (without periods) looks far better than AM or PM - certainly much better than A.M. or P.M. Using capitals appears to make the times far less legible... (WT-en) Paul James Cowie 07:08, 26 May 2006 (EDT)

There is no "obviously correct" choice. I'm in favor of "am"/"pm", also for general readability. As for the burden of changing, usage is still pretty inconsistent in Wikivoyage at this point, so I don't see a gradual transition as substantially more onerous than MoS-ing in general. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 07:33, 26 May 2006 (EDT)

Interesting (?) WikiPedia:24-hour_clock quote[edit]

"This system is the most commonly used time notation in the world of today. The United States is the only industrialized country left in which a substantial fraction of the population is not yet accustomed to it."

At the risk of opening a can of worms, I wouldn't be too averse to standardizing on the 24-hour clock elsewhere in the world (it's what all schedules etc use anyway, so even Yankees better get used to it) and letting the USA fester in its own legacy cesspool — we already do this for miles, Fahrenheit etc anyway. (WT-en) Jpatokal 21:54, 5 March 2006 (EST)

A quote from the Cambridge page [1] on the ISO Standard date format:

"The 24h time notation specified here has already been the de-facto standard all over the world in written language for decades. The only exception are a few English speaking countries, ...

"Please consider the 12h time to be a relic from the dark ages when Roman numerals were used, the number zero had not yet been invented and analog clocks were the only known form of displaying a time. Please avoid using it today, especially in technical applications! Even in the U.S., the widely respected Chicago Manual of Style now recommends using the international standard time notation in publications.

I'd say the 24-hour clock is definitely the way to go. (WT-en) Pashley 10:12, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

I'm fine with allowing 24 hour time in countries where schedules are routinely printed in 24 hour format. But I'd really like to keep am/pm for Norteamerica since a) it is the most common local format, b) most travelers to Norteamerica are Norteamerican and c) I assume international travelers still recall how to read analog clocks and are therefore familar with am/pm. -- (WT-en) Colin 23:15, 9 May 2006 (EDT)
So you're agreeing with Jpatokal above. I'm happy with that too. Sounds to me like we have a consensus. Anyone want to scream before I change the page? (WT-en) Pashley 08:16, 11 May 2006 (EDT)
Scream. I think it's a bad idea to change MoS pages for marginal advantages, especially when we have so many guides already started. Can you justify why changing from 12h to 24h is worth the time, effort, and disruption? I don't think it is. --(WT-en) Evan 09:11, 11 May 2006 (EDT)
No scream. I assume that in many existing guides with input from people outside the US, 24 hour time was used already, because those users (me included) didn't even know about the current style guide. Also, for most non-US Wikivoyage visitors it's quite troublesome to convert the 12-hour AM/PM times to the usual 24-hour times. A guide should help, not create or add "problems". --(WT-en) Túrelio 14:56, 13 May 2006 (EDT)
SCREAM! I've been happily ignoring all rules with regard to dates and times. Additionally, I'm somewhat surprised that policy hasn't been changed since it seems we have a consensus with the exception of Evan's objection, which seems to stand on the objection that he was expecting a wholesale conversion of 2AM to 02:00 on every single guide. For the sake of compromise I suggest we adapt this as policy and no one go out of the way to change every single 2AM to 02:00. To further my arguments I trump The traveller comes first. I'm more than willing to wade in my "legacy cesspool" for the sake of everyone else in the world. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 03:48, 13 September 2006 (EDT)
Andrew: all I'm asking is for someone to say, "Yes, it's worth the trouble of changing every single guide to have 24 hour time." I don't think it's the case. Is 24-hour time so much better that it's worth the effort? Or is this just a run-around for Wikivoyagers who could be spending their limited time on the site doing more important things?
I'm less interested in this particular case than in the general case. It's pretty important, when proposing a change to the MoS, to take into account the amount of effort it's going to take to change it. --(WT-en) Evan 16:07, 13 September 2006 (EDT)

Moved from Evan's talk page:

Also, I'm not very hell-bent on spelling out the days of the weeks, however, I am a strong believer in 24 hour format and I think converting to that format should be a route to explore. I originally hated the 24 hour format, but I changed my opinion of the format about two months ago. I'm very tempted to say that it would be worth the hassle. It's not as a daunting task as changing 10,000 articles since many (like Ajax) don't even have times or dates in the article. Also, it took us roughly four months to get rid of the "External Links" section. While I'm sure MoSing time formats will take a little longer than four months. I don't believe converting from AM/PM to 24 hours will distract too much from the and constructively contributing to Wikivoyage, since I think most people will MoS the format as they just happen to notice the difference in formats on an article. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 16:53, 13 September 2006 (EDT)

I just want to make sure that people are a) thinking in terms of what's best for the project and for the traveler, not just of their own personal preferences, b) accepting that making MoS changes means changing a lot of articles, and c) not changing itsy-bitsy things on the MoS so often that its value as a reference becomes meaningless. --(WT-en) Evan 17:35, 13 September 2006 (EDT)
I understand those concerns and my personal preferences with regards to certain things have been developed over travelling and talking with travellers. When I send an email to a friend in Poland telling her the time I'll be arriving I always use "14:37" or whatever because it's the format she's familiar with and it leaves no doubt that she won't show up at 2 in the morning and I won't have to wait 12 hours. While in Warsaw I missed my train to Germany, because of my disregard for the 24 hour format. The woman in the ticket office tried to tell me the my train left at "8 PM", but since she wasn't very familiar with English I ended up missing my train since it actually left at 8 AM. It's somewhat easy to look over the "A" or "P" and confuse the times. -- 18:48, 13 September 2006 (EDT)

Is this can of worms being handeled? I think because of the nature of this guide / wiki we should try to adopt the most easy time notification system available. PM / AM is not common outside UK and and US. I'd prefer the 24 hour format. (WT-en) Aixroot 08:54, 19 August 2010 (EDT)

#International time formats --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:01, 19 August 2010 (EDT)

Days of the Week[edit]

alternative "Mon-Tue" format suggestion (compromise?):

Abbreviate to three letters, ie Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun


  • Spell out when it is part of a named day, eg Good Friday, Fat Tuesday
  • If it looks odd or ambiguous in a particular context, spell it out
  • Spaces should be left out, eg "Mon-Fri" not "Mon - Fri" or "Mon thru Fri"
  • For consistency/clarity, include the dash for consecutive pairs of days, eg "Sat-Sun" not "Sat Sun"
  • When combining days with time, put the days first, eg Mon-Fri 10AM-2PM rather than 10AM-2PM Mon-Fri
  • For all seven days, use "daily" - do not use "every day" or "Sun-Sat"
I like the three-letter forms for use in schedules, listings, etc. It makes easier reading than the shorter abbreviations. I'm a little amazed that the short ones were even proposed, let alone used. In running text, I see no reason to abbreviate at all. Use Monday, Tuesday, etc. because it is clearer. The traveller comes first so easy reading comes way ahead of saving bytes. (WT-en) Pashley 05:53, 9 May 2006 (EDT)
I agree with the use of three-letter forms. I also prefer the term "daily" to "every day". - (WT-en) Cybjorg 03:02, 16 May 2006 (EDT)
I think two or three letter forms are the way to go. M-Tu is weird, as it is not consistent. M has one letter, while Tu has two letters. By using a two or three letter-system, it's consistent, thus more readable. And it's still abbreviated if we use Mo-Tu or Mon-Tue. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 20:20, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I think the time is long past to be discussing this. =) Space is at a premium in listings, and M Tu W Th F Sa Su are commonly used enough that no one should get confused. (WT-en) LtPowers 22:23, 22 December 2009 (EST)
It'd be great if on Project:Time and date formats, the use of placement of "daily" could be specified as it is on the Project:Star nominations page; on the former, no where is mentioned that "daily" should be placed after the hours of operation yet on the latter it specifically states the placement. (WT-en) Zepppep 14:18, 22 February 2012 (EST)
Done, Zepppep. Nurg (talk) 09:33, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure why the Star nom page is so adamant about the placement of "daily". I don't think we've ever cared whether it goes before or after the time. LtPowers (talk) 14:27, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I can't see any discussion of that weird idea that daily should follow the opening hours - it seems to have just crept in on that Star Nom page. If we already say that we prefer seasons first, then months, then days of the week and then the times, it would seem more logical to write something like "Summer 26 Jun-31 Aug daily 09:00-17:30" as the seventh day extension of: "Autumn 1 Sep-3 Nov M-Sa 09:45-16:30" -- Alice 06:53, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I tend to agree, and usually write "Daily 24 hours" or "Daily 9AM-5PM" myself. LtPowers (talk) 14:36, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

ISO Standard dates[edit]

There is an ISO standard (ISO 8601) for date formats [2] The date given above — 05:53, 9 May 2006 (EDT) — comes out in it as 2006-05-09 05:53 -5 I'd suggest we use 2006-05-09 05:53 utc-5, adding the "utc" makes it more readable. An important advantage is that this date format is the same across language versions, unlike month names. Adding "utc" does not cause a problem there in european languages. The standard uses the 24-hour clock. (WT-en) Pashley 09:45, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

Triple consensus?[edit]

My reading of the above is that we have consensus that three changes would be a good idea:

  • use 24-hour clock except in North America
  • replace "AM" with "am" when using 12-hour clock
  • use three-letter abbreviations for days of the week, for easier reading

Am I wrong about the consensus on any of those?

What we don't have consensus on is that making any changes is worth the trouble. I'd agree with Todd's comment; we aren't all that consistent now so a gradual change is not going to be too burdensome. Anyone else want to comment? (WT-en) Pashley 10:05, 26 May 2006 (EDT)

Me too for all of the above. (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:02, 26 May 2006 (EDT)
No Change - Sorry, but I don't see the need to replace "AM" with "am" the advantage is marginal and all of the star articles would need to be changed and I am guessing, but likely most of the Guide articles would need change as well. And for that matter I don't really see the need to change anything in the standard. I would not be against the 24 hour clock, but the standard has been American English... Why vary in this standard? -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 11:27, 26 May 2006 (EDT)
I disagree that having different time formats in different areas is preferable. I think that three-letter abbreviations will make the hours too long. I also disagree that making any of these changes is worth the effort. --(WT-en) Evan 17:29, 26 May 2006 (EDT)
Making the hours listings longer at the expense of making them readable (as opposed to "decryptible") is a sacrifice I'm OK with. "Sa Su" looks like the name of a German Linux distro, not a reference to the two days of the weekend. Frankly, 24-hour time - as sensible as it is - is similarly cryptic to those who haven't lived with it, and using different standards on different pages will just confuse the heck out of the majority of editors who simply (sort of) follow existing examples rather than reading the MoS page. -(WT-en) Todd VerBeek 17:44, 26 May 2006 (EDT)

Moved from Wikivoyage:Listings[edit]

I'm I wrong that the Wiki folks want the date/time to be: Tu-F 2PM-5PM. (WT-en) Unizeppelin 03:07, 13 September 2006 (EDT)

Days of the week[edit]

I have no idea if I'm starting a new discussion or reviving an old one, but I'd really like the policy to require days of the week to be spelled out. I used to use abbreviated day names, but I've come to dislike abbreviated names for days. I believe policy tell us to use the minimum number of letters required to abbreviate a day's name for the sake of space, but that doesn't seem to be very 'professional.' (Maybe, it's personal preference.) Would anyone object to this change? -- (WT-en) Sapphire 03:31, 13 September 2006 (EDT)

Yes, I would. First, is this important enough to change every guide on the whole site? Only for your personal preference? Second, very short day names are the standard for most guidebooks. They take up a lot less space and visual room, and if you're leafing through a lot of listings, it's very easy to tell "W" from "Th". --(WT-en) Evan 16:13, 13 September 2006 (EDT)

24-hour party people[edit]

What is our policy on how to display hours when a business is open around the clock? I was thinking just writing "24 hours," e.g.,

M-Th 9AM-2AM, F-Su 24 hours

Is this style write-up intelligible to non-US nationals? Is this the best way to do this? If so, I'll add it to the policy page. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 00:48, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Looks OK to me, and I've been doing more or less the same thing in Singapore (cf. The Balcony at [3]). (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:31, 8 November 2007 (EST)
I have checked with colleagues that include 29 nationalities (mainly European and Asian but all frequent travellers) and this is very understandable. Only other alternative would be 24/7. so after nearly 6 years I hope this will not be a controversial addition to the policy page. -- Alice 08:12, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't know off the top of my head where, but we decided somewhere to go with 24 hours daily. --Peter Talk 10:49, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I must say that 24/7 seems pretty widespread, and that 24 hours daily is not immediately recognisable as expressing that intended meaning ... and it's a bit stilted to me. 24/7 is consistent with the less formal register I'm finding on en.WV, which is appropriate for the project, IMO. Tony (talk) 12:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
The 24 hours bit following hours that apply to the whole week is in the policy article here, has been on the star article checklist forever (and is therefore present throughout our star articles), is an example on our listings formatting guidelines (here and here), and is also used here. I don't think this is something worth changing, and let's get back to work? --Peter Talk 18:48, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

International time formats[edit]

Our policy has been to always use the American time format (AM-PM), and policies can be hard to change, but I don't think it makes sense. When a country uses the 24 hour format, in my opinion we should also for the articles that cover that country. This is useful in a very basic way, since times will be displayed in 24 hour format and will not align to what we have written. I also really dislike the argument that we should use the American format to keep from confusing Americans. First, my country is a resilient nation and should be able to handle it; second, the argument can be applied in reverse to virtually the entire rest of the world. This would also match our (finally) updated spelling policy to use local spelling in articles (throughout the English speaking world).

So I propose we use local time formats. Changing this policy does not, as has been argued above, mean that we need to spend tons of time modifying all our articles for marginal benefit. It does, however, mean that we will not have to force star nominations for destinations outside the U.S. to fit a policy that does not make sense. Objections? Agreement? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 08:54, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

Just to clarify -- "local time format" means one of the two common options, right? We should also add the formatting rules for the two common options to the policy page. Given this, I support a change. -- (WT-en) Colin 11:06, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes and agreed. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 11:55, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
Objection. Let me state up front that I am a personal proponent of 24-hour time and use it myself where possible. However, I do have a problem with the proposal as stated above. First, the "confusion" principle is not as reciprocal as claimed; I can't imagine users outside North America being confused by a 12-hour time format because that's precisely what analog clocks use. Unless the rest of the world has switched entirely to 24-hour digital clocks, a 12-hour format should be perfectly intelligible. (Unfortunately, 24-hour formats still require a majority of Americans to do some mental calculation -- myself included, although I can do it very quickly.) This is important because of my second point -- I feel we should be consistent in format. It's confusing to editors to have different standards based on the location of the article's subject. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:08, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
While it's true that Americans are going to have the most trouble with this, the problem is that they ARE going to have this trouble once they get to the country. Checkin times, train timetables, flight times and everything else will be printed in 24 hour time, and so it seems to me we would actually be helping the traveller by getting them to adjust to this difficulty sooner rather than later. -- (WT-en) Colin 16:06, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
True, so I wouldn't object to mandating 24-hour format throughout the site. I just don't like having different formats on the same site. (WT-en) LtPowers 19:56, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
As I see it, there are three issues here: 1) Time formats should match local timetables, 2) 24 hour time formats may confuse Americans, 3) Formatting should be as standard as possible.
Re: 1 & 2, I think #1 outweighs #2. While Americans might have trouble dealing with a foreign time format, they'll need to figure it out anyway to deal with local train schedules and posted opening/closing times. I think it's better that our formats match those of posted schedules in the location we're writing about.
3). I don't agree that it's always desirable to have standard formatting across the entire site. After all, we do use local spelling. In addition to the aforementioned benefit of alignment with local schedules, allowing local time formats means we won't have to reformat contributions from locals who are naturally using the format most familiar to them.
We've been pushing for more local formatting over the years, from highway designations, to phone number formats, to spelling. I see no reason to make this an exception. As long as the formatting differences would not apply to an area greater than that which would be covered by a single travel guidebook, I think we should be OK. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:10, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
FUCK! I've been spending so much time rewriting everything to AM/PM format, because i thought it was mandated here (someone sometime changed all my times to AM/PM format at one point). GRRRRR!!!! anyway - just a rant, never mind me, I would whole heatedly support not having to the work in the future, just a damn shame I have to go over the 200+ listings i changed in Copenhagen, all over again. Talking of that, is there any particular reason none has commented on my Copenhagen/Østerbro star nomination? (WT-en) Sertmann 18:22, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
No worries, this doesn't have to be a requirement. We can put in the policy that 24hr format for non-US destinations is preferred. In any rate, I don't see such a small issue holding up a star nomination. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:39, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Oddly, I remember the "use American English" version of the Project:Spelling page, even though it was changed back in March. I hadn't realized that policy had changed. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:20, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I'm happy with this proposal as it stands. "When a country uses the 24 hour format, in my opinion we should also for the articles that cover that country." So we should us that more-or-less everywhere except North America.
If we decide that consistency is really important and we must limit ourselves to one format, I'd say it should obviously be the 24-hour clock used by most of the world. However, I don't think that is necessary. (WT-en) Pashley 19:56, 22 December 2009 (EST)

I think Wikivoyage should follow international guidelines most as possible. The American system is really complicated with the AM-PM-stuff (and it's cluttering too). It's even so complicated that we need to use words like noon and midnight as people don't have a clue whether it's 12AM or 12PM. And what do AM and PM even mean in the first place, I really wouldn't know. An exception could be made for the United States, but I think other countries should just use the 24-hour system. I don't know exactly how it is in the US, but I'm pretty sure most of them understand this system as well. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 20:03, 22 December 2009 (EST)

No, not really. While it's likely a majority of Americans know what 24-hour time is, they have to do a mental calculation in their head to understand a given time (between 1300 and 2359, of course). Even I, who use 24-hour time on my watch and computer, still have to do a mental translation to 12-hour time. That said, I find it hard to believe that the rest of the world finds the 12-hour clock equally baffling. You do have analog clocks, right? (WT-en) LtPowers 22:22, 22 December 2009 (EST)
Agreed. AM/PM is the way every analog clock in the world works. We can probably agree on what the commonly accepted local spelling variations are, but I doubt we can define a one correct local time format. The major English speaking countries of the world use and understand the AM/PM format, to mix it up for different articles has very little benefit, and we should avoid such parochialism anyway on an international travel site. --(WT-en) inas 00:32, 23 December 2009 (EST)
Obviously the whole world uses analog clocks, and use the 12-hour system in every day speech, but not the AM-PM-system. In my country, the Netherlands, and I think this counts for pretty much everywhere in Europe, people really don't know what AM and PM stand for or what it means. The 24-hour system is an international system, used in the whole world (except the US), now Wikivoyage hours basically are only understood by Americans. I don't see why the whole world should follow a confusing American system. That's why I think it's best to use the AM/PM-system for American articles and the international standard for the rest of the world. If we want to use the 12-hour system for the whole world, this is possible, but without AM/PM (something like "in the morning" should then be added). (WT-en) Globe-trotter 17:45, 23 December 2009 (EST)
I just don't agree. AM/PM are universally understood in the UK, in Australia, in New Zealand and in Canada. The meaning AM/PM for anyone that doesn't understand them will be in any English dictionary of any English dialect, and they are part of standard English. I'm not aware of any official standard that would make the 24-hour system more international than any other. The argument that they aren't used in the Netherlands isn't consistent with sites like Schiphol Airport [4], which list all their opening hours in AM/PM format. --(WT-en) inas 17:59, 23 December 2009 (EST)
I'm with Globe-trotter, I know AM/PM only because I've used it so much on Wikivoyage, before I always had to search the backstreets of my mind whether AM was after midnight or after mid-day. We never say AM or PM here, we say just say Klokken 10 and only if that can be ambiguous we say in the morning or afternoon, or just say it in 24 hour format. In written form we always use 24 hour format.
As for the Schiphol example, check the Dutch, French, Chinese and German versions - they are all in 24 hour format for the same reason.
While we both obviously make mistakes once in a while, I think it's fair to say that both of us are fairly fluent in English, I very rarely use a dictionary to write here, so I think it's a bit preposterous to question our fluency frankly. And I suspect many other non-native speakers use the English wikivoyage - we cover few languages, and the English content is leaps and bounds ahead of the languages we do cover, so I personally think it's OK to take those nationalities whose ancestors were not British subjects into consideration. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:14, 23 December 2009 (EST)
The main Dutch airport uses AM/PM when writing in English, and 24hr time when not writing in English. I'm merely suggesting that it is no way unreasonable that we do the same. The claim was made that AM/PM is only understood by Americans and that was the point I was refuting - not that we make a guide for ex-British colonies.
I'm also not questioning fluency, but I am strongly suggesting that AM/PM are as much part of the English language as BC/AD, or AC/DC. --(WT-en) inas 18:49, 23 December 2009 (EST)
And I'm trying to convey that AM/PM are not as much part of the English language as BC/AD, or AC/DC. The two latter are widely used in English spoken outside the old empire, while the former is not. Quick mental conversion < Dictionary. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:23, 23 December 2009 (EST)
A person not understanding AM/PM will have difficulty using the Japan Rail Timetables (Hyperdia). Won't understand the departure times on the Berlin Airport website, or the opening hours of the shops at Schiphol. Won't understand the 300,000+ pages that google returns in the .nl domain the use am/pm, or the 3 million pages in the .de domain. Won't understand the opening times for the museums in St Petersburg. If you want to reserve a car from CDG, and you can do it in French, then 24hr time will be fine. If you want to do it in English, you had better understand AM/PM.
Before we level the accusation at AM/PM of either being U.S. centric, or now "old-empire" centric, we really need to take issue with the millions of continental European (and other) sites that also use this format.
AM/PM is a prerequisite for navigating through and understanding English language travel websites related anywhere in the world.
Although I'd live with 24hr time being used, I'd really hate to see the site split into different usage regions - it just sends the wrong message IMO, and increases ambiguity.
Would a quick reference guide article be useful? --(WT-en) inas 20:23, 23 December 2009 (EST)
Schiphol only uses AM/PM at the English shopping page, at all the other pages (in English and other languages) it doesn't use AM/PM. Which probably has to do with KLM's alliance with Northwest Airlines. If we're using airport websites, I really did my best to find AM/PM at even one airport in the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe, Canada, and I couldn't find it on even one of them. Europeans don't understand AM/PM unless they first look it up somewhere. Maybe British would recognize it as they are culturally close to the US, but they don't regularly use it. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 00:46, 24 December 2009 (EST)
When looking at temperature, it already seems we already follow local customs. Celsius for the whole world, Fahrenheit for the US only. So I think that is also a good policy for time and date. The US is the only major country that did not adopt the metric system as seen here: [5]. (WT-en) Globe-trotter 13:31, 28 December 2009 (EST)
But the US is not the only country that routinely uses a 12-hour clock. It seems to be primarily non-English-speaking countries that primarily use a 24-hour clock. Certainly the 12-hour clock is common in Canada and from what I understand in the UK and Australia as well. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:26, 29 December 2009 (EST)
The 12-hour clock is used everywhere, but my objections are about using AM and PM. The majority of the world has no idea what it means or what it stands for. (WT-en) globe-trotter 13:34, 29 December 2009 (EST)
And again, I really don't see why we would prefer using something that's ambiguous over something that's not. Why leave us gaspless Europeans confused if a boat leaves 8 in the morning or afternoon, when we can just write 8/20? The fact that I didn't properly learn the AM/PM system before I followed the lead of others in writing up on the Copenhagen guide, despite having travelled rather extensively to well over 30 countries, on 4 continents should despite claims of the opposite give some clue about how little the system is used in large swaths of the world - And I rely as much on my English as a native speaker when outside our borders - Danish is not really a world language you know. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:50, 29 December 2009 (EST)
By 12-hour clock, I mean a conceptual one with AM/PM labels, not a physical clock. In Canada, you're not going to see 24-hour times any more frequently than you do in the U.S., and it seems the same is true in other major English-speaking countries. (WT-en) LtPowers 15:58, 29 December 2009 (EST)
You don't see it that often in the UK - National Rail [6], National Express [7], British Airways [8], Heathrow [9] and the Tube [10] uses the 24 hour format for example. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 16:21, 29 December 2009 (EST)
The UK certainly uses the 24-hour system, at least in written form. I wouldn't know for the other Anglo-Saxon countries though. In Australia I see that Sydney Airport uses the am/pm system, while Melbourne Airport uses the 24-hour clock. In New Zealand ChristChurch Airport uses am/pm, while Auckland Airport uses the 24-hour system. In Canada, both Toronto and Montreal use the 24-hour clock. So at least it seems these countries are familiar with both systems. With the US as exception obviously. (WT-en) globe-trotter 07:38, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Round X[edit]

Is this discussion closed?
In many parts of the world times are written in th 24h-format but when explaining something verbally in English, people will use am/pm very often. If someone - say, a travel agent in Asia - tells you the departure time of a bus they'll say e.g. "Departure is at 5 pm" or "at 5 in the afternoon". Printed tickets will most likely say "Departure: 17:00" but when they write it down, they will write "5 pm". I think that's because many are used to accommodate for US travellers or because for many spoken equals written English.
I think we should use the format that is being used on tickets, time tables, etc. in the given country (and I'd say that's the 24h-system almost worldwide - how are times on flight tickets printed in the US?). We know the US will use the am/pm system for a while. But a US traveller will need to do the mental calculation anyway. Just as most of the rest of the world, especially us Europeans, may need to do a mental calculation when giving times verbally (personally I'm having no troubles doing that - come on, it's not that hard, is it?).
As an example, in Austria we're using the 24h clock everywhere. But when times are verbally communicated (in German) we use both "um 5 Uhr [nachmittags]" ("at 5 o'clock [in the afternoon]" - morning/afternoon is only said if it's not obvious anyway) and "um 17 Uhr". In English we never say "at 17 o'clock". We say "at 5 pm" if it's not obvious that "at 5" means afternoon anyway.
Oh, and by the way, Wikipedia says that the US, Canada, UK (and Northern Ireland), Liberia and Myanmar are the last countries to not use the metric system. --(WT-en) MacCool 13:05, 25 August 2010 (EDT)
Well, the 24 hr clock isn't related to the metric system, but I'm regardless in support of a change to local formatting, which would parallel our policy on spelling. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:30, 25 August 2010 (EDT)
Ok, who would approve such a motion? Does it need a poll or something similar? --(WT-en) MacCool 14:33, 2 September 2010 (EDT)
I would also agree such a policy. It would be A LOT of work to change the formatting though. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 14:41, 2 September 2010 (EDT)
To come to a firm decision (and right now we are somewhere in between policies—we do have a star article using the 24 hr clock), we'd just need more input—preferably as wide as possible, since such a change would apply to a vast quantity of articles. You might try listing it on the Project:Requests for comment --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:35, 2 September 2010 (EDT)
I will come down again against this proposal, in the interests of consistency, but I don't think my holdout will change any minds. If the change to policy is made, it should be emphasized (as mentioned in one of the above sections) that we need not immediately change every article on the site to comply. (WT-en) LtPowers 16:39, 2 September 2010 (EDT)

Round III[edit]

Seeing as a star nomination was almost sidelined over this matter, I thought it would wise to revisit this issue. I for one am fully in favor of changing to local time formats for many of the reasons already stated, but I'll throw in another point here - the primary argument presented against this proposal is that it would break consistency on this site, which I understand. But I think trying to enforce this one format is actually harming consistency on the site. Go look at some random article for Europe and you're likely to see some listings in AM/PM format and some in international time format. The reason is simple enough: experienced editors are going to put listings in the format our rules require, while new contributors (oftentimes locals) are going to put in the local format that they are familiar with.

Now obviously, we can't expect new contributors to know how to follow our manual of style exactly, but when we're talking about such a widespread and glaring difference between what locals add and editors change, I'd say we have a problem on our hands. Every star article we have was built by a local who was familiar with the area and an experienced editor who knew how to format according to our standards (sometimes both roles were filled by the same person, sometimes they were filled by different individuals). I say this to illustrate the importance of encouraging locals to contribute to our guides, even in such seemingly small matters as these. Just above in this very discussion we have Sertmann who ran into difficulties trying to improve the Copenhagen articles - now Sertmann was willing to keep with it and finish the job, but not every local contributor is as persistent as that.

I believe changing to local time formats would have the advantages of bringing our guides closer to what travelers will actually see when they arrive in a country with these different time formats and make things just a little bit less confusing for any locals who want to add content, which helps us all out. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 00:43, 23 June 2011 (EDT)

I have never understood why WT does not use the 24 hr clock. It is unambiguous, overcomes the noon/midnight problem and for many people is more intuitive. I have spent a lot of time and energy assisting in the universal application of a common format to many WT articles and this almost always involves dealing with multiple date and time formats being presented in an article. I often come across highly ambiguous information such as 9.00-12.00, so what is this? 09:00-24:00, or is it 9AM-12 noon or 9AM-12 midnight, or is it perhaps 9PM-12 midnight, or even 9PM-12 noon. Transport times and nightclubs especially present a dilemma in this sort of situation. This is why the airlines, maritime users and the military do not mess about with the issue and use the 24 hr clock. Stylistically 23:00 also looks better than 11PM, or at least to me it does. Despite a lot of hard work by myself and other editors who strive to unify and standardise the WT page presentation I would be happy to see the 24 hr clock adopted even though it would make redundant a lot of hard work done on the AM/PM standard. To be honest I often feel a little embarrassed changing everything to AM/PM when my instinct and normal practice is to use the 24 hr system. I have noted that some editors suggest that North American articles should be exempted if the 24 hr system is adopted. That makes no sense to me. If we have a common standard then that is what it should be. Most Americans can count and I think we should assume they can work this out. In any case the military, civil aviation and others use 24 hr in N. America without significant confusion. I believe the issues raised by (WT-en) PerryPlanet above deserve some serious attention. -- (WT-en) felix 02:14, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
If we want a universal standard, then I think it should certainly be the 24 hour format, as that is the standard throughout most of the world. The laborious use of AM/PM has never sat well with me. If though the consensus is to use the format most likely to be encountered by travellers, then I am fine with that also providing that is very clearly defined somewhere easy for users to find. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 05:22, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
To me, the most important is consistency, I do not like the idea of different articles having different time formats. I do not think it is very important whether we choose 24 hour or 12 hour format and I can support either, as long as it is mandatory for all articles. But if I had to choose, I would prefer the 24 hour format as it is the most widely used, --(WT-en) ClausHansen 11:20, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
Consistency is a friend of consensus, but an enemy of diversity. There are clearly differing popular views of how time and date should be displayed, at least partly based on culture or what we are used to, and none is right or wrong. The suggestion to have a compromise based on region goes some way to resolving the debate e.g. to use US format for North America and UK or European format for Europe. No doubt Australasia has a preference, although I don't know which it is. That just leaves the non-English speaking continents of Asia, S America and Africa. Maybe S America goes with N American practice, Asia with Indian practice (as the major "English-speaking nation" i.e. English is certainly an important and official language) and Africa with South African usage. These are just suggestions as to how it might work; the idea is to reach a compromise that leaves most of us happily writing articles rather than seeking a consensus that will never be achieved. --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 12:16, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
Hard to disagree that (WT-en) SaxonWarrior has some very good points however I suggest the solution should really be as simple as the answer to the question; how many hours are there in a day? In any case to regionalise overlooks that the articles are not just written for domestic (within region) travellers so the reader may likely be from a different region. So are we writing for US travellers here, or Indian travellers or English speaking travellers, but not necessarily English as a first language so they could be from anywhere on the globe. I come across people who are confused by AM/PM- 12 hr times and also those who just cannot get it with the 24 hr concept. For some of them the subtraction of 12 from any time after 12:00 hrs (13:00 hrs (minus) 12 hr=1PM) is required to have any idea if it is morning or afternoon. I am still smiling after reading "Consistency is a friend of consensus, but an enemy of diversity" but never the less I think when it comes down to the sailing time of the ship then consistency is the way to go unless you don't mind missing the boat. To digress a little on the topic of consistency, it took me longer than it should have to realise that in Indonesia the night preceding the day is named by the day following, so, Friday 22:00 hrs (Friday night to most of us) is called Saturday night (malam Sabtu) in Indonesia. If you think I am crazy check it out, it is true. Now that is diversity at work and of course I got used to it fairy quickly, otherwise, as with the sailing ship you tend to miss out on things. -- (WT-en) felix 12:56, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
I can not say I agree with adopting a single sitewide consistency for the very same reasons I argued above - we have enough trouble with different time formats within European articles, the last thing we need is different time format within U.S. articles. As Peter eloquently said below, "regional consistency is for me much more important than sitewide consistency." Forget about a single one-size-fits-all format across the whole site, let's just worry about consistency within an article. I'm guessing a fair number of Europeans on this site don't like having a system used mainly by Americans imposed on them, and I don't think Americans are going to like having a system we're not familiar with (even if we should be, but that's an entirely different discussion and not one for Wikivoyage) imposed on us. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 10:17, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
(re-indenting) There was a very similar discussion over British-vs-American spelling, with a few people arguing passionately on either side and many others not really caring either way but wanting some resolution. The end compromise was simply to be consistent within an article, and in the rare cases where a dispute arose to defer to the local spelling. For the 12-vs-24 hour clock listings, I'd be completely happy with a similar compromise (be consistent within the article, but if there is a dispute the local format wins) as I don't think most travelers will have any trouble figuring out either format. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:42, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
Here's a real trivium: until 1927 in Bavaria, railway timetables used a 12-hour clock where morning was distinguished from afternoonn only by writing the minutes in superscript and underlined i.e. 3.15 am was something like "3.15" and 3.15 pm was just "3.15". How confusing is that?! No wonder they switched to the 24 hour system! --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 13:59, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
I still think the 12-hour format is more universally recognized, but I no longer have a strong preference for sitewide consistency. There is no way in heck I can live with time formats holding up a star nomination. (WT-en) LtPowers 14:11, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
Regional consistency is for me much more important than sitewide consistency—as a practical matter, the realities of different regions lend to certain styles being more helpful for travelers and editors. Our spelling policy was updated in recognition of that fact, and I don't see why we shouldn't adopt the same pragmatic policy here: default to the most common local standard. That makes it easy for travelers in syncing with local timetables, websites, postings, etc., and makes it easier for local editors to share their knowledge. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:07, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
I think the AM/PM system in written form is common in at least the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, so it would be logical for articles about those countries to maintain that system. For most other countries, I'd argue in favor of the 24-hour system as it is more familiar to the people living there and travellers going there will have to get used to it anyway (in most European and Asian countries no one knows what AM/PM means or what it stands for). But changing all the articles would be an enormous hassle — maybe we could install a bot to handle the changes. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 08:15, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
As has been mentioned before, any change to the policy should make clear that immediate conformance site-wide is not necessary; they can be changed as we go. This would be easier if we said either format is acceptable. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:28, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
Absolutely. A change of this scale is going to take a long time to implement. Though we should probably at least say that local format is preferred, even though either format is acceptable. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 10:26, 24 June 2011 (EDT)

I've updated the policy according to the rough consensus apparent here. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:10, 9 July 2011 (EDT)

Thanks. One thing is that now it states "Use "noon" and "midnight", not 12AM or 12PM or 00:00.". For AM/PM I understand why midnight should be used, but in the 24-hour format, I think 00:00 is perfectly understandable. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 12:03, 20 July 2011 (EDT)
Sure, but we've gotta have some sort of consistency. If we request "noon" instead of "12:00", then "midnight" provides nice symmetry. But geez, does it really matter one way or another? (WT-en) LtPowers 16:45, 21 July 2011 (EDT)
It matters, because the 24 hour system was designed that noon and midnight are not necessary anymore. They only exist in the 12-hour format, because in that format 12AM and 12PM are often mixed up leading to confusion. In the 24 hour system, there can never be confusion because 12:00 always means noon and 00:00 (or 24:00) always means midnight. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 21:37, 13 August 2011 (EDT)
But "12:00" could mean midnight if someone isn't familiar with the 24-hour convention. So it's still clearer to use the words. (WT-en) LtPowers 21:42, 13 August 2011 (EDT)
Maybe I have not been clear in explaining this, you can read more about it here [11]. Using "noon" and "midnight" is completely unheard of in the 24-hour convention, and frankly, it is just plain wrong and unnecessary. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 11:43, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
Then, what about this rule: "If using 24-hour format, make sure that's clear; if there are no times after noon, consider using the 12-hour format (with the "AM") to avoid confusing readers expecting a 12-hour format." I have no idea what this rule was designed for. The 24 hour format is always clear, also without times after noon (even though that would be a very rare occasion). --(WT-en) globe-trotter 11:43, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
A reader who notes that an establishment is open from "6:00-12:00" won't know if that means morning or evening. Obviously, if it's 24-hour format, then it's morning, but without the cue of a time after 12:59, there's no way to know that it's 24-hour format. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:47, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
It is, because AM or PM is not shown. It can only be the 24-hour format. And well, what would you suggest otherwise? If Bangkok/Silom times are in the 24-hour format and Bangkok/Rattanakosin has only times before noon. Then both these districts would have a different time system? That's not consistent and confusing. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 13:50, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
That's why I only said that it needs to be made clear that the times are 24-hour. (And simply omitting the AM/PM isn't clear to anyone unfamiliar with our conventions.) There are a number of options for doing so, but the choice of which one to use would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. (WT-en) LtPowers 15:35, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
I agree with Globe-trotter. Mixing the 24 hour format with the 12 hour format (by using 06:00-noon, for example) seems jarring and ultimately more confusing. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:22, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
Also agreed. Choose one standard and stick to it. Mixing them can't be be desirable.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 20:51, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
Where did I say one word about mixing formats? (WT-en) LtPowers 21:41, 14 August 2011 (EDT)
I don't think there is any need to explain that again as it is made clear by previous posters in this discussion thread.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 21:46, 14 August 2011 (EDT)

More complex formats[edit]

More complex time formats aren't covered yet by this policy. For days with multiple open-close times (e.g., lunch & dinner) which of the following (or some other format) should we use:

1) M-F 10AM-2PM,5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM,5:30PM-10PM

2) M-F 10AM-2PM, 5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM, 5:30PM-10PM

3) M-F 10AM-2PM 5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM 5:30PM-10PM

And when it's more convenient to break the whole thing into categories like lunch and dinner (sometimes this can save a lot of space), should we use:

a) Lunch: 10AM-2PM daily; dinner: Su-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight

b) Lunch 10AM-2PM daily; dinner Su-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight

c) Lunch: 10AM-2PM daily, dinner: Su-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight

There are of course other possible permutations.

As with the category distinctions, I prefer to use semicolons to separate seasonal distinctions:

i) Apr-Sep M-F 10AM-2PM,5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM,5:30PM-10PM; Oct-Mar M-F 10AM-2PM,5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM,5:30PM-10PM

ii) Apr-Sep: M-F 10AM-2PM,5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM,5:30PM-10PM; Oct-Mar: M-F 10AM-2PM,5PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM,5:30PM-10PM

Thoughts? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:48, 30 November 2009 (EST)

First: 2), with the caveats that a semicolon be used between "10PM" and "Sa" and that a space be used between "Sa" and "Su" (as recommended in this guideline). Second: b), these things are long enough; we should eliminate unnecessary characters. (One could even make an argument that the labels are unnecessary; simply "10AM-2PM daily; Su-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight" gets the point across, doesn't it? That's what I've been doing on the Walt Disney World articles (cf. Walt Disney World/Epcot#Eat).) Third: i) for similar reasons. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:49, 1 December 2009 (EST)
I don't think we should be using a semicolon there, as that would conflict with the way we present our information in other ways, e.g., "M-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Su 5PM-3AM" or in the ways shown in the second and third cases above. That is, we should use semicolons for changes in category (lunch/dinner or season, in these cases), not changes in day.
Regarding the current advice to leave out the dash between a pair of days—I think we should change that. While I see the point of using a space when a day falls outside of a set range (e.g., T Th-Sa), Sa-Su is just as much an unbroken range as F-Su, and it looks better to my mind to keep that distinction visible in the display format. And judging from my time patrolling articles, I think "F-Sa" is much more common than "F Sa".
Otherwise, I agree with your points. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 14:28, 1 December 2009 (EST)
I can see the argument for not using a semicolon, but using a comma produces ambiguity. (WT-en) LtPowers 15:07, 1 December 2009 (EST)
I agree with removing using the dash when the days are consecutive. It uses no more characters, and saves a few brain processing cycles to understand. I agree with (WT-en) LtPowers that 2) looks best, but that a semi-colon looks better than a comma. I understand that breaks the later construction with categories. Perhaps we could consider a fullstop to terminate each category instead of a semi-colon? --(WT-en) inas 18:05, 1 December 2009 (EST)
I'm happy to cave on the issue of dashes between consecutive days. I still don't agree with the semicolon idea, though. Semicolons in lists are supposed to be used only to reduce ambiguity, and I don't recognize what ambiguity you are seeing there. Mixing in commas, semicolons, and periods into what is just a list of hours seems too baroque. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 02:34, 3 December 2009 (EST)
Consider a (hypothetical and admittedly slightly contrived) establishment open for lunch five days a week but for dinner only on Fridays. That could present as "M-Th 10AM-3PM, F 10AM-2PM, 4PM-8PM". It's not clear whether the final clause "4PM-8PM" applies only to Friday or if it's a daily thing. (Sure, if the reader is familiar with our standards, they know that the latter situation would be designated by saying "daily 4PM-8PM", but our standards should not require familiarity with them in order to be deciphered.) Is this a common situation? No, but it's got me concerned enough that I can't fully support using only commas. But as I said, I also see your point with the semicolon. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:08, 3 December 2009 (EST)
That case to me looks like a good case to use a category name: M-Th 10AM-3PM, F 10AM-2PM; dinner: F 4PM-8PM. It's a little longer, but a lot clearer and wouldn't force us into more complex formatting for other more simple (and more common) hours lists. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:57, 3 December 2009 (EST)

Firstly, Apologies for my typo above. I'm happy with the dash. Secondly, I don't really see why M-F 10AM-2PM, 5PM-7PM;Sa-Su 9AM-2PM, 4PM-8PM qualifies as too baroque, it just seems clearer to me. Apr-Sep: M-F 10AM-2PM, 5PM-7PM;Sa-Su 9AM-2PM, 4PM-8PM. Oct-Mar: M-F 10AM-4PM, 5PM-10PM;Sa-Su 9AM-10PM. is a rule that can be stated clearly, is easily parseable, and avoids using commas for two different things. In the examples above where you use commas to separate days and times, I have to look back along the line very carefully to figure out when the thing is open. --(WT-en) inas 17:46, 3 December 2009 (EST)

And I should say these are just my suggestions as to what I think works best. I'm certainly don't feel strongly enough to obstruct any consensus developing in another direction.. --(WT-en) inas 20:09, 3 December 2009 (EST)

June and July[edit]

Abbreviating the four-letter months is pretty eccentric, I think, and I haven't noticed anyone doing that. Would anyone mind if I change this? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:49, 20 December 2009 (EST)

Are you saying that all the months should be abbreviated to three letters, except June and July which should be spelt out in full? --(WT-en) inas 18:58, 20 December 2009 (EST)
Yes, sorry for not being clearer above. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:01, 20 December 2009 (EST)
I disagree; Jun and Jul are pretty standard TLAs. (WT-en) LtPowers 22:21, 20 December 2009 (EST)
A couple of strategic google searches over WT would seem to indicate that when TLAs are used for the other months, more often than not Jun and Jul are used also. --(WT-en) inas 23:06, 20 December 2009 (EST)
Jan-Mar,Apr-June,July-Sep looks silly metinks. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:30, 23 December 2009 (EST)
I'd stick with Jun and Jul for consistency. Otherwise "Sept" will creep in and we'll be heading for confusion. --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 08:45, 7 May 2011 (EDT)

Dates without years[edit]

We know our date format is 10 Jul 2011, but what if we put the date without a year? Should I assume that it follows that we would just say 10 Jul? It seems more natural to me to say Jul 10. --(WT-en) inas 19:53, 23 May 2010 (EDT)

It could be confused and read as July 2010. --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 11:18, 7 May 2011 (EDT)

Can I go with "am"?[edit]

I see from the above discussion that there is no strong consensus in the AM/am/a.m. debate. I happen to prefer "am" because it's short and less obtrusive (capitals look like we're SHOUTING as they say). My precedent is the worldwide Michelin travel guides that also use this format. So if I go with "am" will that be an acceptable alternative or will I spark a huge edit war? --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 08:39, 7 May 2011 (EDT)

You won't start an edit war unless you insist on your format when someone comes in and changes it. The problem is that we like consistency, and we've been using AM and PM for many years now. We could, in theory, switch to 'am' and 'pm', but we'd have to switch site-wide, and it's just not worth the trouble. (WT-en) LtPowers 21:40, 7 May 2011 (EDT)

Public holidays[edit]

Is there an accepted abbreviation for "public holidays". If not, do we want one? The Michelin guide spells it out. --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 11:15, 7 May 2011 (EDT)


For the 24hr time format, should we always use four digits, e.g., write 09:00 instead of 9:00? I was using just three, but realized that looked confusing when the opening hours for a cafe were 13:00-4:00. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:03, 12 July 2011 (EDT)

I'm with you; I thought 3 digits would be enough, but that example does look weird. Can we say 4 digits are optional if it makes things look better? (WT-en) LtPowers 18:59, 12 July 2011 (EDT)
Works for me. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:40, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
~Usually 4 digits are used, so I think that would be best used site-wide. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 21:09, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
That was not my impression from the discussion above. I could be wrong, though; I've never left North America. (WT-en) LtPowers 22:15, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
I would agree with GT that using four digits across the board is by far the most common 24 hr time format. It would be simplest for WT to use that standard.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 22:27, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
Works for me. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:47, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
I don't know about elsewhere but it is common in Germany to use 2 digits e.g. "9 - 16 Uhr" which translates as "9 - 16 hrs". Depends how much we want to give precedence to local usage that tourists will see on shops, in brochures, etc. --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 03:56, 16 July 2011 (EDT)
By using 4 digits, it assures the reader the writer really does in fact mean 09:00 and removes the need to add "AM" or "PM." There's a reason 4 digits are used -- it's impossible to misunderstand. (WT-en) Zepppep 09:15, 27 February 2012 (EST)

Days of the week format[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I was a bit confused by this edit. Did we switch to three-letter abbreviations for days of the week? Project:Abbreviations and Project:Time and date formats give no indication of this. (WT-en) Eco84 12:00, 4 October 2011 (EDT)

No, you are correct--they should be one or two letters, per the policies you linked. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:02, 4 October 2011 (EDT)
My apologies. Apparently my brain has confounded weekday abbreviations with our policy of 3-letter month abbreviations. Either that or I've simply been doing it wrong for years and never had it pointed out to me. Lesson learned! (WT-en) texugo 00:10, 5 October 2011 (EDT)
I don't see any discussion above about the abbreviation for dates. Any particular reason for using M Tu W Th F Sa Su? I'm with Texugo in that I've been doing it wrong for a long time. My preference is 3-letter days. No particular reason, other that it just looks better. However, changing to 3-letter format would match the months and they wouldn't be different lengths. For some reason, a date range like Th-Sa or W-Su doesn't look as nice as Thu-Sat or Wed-Sun. What does eveyone else think?
"Leave the dash out for a pair of days, e.g., Sa Su not Sa-Su." To me a backslash looks better than just a space or hyphen. So a business' hours written as "Mon/Wed 8AM-5PM; Tues/Thu 10AM-7PM; Fri/Sat 10AM-10PM" looks better to me than "M W 8AM-5PM; Tu Th 10AM-7PM; F Sa 10AM-10PM". I also do not see a policy on separating the hours on different dates. I used a semi-colon in the example because it's my preference and leaves a comma to separate hours on the same day(s). For example, a restaurant only open for lunch & dinner may be: "Mon-Thu 11AM-2PM, 5PM-10PM; Fri-Sat 11AM-2PM, 4PM-11PM" AHeneen (talk) 04:51, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
And I think we could use a bot to clean up the format in listings which use the attractions/activities/eat/sleep/buy templates. Would it be terribly difficult to create something that goes through the text in the parentheses in hours section of these templates, switching when appropriate, and flagging listings which are ambiguous ("S" or the hours can't be recognized because of lack of AM/ 8-10). Not a tech person that can do this, but it seems reasonably simple...especially if problem ones are just flagged for review (for us people to check) or just left alone. AHeneen (talk) 04:59, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
You've raised a lot of different issues here, so it's hard to reply to them. For the abbreviations, I'm fairly certain the formats were chosen to be as compact as possible. I'm sorry you don't like them, but is it really worth going through all 25,000 travel guides to change them? LtPowers (talk) 13:41, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Standardising time formats[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I believe Wikitravel uses EST (Eastern Standard Time - N America) and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in Summer for signature timestamps and logs and Wikivoyage uses CEST (Central European Summer Time) and then, in some weeks time from now (presumably), CET (Central European Time).

Since most time zones measure their time offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), perhaps this is a good time to prepare for our upcoming move to the Wikimedia Foundation and change to using UTC and the 24 hour clock (as used by most of the world (except for N. America) for timetables, etc., ? --W. Franke-mailtalk 02:39, 20 September 2012 (CEST)

I'm afraid it seems to be a little bit more complex than that.
As far as I know Wikimedia (, Wikitravel and Wikivoyage all use the same MediaWiki softwares to run their respective sites. When logged on to Wikimedia I already had my Date and time preferences set to the "Europe/Isle of Man" (nearest geo-location to Glasgow in same time zone) choice with (,currently,) a +1 hour time offset from UTC and this works as expected. When logged on to Wikitravel it's the same. Although the logs (for, example of "recent changes") adjust to my time and date preferences, the signature date stamps don't in both "Blue tick and "Red tick" versions of Wikivoyage and this thumbnail (click it to expand the image) illustrates THREE different time stamps (after the time of the import): --W. Franke-mailtalk 22:50, 20 September 2012 (CEST)
It's not really a high priority issue I think. Once we move to the Wikimedia servers, I think UTC will be used. --Globe-trotter (talk) 23:46, 20 September 2012 (CEST)
I do hope so - together with the 24 hour clock within non-USA travel articles. --W. Franke-mailtalk 23:50, 20 September 2012 (CEST)

Hyphens vs Dashes[edit]

Well, the great hyphen/dash debate has migrated to Wikivoyage. Thanks bunches, Tony.

Let me make clear that I'm a strong proponent of using dashes appropriately -- for numerical ranges, in particular. And in prose we usually use dashes (or change hyphens to dashes if we're doing other copyediting; we don't bother editing if the hyphen is the only problem). But in listings, we almost always use hyphens.

Historically, that may have been because WT's listing editor didn't allow dashes to be entered easily. But we don't have a listing editor here, so is that concern obviated? -- LtPowers (talk) 15:02, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

I think this is a case to paraphrase the advice currently given at Abbrev: Editors may want to choose to use a more elegant en dash rather than a hyphen. However, don't knock yourself out "correcting" one to the other - there is more important work to be done in plunging forward and writing the World's most complete and accurate free Travel Guide!
There is also the trivial point that, if the en dash is enshrined in our MoS, we should still discourage the insertion of constructions like "" and "" for the same reasons we discourage the use of raw HTML (where alternatives exist).
Finally, it should go without saying that the use of one rather than the other should not usually be a reason for failing to promote an article to, or demoting an article from, Star status.
I bet all those Mac users will be feeling superior... -- Alice 19:59, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd be disinclined to insert gratuitous advice based on personal takes, like all of the italicised bits: "Editors may want to choose to use a more elegant en dash rather than a hyphen. However, don't knock yourself out "correcting" one to the other - there is more important work to be done in plunging forward and writing the World's most complete and accurate free Travel Guide! Tony (talk) 23:45, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
See, to me that reads like the most important information on the page. --Inas (talk) 00:46, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I suppose it depends on whether one is more interested in typography or in travel. LtPowers (talk) 02:25, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe we should be interested in travel and typography. An authoritative website, a compendium of the most valuable and up-to-date information from people on the ground, can be a mishmash, but the advantage of a wiki is that some editors like to go around fixing things up from time to time. Editors should be encouraged by guidelines to use professional language; not gratuitously advised not to "knock themselves around", and professional writing put down by "there is more important work to be done". That is the height of amateurism. Tony (talk) 06:34, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
We can, of course, value both without valuing them equally. I think you'll find that while grammar tweaks are welcome, especially for articles angling for a star nomination, in general we'd much rather people put time into adding travel information than methodically changing one punctuation mark to another. LtPowers (talk) 14:00, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
That's an opinion I'd prefer did not take hold on a site that should be encouraging high standards of language and presentation. Luckily, you don't get your way at en.WP on that score; please don't discourage people from making the text of en.voy more readable (and consistent with all the major English-language style guides). You want hard-copy travel guides to look better than ours? No thanks. Tony (talk) 14:22, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
First of all, this isn't about me. I'm a wikignome at heart, and I strive for accuracy in my own writing. I don't know what you're going on about with en.WP; we may disagree on a few of the finer points of usage, but I share your dedication to proper style and grammar. (If we differ, it's in zealousness and passion.) That's irrelevant here. I'm just telling you how the English Wikivoyage community is going to react, not expressing my personal opinion. LtPowers (talk) 15:12, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not going to revert the changes suggesting that we use en dashes instead of hyphens as long as it's understood that this is a suggestion. They are not easy for everyone to type, but more importantly, going back and trying to change the endless hours fields in listings on this site from hyphens to en dashes would be a really ridiculous waste of time. --Peter Talk 04:25, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

That's what bots are made for.
I'm far more concerned about our current longstanding advice at HTML. Is that policy now redundant and we can start sprinkling such HTML as "" willy-nilly? I thought we wanted to encourage a new cohort of casual, but locally knowledgeable editors. On my (small) screen, I can not even SEE the difference between an en dash and a hyphen! -- Alice 04:49, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
The advice is still in effect, but it's nothing set in stone. We want to have content; the exact form that content takes can always be adjusted later. LtPowers (talk) 13:21, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
There's an en dash button just under everyone's edit box, if they don't have one on their keyboard. Since the character is essential for proper writing in English, it's often a good option to make a macro on one's computer. But either way, dashes are integral to producing good readable information involving time, day, and date ranges – not to mention the common interruptor within sentences. Nowadays it's not really acceptable to put squidgy hyphens in for that purpose. Tony (talk) 23:39, 15 January 2013 (UTC)


Should it be "Daily 24 hours" or "24 hours daily"? The former reflects our normal usage (days of week followed by hours), so I think that should be the preference. LtPowers (talk) 14:53, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Daily 24 hours is certainly preferable to the second option; but is there any reason that 24/7 can't be a stated option, too? Tony (talk) 14:56, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe the concern is that it may be a colloquialism not widely understood in all quarters. LtPowers (talk) 15:13, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
That's odd. I see 318 million results for 24/7 on a quick google search. I see fewer than 9 million results for each of 24 hours daily and daily 24 hours (quotes to find that exact string). Is anyone contending that 24/7 is not just about universally understood? And that it's not neater and more readily recognisable on a small mobile device by travellers huddled around a fireplace in a dense jungle? Tony (talk) 02:52, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

LTPowers: Neither. I made a mistake. The 6 year consensus I saw was for just 24 hours but my correction was reverted by the original proposer.

Tony: I have a slight personal preference for 24 hours over 24/7, especially in our current listing format, since it's clearer on small screens and for non-native speakers. -- Alice 06:52, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Eye-poking AMs and PMs[edit]

I refer to two threads above concerning the formatting of 12-hour times, and the failure to gain consensus for what you'd think would be a simple and necessary reform. Regrettably, I'm seeing "it's not worth the bother/trouble" rather too often on these pages. But the business of optimising a wiki—especially one that now is able to use the world's most powerful and prestigious non-commercial free-information trademark—does involve continually improving our standards to world's best practice in English. This is not a rod for anyone's back: the advantage of a wiki lies in allowing visitors and occasional regulars to add as they please, but to gnome through pages to harmonise according to house style; it's a never-ending job, but well worth pursuing if we're to compete for top spot as a source of travel-related information on the internet.

As an example, let me say immediately that from the very first time I consulted a WV article, the eye-poking AM and PM stuck out as non-standard (minority) usage and, frankly, disruptive and ugly. Worse, they're jammed up against the just-as-important numeral, making it unnecessarily difficult to parse. I propose that we have a debate about at least making am and pm an option, provided there is within-article consistency. The debate would need to cover whether am and pm should be spaced or closed, dotted or undotted, and capped or downcased, and whether in each case the policy should make a unitary choice or present two options. On en.WP they insist on a space and lower case, while dots are optional provided they're consistently applied in an article. (In my own country, Australia, am/pm are closed, undotted, and downcased in normal prose, but Australian editors at en.WP have come to accept compliance with the wider practice in the English-speaking world of spacing the elements.)

I see an argument above that signage typically uses caps for AM and PM; this is no doubt true, but signage all over the world uses caps much more liberally than is acceptable in running prose, for very good reasons, so this is not relevant to the reading experience in en.WV.

As a related aside, I don't see enough about within-article consistency more generally as a principle at en.WV. Allowing more than one option sometimes makes things a lot easier with minimal sacrifice of stylistic cohesion on the site; this has been pretty well managed on en.WP, in my experience—e.g. two options for interrupting dashes – are permissible; and the flexible approach that was hammered out years ago on variety of English, amazingly, is now well accepted in the community. Tony (talk) 06:10, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

You're not wrong.
However, my preference would be to do as we currently do with US English (ie it is the default variety of English on WV where there is not another national variety of English that has a closer connection to the article): choose the 24 hour format as the default time display format (as per the time stamp in all our signatures), but allow alternatives for articles that have a close connection with localities where the traveller will almost always encounter a different format eg: Ethiopia and the US. -- Alice 07:02, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Alice, how does that relate to the am/pm formatting issue? Tony (talk) 09:00, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
At least two ways:
1) There would be a lot fewer articles with the "Eye-poking AMs and PMs" because fewer articles would not use the (new) default of the 24 hour format.
2) There would be a lot fewer articles with the "Eye-poking AMs and PMs" because those fewer articles still using the (minority) 12 hour system could choose which style was more locally prevalent: am/pm or AM/PM -- Alice 09:06, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Sounds excellent. Tony (talk) 09:15, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Optional spaced lower-case as an alternative to the uglies[edit]

I see no particular sentimental attachment to the jammed up AM and PM atrocities. I want to suggest that in the short term, a practical solution would be to insert a sentence providing for an option to donwcase and space, as most English-speakers are used to. This would avoid a sudden back-compatibility issue in the whole project, while allowing editors to harmonise and downcase/space if they feel motivated.

I'm slightly uncomfortable at the use of 9:30AM–5PM rather than 9:30AM–5:00PM as an example. The former looks wrong to me. An additional example could be given, where just whole hours are involved, 9AM–5PM, without cluttering it up with an explicit rule.

Why is "Establishments that don't close: 24 hours daily" stuck in the middle, where just the 24-hour format is the theme? I suggest that it be a separate item. I don't agree with the insistence on this wording, anyway. If an editor writes "24/7" or "24 hours a day", I'm certainly not changing it.

Does anyone find the speckledy bolding messy? I'd have thought in this context one could get away without marking the items—not even with quotation marks. Isn't is clear already? Tony (talk) 11:10, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


Use one of these formats: 09:30–17:00 or 9:30AM–5PM. Do not use both formats within one article. Choose between 24- and 12-hour formats by following predominant local usage. Ask yourself which format will visitors see in timetables, on shop doors and in newspapers.

It can be assumed that time is in the local time zone.

  • In 24-hour format, use "00:00" for midnight and "12:00" for noon.
  • In 24-hour format always use two digits for the hours and two digits for the minutes: (hh:mm). Include a leading zero where necessary, eg: 09:00, not 9:00 or 09:0. Use a colon as the separator, eg: 17:30, not 17.30 or 17-30.
  • Establishments that don't close: 24 hours daily

  • In 12-hour format, use noon and midnight, not "12AM" and "12PM".
  • In 12-hour format, minutes are not shown when not required: 5PM, not 5:00PM.
  • Where minutes are shown, use a colon as the separator: 5:26PM, not 5.26PM or 5-26PM.
  • Spaces and periods (full stops) should be left out: 10:30AM–5PM, not 10:30 A.M. – 5 P.M; 10AM–noon, not 10AM – noon.


Assume that time is in the local timezone. Use either the 24-hour or the 12-hour format consistently throughout an article. Choose between these two options by following predominant local usage: ask yourself, which format will visitors see in timetables, on shop doors, and in newspapers?

For establishments that don't close: 24 hours daily, 24 hours a day, or 24/7.

Consider using an en dash for time ranges in preference to a hyphen (2–5PM, not 2-5PM; 09:00–13:00, not 09:00-13:00).

24-hour format

  • Example: 09:30–17:00
  • Use two digits for the hours and two digits for the minutes. Include a leading zero where the hour is a single digit (09:00; not 9:00).
  • Use a colon as the separator (17:30; not 17.30 or 17-30).
  • Use 00:00 for midnight and 12:00 for noon.

12-hour format

  • Example: 9:30AM–5:00PM or 9:30am–5:00pm
  • Minutes are not shown when not required (5PM; not 5:00PM), but avoid mixing hours alone with hours and minutes (9AM–5PM; not 9:30AM–5PM).

*As a widely used alternative, downcased and spaced is permissible (9:30am–5pm).

  • Use a colon as the separator (17:30; not 17.30 or 17-30).
  • Use noon and midnight, not 12AM and 12PM.
  • Where minutes are shown, use a colon as the separator (5:26PM; not 5.26PM or 5-26PM).

—The preceding comment was added by Tony1 (talkcontribs) I've struck the points that already appear not to have consensus. Tony (talk) 14:46, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree with some of your proposals, but not with some others. We have to think about our audience and the kind of work we're creating in this project. Maybe these style guidelines make sense for a newspaper, a dictionary, an encyclopedia or some other kind of reference work, but we're writing a travel guide and should mimic the style that goes with it. Travel guides don't need to be "correct" per se, but need to be short and easy to follow. I took a look at some of my Lonely Planets and Rough Guides for comparison. The Lonely Planet uses the format "9.30am-6pm". The Rough Guide uses the format "Daily 4.30am–2am". Some comments about your proposals based on that:

  • Both use smaller case "am" and "pm". I'd be in favor of that too, and I think many others have supported this before. The reason we haven't changed this, is because it'd require a massive bot run and some don't find it worth the effort.
  • The Lonely Planet uses a hyphen between the hours, the Rough Guide an en dash. I think this discussion also had place before. Both are an option, but I think a hyphen is preferable simply as the en dash cannot be easily typed from the keyboard.
  • The Lonely Planet and Rough Guide both mix up hours alone with hours and minutes. I don't see why you'd want this changed; it'd create an inconsistency (5am in one listing and 5:00am in another), and this way is shorter, snappier, easier to read, and better.
  • The Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide both use a dot between the times, we use a colon. Maybe this could be changed as well.
  • The Lonely Planet uses "24hr" for establishments that are always open. I don't know about the Rough Guide.
  • The proposal that puzzles me most is your suggestion to just use different time notations altogether, like with spaces and without colons. The 12hr and 24-hr mixed bag is bad enough. If we're going that route, we might as well delete this page and make it a free-for-all. Every travel guide I've read has a consistent way of applying formatting throughout the guide, and it'd be very unprofessional to mix up our formatting like that. I also think with the spaces looks very convoluted and will make some of our listings very long. "M 1PM-6PM, Tu-W, F 10AM-6PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-5PM" is bad enough without the spaces :-) Globe-trotter (talk) 14:58, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I believe that concision was an issue; due to the complexity of some establishments' hours, we tried to keep it as short as humanly possible. That's why we avoid spaces, and only show minutes if necessary. I'm not sure how much of an issue that is, or if anything has changed to make it less of one. LtPowers (talk) 14:59, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I basically agree with Globe-trotter and LtPowers. Having both used our guides extensively in printed form, and having published books based on our content commercially, I can say that keeping things short really matters. It's relevant for small-screen mobile devices too. There is such a huge amount of content in the form of hours when added up across a guide like Chicago, that those extra spaces could add dozens of pages unnecessarily. For similar reasons, it makes sense to use 9:00-20:00 instead of 09:00-20:00 (it's also just a little easier to read). With en-dashes, yes, they are more "correct," but they have two downsides: they're harder to type, and they take up more space. I don't see much of an advantage to them. --Peter Talk 20:20, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
(1) I'm happier without the spacing, but with the option to downcase. Spacing and downcased is standard in most parts of the English-speaking world (but for my own, where we use unspaced and downcased, which I personally much prefer ... but I was expecting objections to that based on minority usage ... I'm very happy not to space). At the same time, do people agree that the current caps should be still acceptable provided consistent within an article? That would avoid back-incompatibility and assume a gradual fixing over years.

(2) Sorry if your keyboard doesn't have basic typographical symbols, yet includes geeky symbols that Microsoft programmers thought ordinary people would desperately want. I don't let Microsoft geeks govern my world, I'm afraid. There's an easily accessible button for the en dash under every edit-box, or you use a Windows keyboard youcan turn off your numlock, press Alt and type 0150. Probably this information should be included in the guide as a footnote? Hyphens are just unacceptable in ranges and as sentence interruptors in properly written text, and every style guide with any authority in English demands them – not to mention that they're much easier to read. If visitors and editors want to shove hyphens in these places, that's regrettable, but should be correctable by others (that's the whole idea of a wiki, isn't it?).

I'm also happy to change the proposal to remove the discrediting of the inconsistent 9:30am–5pm (rather than 9:30am–5:00pm).

Would it be acceptable if I go back when I have time later today and tweak the proposal according to these comments, with a note above or below pointing to the tweaks? Tony (talk) 01:53, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I think you should wait to see if there is support for your proposals. I personally don't think any of them are improvements. --Peter Talk 03:34, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
When people suggest what they see as improvements, and no one has expressed disagreement with them, and I myself support them, there is no point in not adapting the proposal. Tony (talk) 07:42, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Per consensus already apparent here (G-t, LtPowers, Peter, on concision), I've struck the spaced option, and the deprecation of mixed hh:mm and hh formats in the 12-hour format.

Globe-trotter suggests a change from colon to dot. I must say, I'm yet to be convinced that this would be a good thing. If anyone else supports such a change, could they say so? G-t, I'm unsure I understand your point "The proposal that puzzles me most is your suggestion to just use different time notations altogether, like with spaces and without colons." But perhaps I've solved those objections in the proposal now? Could you confirm, please? Tony (talk) 14:46, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I think everything that needed to be said is at #Interesting (?) WikiPedia:24-hour_clock quote above. Pashley (talk) 15:52, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Those objections were solved indeed. I didn't mean to propose using dots, I just noted that other travel guides use dots instead of colons, so it might be worth thinking about. But I'm fine with using colons. I would support lower case am and pm, though, but introducing them will cause a gigantic style mess. So if we'd make that change, we'd need to use a bot of some kind. Globe-trotter (talk) 17:26, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Triple consensus again?[edit]

Sounds to me like we are back to #Triple consensus? above. Repeating it here:

  • use 24-hour clock except in North America
  • replace "AM" with "am" when using 12-hour clock
  • use three-letter abbreviations for days of the week, for easier reading

The only difference is that then we did not have consensus that the change was worth the trouble. Now we do, so we should just implement it. Pashley (talk) 17:56, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I'd prefer to go a bit further, suggest 24-hour time formats everywhere with a rider that am/pm may be used in North America rather than saying they should be used. However, I'm happy with the compromise above. Pashley (talk) 18:03, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Why just North America? Are we certain that nowhere else in the world uses wall clocks? And where the heck did the three-letter days of the week thing come from? If we're worried about length, we should stick with M Tu W Th F Sa Su. LtPowers (talk) 18:19, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Agree with LtPowers on both points. I also don't like using may - I think this just increases the chance of edit wars over what format to use. -Shaundd (talk) 18:22, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Can we have views from US editors about this? I guess American contributors who travel outside their country will inevitably be exposed to the 24-hour format; but American readers who consult WV for the purpose of tourist within the US might be befuddled. To what extent is this an issue for WV? And do US airports, coach stations, railways, use 24-hour format in their signage, ever? Tony (talk) 02:47, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
In Canada (which also predominantly uses the 12 hour clock), the airlines and VIA Rail use the 24 hour format. The bus lines I checked, including Greyhound (the national bus service), use the 12 hour format. In Vancouver, where I live, the local ferries and public transit system all use the 12 hour format. The same goes for shop signs. If you call a restaurant to make a reservation, you'll be offered times in AM/PM. The same if you call and ask when a shop or attraction closes. I'm sure you could use 24 hour format, but it's not the common local usage by any means. I can't speak to whether this is the case all across Canada and the US, but I certainly don't recall seeing many signs or hearing times quoted in the 24 hour clock when I've travelled back east or down to the States. The only exception I can think of is Quebec. I haven't been there for years, but I think the 24 hour format is more common there than the rest of the country (it would be good if someone could confirm that). -Shaundd (talk) 03:54, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
An intercity bus schedule between Ottawa-Montréal-Toronto was 24-hour format, last I checked (ages ago). The French-language format is more likely to be 24, formatted as "17h00" instead of "17:00" or "5:00 PM ET". Ferry schedule looks to be 12 [12]. Hospitals, military, meteorology, intercity transport likely all 24h as it leaves less room for error, but they're the exceptions. City bus schedule would be 12h. K7L (talk) 05:17, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I'll have to go through the above discussion and write my opinion later (not enough time right now). As a quick answer to your question...NO! I have never seen 24-hour time used in the U.S., except a handful of science-related things (in print, not spoken), like the official time of an event(eg. weather-related warnings or earthquakes, where it is used in conjunction with 12-hour time). An example: "At 1000 AM CDT...1500 UTC...the center of Tropical Storm Debby was located near..."
Just about the only Americans who would be familiar with it are people who have traveled to countries using 24-hour clocks and anyone who has been in the military—in fact, 24-hour time is known to most Americans as "military time" because that's the only common use (but with differences...the military always says the leading zero & omits the it's "zero five hundred hours" or 0500, not "five o'clock" or 5:00). There may be a few jobs/industries where 24-hour time is used, like shipping or in manufacturing, but the vast majority of the general public is not exposed to use of the 24-hour clock. The 24-hour clock is (to the best of my knowledge) only used in special or behind-the-scenes uses (for astronomy & some scientific data, military, some software), but definitely not (or almost never) in public use. To best honest, use of the 24-hour clock is even rarer than use of metric/SI in the U.S.! Businesses & transit systems use AM/PM (or rarely A/P). Just looked at an old boarding pass of mine and it states departure as "903A" & I have a bus pass that reads "3:38PM". The policy should be that all times listed in the U.S. must use the 12-hour clock, not "should" or "may" use it. I can't speak for the rest of North America. AHeneen (talk) 04:26, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I get the feeling that the page might say something like: "12-hour format is usual for North America, except for Quebec, where the 24-hour format is often used." Do you want to be strict or leave room for editorial judgement? I'm unsure. Tony (talk) 09:43, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, I don't know whether Mexico & Central America also use a 12-hour clock. My suggestion for the policy would be: "Use the 12-hour clock for times given in the U.S. & Canada. In cases where local transit and/or businesses use the 24-hour clock, list both formats as 12-hour time (24-hour time); eg. Buses operate from 5AM-11PM (05:00-23:00) Monday-Thursday." That should be a clear, reasonable way of allowing exceptions for Quebec, but still accommodate the large numbers of visitors from other areas. I was going to write "except in cases where local transit and/or businesses use the 24-hour clock", but that could lead to cases where transit times are given in 24-hour format & business hours are a mix of 12/24-hour times. Stating that 12-hour time should still be used followed by 24-hour time in parentheses seems like an easier way of keeping formatting consistent, while accommodating local variations. AHeneen (talk) 18:32, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

I do not think we need to include conversions between 24 hour and 12 hour time notations. That would be silly and unnecessarily lengthen our guide (which is a real issue to some people concerned about printed versions). If there really are human beings out there that can not subtract or add 12 hours by themselves, I seriously wonder whether we should encourage them to travel internationally without minders.

I also need to state the obvious: that, in almost all varieties of spoken English, the basically 12 hour system of "see you at 8 o'clock" is used colloquially. That doesn't usually mean (except in the case of the US we are continually told here) that timetables printed in 24 hour format will present an insuperable hurdle. Obviously there may be some destinations where completely different time systems are used and conversions would be helpful (Ethiopia, for example), but generally I would be completely opposed to conversions being used for either 12 or 24 hour notations and certainly they should not be mandated in our MoS.

Personally, I am strongly in favour of a modification of Sandy's formulation: Use the 24-hour time format. As an alternative, a 12 hour, am/pm format may be used consistently in any destination article where the 24 hour format is very rarely seen in print locally.

I agree with LtPowers: "If we're worried about length, we should stick with M Tu W Th F Sa Su." and not change our policy there.

Finally, we may need to distinguish between establishments that never close (eg: Las Vegas casinos), where I suggest 24/7 should be our pleasingly compact recognised abbreviation, and locations that may be open 24 hours on certain days (eg: supermarkets) where we could write "M-W 07:00–21:00, Th 07:00–23:59, F-Sa 24 hours, Su 00:00–19:00" -- Alice 23:37, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

This discussion is heading a bit in the wrong direction. I don't think anyone opposes the use of the AM/PM-system in the United States and Canada. It's the other places in the world where it's more tricky to determine which system they use. Globe-trotter (talk) 04:51, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Australia is almost completely within the am/pm system. I really don't like using a different system just for North America. I also find the possibility of having to use both a bit over-the-top. If this issue is really significant, I think we should switch to 24-hour times. People travelling have to understand them anyway, so it isn't that much of an ordeal. Otherwise, I say we can just leave it as it is. I don't really desire the amount of discussion this is going to require to settle a position for each article. --Inas (talk) 05:21, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I see 24-hour format on railway station electronic signs in Sydney, and on the highway approaching Sydney airport. Nevertheless, most usage is 12-hour format in Australia (and New Zealand). I don't see any big deal, and don't think the issue should be forced either way for articles related to those countries. North America seems more likely to need 12-hour format. But we're not going to be iron-clad prescriptive about which one anywhere, surely ....? I think as long as articles are internally consistent, and the tendency for 12-hour in Nth America is clear, that's enough. And yes, I do think forcing 24-hour format is not a good idea given the wider picture (although personally I'd prefer it). Tony (talk) 07:28, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Improving the page[edit]

Fellow editors, I'm unsure whether to go ahead with the changes I proposed above for the first section, "Times", including the tweaks I made to them on the basis of feedback in the thread.

Also, am I right in assuming that the last three sections concern abbreviations? Could I suggest that there be a single second-level heading, "Abbreviations", with anything else sequestered into "Other matters", or something like that? "Duration" is a bit vague as a heading, in this respect.

And a few queries for feedback from you, please:

  • "Abbreviate to the minimum number of letters, ie: M Tu W Th F Sa Su in lists and where space is short." The minimum would be a single letter. Needs rephrasing, I think.
  • "Spaces should be left out, e.g., M–F not M – F or M thru F." But the last example isn't about spacing. I can probably think of a way around this wording.
  • "Omit the en dash for a pair of days, e.g., Sa Su not Sa–Su." Substantive issue—my only one here: "Sa Su" is a bit strange by itself, isn't it? Surely "Sa and Su". Can people advise?

Tony (talk) 15:04, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

The minimum is not always a single letter because T could be Tuesday or Thursday, and S could be Saturday or Sunday. I think that part is pretty clear.
Re:Spaces - I think that could be split into two items, one about use of the dash rather than the words "through", "to", "thru", etc., and the other regarding spacing around the dash.
Re:Sa Su - Personally, I think it should have a dash between them, since it is a bit strange as you said, and since using an "and" would not really harmonize with the other guidelines...
Texugo (talk) 15:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Texugo that "and" is inconsistent (and too long, we're principally talking about use in listings and usage there should be kept short) and that there should be a dash between consecutive days for the sake of clarity. "Su M" causes many people to pause unnecessarily -- Alice 18:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)!
Sa-Su is clearer than Sa Su and takes up no more space, and "Sa Su" does look weird. We've actually discussed this before, and you'll find the Sa-Su version throughout our star articles. I've plunged and changed the policy, revert if need be. --Peter Talk 19:22, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Using a hyphen (or dash) between two consecutive days makes no sense, as the punctuation implies a range. "Sa Su" should be treated no differently from "M W F". I've reverted the change (in part because you only changed "omit" to "use" without changing the example to match). LtPowers (talk) 03:01, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I may have misread your comments above. I agree with Inas' assessment that putting the dash in there "saves a few brain processing cycles to understand." I've been using it in my writing here for the past 7 years. (I think you have been too—both in the examples from that section, and in articles you have worked on like Rochester.) --Peter Talk 03:20, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I have not; I've been following the cogent advice presented on this page until it was changed. Eco84 tried added the hyphens between "Sa" and "Su" (and, inexplicably, commas between non-consecutive days!). I reverted the commas, but I missed all but one of the hyphens. If not for Eco84's completely non-MOS-compliant changes, Rochester (New York) would not have "Sa-Su" present in the article. It's true I did use "F-Sa" in the discussion you linked, but in that case I was just quoting you; I probably copy+pasted it. I still don't see any reason to treat "Sa Su" or "F Sa" any differently than we do "M W F" or "Tu Th". LtPowers (talk) 15:53, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think putting a comma between single or double letter abbreviations of the days of the week is "inexplicable". Whenever there is a list of items, writers in English separate them with commas and it also saves a few brain cycles in a concise listing puzzling over what accronym or shortening "M W F" may possibly be - Mean high Water mark Fundy?

The only real question for me is whether to separate the non-consecutive days of the week abbreviations with just a comma - or a comma and then an ordinary space.

I think we need to fundamentally decide whether we are going to have our own policies about this MoS stuff or just refer editors to the more comprehensive (and often more ambiguous and flexible) set at Wikipedia's Manual of Style. If we wish to preserve our own distinct tone then we probably should plump for the former. But, in that case, we need to be a little bit more comprehensive and less ambiguous. For example, we currently have no advice about year letters - so I've prepared this User:Alice/Kitchen/tdf -- Alice 20:57, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

In my view, en.WVoy needs its own set of style guidelines, but there's nothing wrong with borrowing from en.WP in instances where it's convenient and appropriate. Thing is, the linguistic register, the tenor of WVoy articles is different from that of en.WP articles, both in fundamental ways (involving the use of contractions, for example; specific abbreviations, unique article structure, referencing, and many more aspects). WVoy has a significantly different social purpose from other WMF sites, and its stylistic conventions should reflect this. Tony (talk) 01:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
It's inexplicable, Alice, because our MoS had never recommended commas, nor had they been in widespread use anywhere else on the site. If Eco84 had been adding new listings, it might be understandable, but Eco84 specifically changed formatting that matched the MoS to formatting that did not. That's what was (and is, to me) inexplicable. LtPowers (talk) 14:16, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Powers, a hyphen indicates a range: M-F, ie M through F. Sa Su is not a range, we do not say "Sa through Su", so should not hyphenate that. We do say "Sa and Su", so we could write "Sa, Su 9-5PM", but don't because "Sa Su 9-5PM" is shorter and works fine. These issues come clear in context, which is generally open hours in venue listings I think. For clarity, our range notation should be different from our list notation; hence a space for list notation (Sa Su) but a hyphen for range notation (M-F). A clear concise and consistent style to indicate open hours is the goal here and our long standing style does it well. Reword the manual for clarity sure, but no change to this style needed. Did I miss something? --Rogerhc (talk) 06:29, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I probably shouldn't get involved in this conversation, as I seem to disagree with everyone. I hate the usage of M-Th. It doesn't make any sense to me, and some viewers are certain to get confused. Does saying Mon-Thu really add that much space? If we were that damn concerned about space, we should mandate "&" instead of "and" (saves 2 characters) and other idiocies. At least Mon-Thu will avoid confusion. I know we don't copy what competitors do, but the internationally renowned Lonely Planet used Mon-Thu style, and I don't believe they have serious issues of space. I could only accept M-Th style if listings were to have a label like "Hours:" or a clock symbol so it is clear to viewers we are talking about days and times (but that would be adding up to an extra 6 characters; blasphemy!) JamesA >talk 06:49, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
How about using a slash for discontiguous days and two consecutive days; eg. "M/W/F 8AM-5PM" or "F/Sa noon-1AM"? With regards to using a comma, I need to raise an important issue not addressed on this page: what to do when there are separate time periods on given days. For example, a restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner and is closed in the afternoon. In this case I have used the comma—"M-F 11AM-2PM, 5PM-10PM"—and then used a semicolon to separate days—"M-Th 11AM-2PM, 5PM-10PM; F/Sa 11AM-11PM; Su 10AM-3PM" or "M/W 8AM-noon, 2PM-5PM; Tu/Th 8AM-noon, 2PM-8PM; Sa 10AM-10PM". What do you all think about such usage of the slash, comma, and semicolon in formatting date/time listings? Re:James...the policy is about consistency, just like all WV policies. I personally like 3-letter abbreviations, however M/Tu/W/Th/F/Sa/Su has long been the established convention and we're just working other formatting issues around that. AHeneen (talk) 07:05, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I find the slash is sometimes hard to read depending on font and surrounding letters, but if it would increase clarity it might be worth it. I guess I don't understand what's unclear about the current format. Your use of semicolons and commas, Andrew, appears standard to me. LtPowers (talk) 13:01, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess because spaces serve to separate words in a sentence, and listing days isn't a sentence. Slashes replace the word "or", which works. "M/W/Sa" would translate to "You can visit the museum on Monday, Wednesday or Saturday". JamesA >talk 13:34, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
A slash and a space are both difficult ways of conveying the intending meaning: a slash typically means either/or; a space is unclear on all counts. And I agree with LtPowers that the dash, which indicates a range, is inappropriate for two contiguous days. Why not a comma or plain and? Thus far we have:

Sa Su 9–5pm

Sa/Su 9–5pm

Sa–Su 9–5pm

Sa, Su 9–5pm

Sa and Su 9–5pm

Sa & Su 9–5pm.

They're the only options I can think of. Tony (talk) 14:52, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

As I mentioned above, I've used the comma to separate two periods of time on the same days. For example a small post office is closed in the middle of the day, so it's hours in listings would be: "M-F 8AM-11AM, 2PM-5PM". A tour operator has boat/gondola tours throughout the day, but at different times on different days. Which style would look best:
  1. M, W 9AM, 2:30PM; Tu, Th 9AM, 2:30PM, 5PM; F, Sa 9AM, noon, 2:30PM, 5PM, 8PM (comma for days and times)
  2. M W 9AM, 2:30PM; Tu Th 9AM, 2:30PM, 5PM; F Sa 9AM, noon, 2:30PM, 5PM, 8PM (space for days, commas for times)
  3. M and W 9AM, 2:30PM; Tu and Th 9AM, 2:30PM, 5PM; F and Sa 9AM, noon, 2:30PM, 5PM, 8PM ("and" for days, commas for times)
  4. M & W 9AM, 2:30PM; Tu & Th 9AM, 2:30PM, 5PM; F & Sa 9AM, noon, 2:30PM, 5PM, 8PM (ampersand for days, commas for times)
  5. M & W 9AM 2:30PM; Tu & Th 9AM 2:30PM 5PM; F & Sa 9AM noon 2:30PM 5PM 8PM (ampersand for days, space for times)
  6. M&W 9AM 2:30PM; Tu&Th 9AM 2:30PM 5PM; F&Sa 9AM noon 2:30PM 5PM 8PM (ampersand with no spaces for days, space for times)
  7. M/W 9AM, 2:30PM; Tu/Th 9AM, 2:30PM, 5PM; F/Sa 9AM, noon, 2:30PM, 5PM, 8PM (slash for days, commas for times)
  8. M/W 9AM 2:30PM; Tu/Th 9AM 2:30PM 5PM; F/Sa 9AM noon 2:30PM 5PM 8PM (slash for days, space for times)
My preference just so happens to be the way I've handled such cases...#8...slash for two consecutive days or discontiguous days, commas to separate separate time periods, and semicolon to separate different day & time combinations. In keeping with the idea that this policy is to keep the length of dates & time in listings to a minimum, the slash is a great choice because it is: 1) shorter than using a comma, "and", or the ampersand; 2) more distinct/legible than a comma or ampersand when the spaces are removed around them (ie. M/W vs M,W vs M&W); 3) saves the comma to be used for separating time periods (unless there's a better way of separating times, unless "M, W 8AM-11AM, 1PM-5PM" is ok); and 4) in my opinion works for both discontiguous days and two consecutive (M/W & Sa/Su vs M, W & Sa, Su vs M/W & Sa-Su). While the slash may typically mean "either" or "or", in this usage I highly doubt many people will think "M/W 8AM-10PM" means a restaurant is open Monday or Wednesday. AHeneen (talk) 18:18, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
You think "M/W" is more legible than "M,W"? But the ultimate issue is this... unless there is a serious problem with the current format conventions, is it really worth the trouble of changing them throughout the site? LtPowers (talk) 00:35, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
I just wanted to poke my head in to say that yes, a change from M-Th to Mon-Thu would dramatically increase the length of our printed guides. That type of information is so iterated, that a little change might make a printed guide to a big guide like Chicago increase by 10+ pages. For the same reason, I prefer M,W-Sa instead of M, W-Sa. Actually, there's another reason too, in that it gets extra confusing with complex hours information, where a comma + space sets up a new range of hours (e.g., M,W-Th noon-2PM,4:30PM-10PM, F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 4PM-6PM). I still like putting a dash between consecutive days for clarity's sake in long, complex formulations, and don't think it's such an affront against logic and grammar ;) Clarity should always come first in a travel guide. --Peter Talk 21:14, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I completely agree clarity should come first. A hyphen or dash indicates a range; to use it for consecutive days like "Sa-Su" is confusing. LtPowers (talk) 13:06, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Peter, then could you use a dash in your examples? Tony (talk) 13:10, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I do not at all see how Sa-Su could be confusing. Confusing how? Somebody is going to assume there are some mysterious extra days between Saturday and Sunday? I don't think anyone would bat an eyelash to see a convention scheduled for June 3-4 or a fishing season in Sept-Oct. I don't see why days of the week should be any more confusing. Texugo (talk) 13:44, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
"Sept-Oct" is a range that implies September 1 - October 31. Like Roger said above: you don't say "Saturday through Sunday", so why would you write "Sa-Su"? LtPowers (talk) 13:27, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Because it's a convenient and intuitive way to write it. For what it's worth, you don't say "Saturday (comma pause) Sunday" either. Texugo (talk) 13:50, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Good thing I'm not proposing a comma, then. And writing a dash, as Tony prefers, is certainly not convenient; even a hyphen is no more convenient than a space, while intuitiveness is apparently at the crux of the disagreement. Me, I think it looks better and reads easier to see "M W F Sa" than "M W F-Sa". LtPowers (talk) 14:47, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I actually do think "Saturday through Sunday" is something you would hear colloquially when, say, phoning business owners to ask about their hours. "Saturday and Sunday" is the best grammatically and intuitively, but would be terrible in our guides. To me, M,W,F-Sa is the best way to convey that information when things get messy. Intuitiveness is pretty subjective, though, so I'm not sure there's an easy resolution to this discussion, aside from maybe a sitenotice reader poll? --Peter Talk 16:34, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Status quo bias would suggest we leave the policy as-is. Without a truly compelling reason to change it... LtPowers (talk) 23:24, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

BCE and CE[edit]

I recommend the addition of the following bullet point to the Dates section:

  • Use BCE and CE when appropriate to describe early dates, rather than BC and AD respectively.

We could debate all day over which is more accepted and which is more appropriate, but we've had enough of those discussions lately. I'm simply trying to standardise so we don't have situations in articles where both systems are used. The UN and Universal Postal Union recognise CE as the preferred system. It is also used by numerous authors and publishers worldwide who are trying to be sensitive in their writing which appeals to a wide variety of audiences. See w:Common Era. JamesA >talk 13:04, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree, but would prefer to go further and add text which also gives advice on approximations too, thus:
By default, years are numbered according to the Western Dionysian era (also referred to as the Common Era) and the year is assumed to be CE (or AD).
This means that in the phrase "Queen Victoria died in 1901", it is unnecessary to write either "Queen Victoria died in 1901 AD" or "Queen Victoria died in 1901 CE".
For years earlier than 1 (CE or AD), that year is followed by the three letters BCE (written in upper case, unspaced, without periods or full stops, and separated from the year number by a non-breaking space:" " rather than a simple space).
To indicate approximately, use the un-italicised abbreviation "c. " (followed by a non-breaking space) rather than circa, ca., or approx.
Eg: "The temple was built c. 700 BCE"
-- Alice 00:42, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I was kind of thinking about the same thing, but didn't bother mentioning it as it was too complex to try and set a standard. Should 50 CE just be 50? How about 278 CE? A "benchmark" year could be set where all dates before must have (B)CE, but what that date should be is contentious. I think all we really need to determine is that CE and BCE should be used over AD and BC. JamesA >talk 06:07, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
If the text that I propose were to be implemented, your "benchmark" year is the natural year of 1 (CE or AD). Everything in that year or after, by default, has no era designation unless it is absolutely necessary to have one to avoid ambiguity. -- Alice 08:59, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I disagree with your interpretation. I don't think "The temple was built in 50 in the town of Ephesus" makes much sense. It could be interpreted as a number of things. A case-by-case basis based on a user's interpretation and common sense is better. I also don't like the idea of "c."; it's just taking things a step too far. All I am proposing is the (B)CE system. JamesA >talk 09:09, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. CE and BCE are fine, but we should not offer advice here on when to use them; that is context-dependent and should be left to editor judgement. Also, using an abbreviation for circa is just silly. Pashley (talk) 22:41, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I also agree. Using BCE is good. Using CE if the editor has any reason to doubt the clarity of the date without it is good. Abbreviating circa is not silly, but likely to lead to more confusion than benefit. If I read it I'd probably understand what was being said, but it'd through off my flow of reading, and would generally be bad. --Keithonearth (talk) 03:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I hate BC and AD, but I don't know that BCE and CE are widely understood. As for "c.", I don't see the problem; it's a very standard abbreviation for "circa". LtPowers (talk) 17:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

If we use the more ambiguous - but much shorter - single letter abbreviation "M" instead of "Mo" because we think it important to save one character (they all add up when one is printing), it would seem logical to abbreviate the "approx" contraction in listings.

Also, the text proposed above in pink by me is an addition; if I had my way the whole page would spell things out much more clearly about how and when to abbreviate - such as here:

-- Alice 01:41, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Using BCE & CE is ok. Personally, I'm only familiar with these abbreviations from a high school history course in which the textbook used them. Otherwise, I've only encountered the term on Wikipedia and maybe a few articles every so often. However, if someone doesn't know what the abbreviations stand for, they should be able to easily discern from its use in context. That said, correcting usage of BC/AD & BCE/CE should be limited to star nominations...I don't feel that this is such an important issue that editors should waste much time going through pages and fixing this. In most major style guides (incl. MLA, AP, & Chicago), BC/AD is either the proper notation or acceptable. Wikipedia's MoS states that either convention is acceptable, as long as only one is used on a page. Regarding circa, I don't find "c." to be odd/confusing and it is the preferred abbreviation on Wikipedia (circa should never be written out). The full stop (period) should be used after circa, but BCE/CE & BC/AD should be written without full stops.
Regarding dates, I would choose 1000 CE as the year before which the use of BCE/CE after the numeral is required. It's arbitrary, but to me it seems like a point far enough removed from "1 BCE/CE" that it could be discerned by the reader whether most events being described occurred BCE or CE. Policy would read:
Years prior to 1000 CE must be followed by a non-breaking space (inserted as  ) and then BCE ("before common era", in lieu of "BC") or CE ("common era", in lieu of "AD") as appropriate. To insert "2013 CE", type: 2013 CE. For years after 1000 CE, the addition of "CE" is optional. To indicate an approximate year or time period, use "c." (without italics) as an abbreviation for circa. For example: "c. 1200 BCE" to indicate "around the year 1200 BCE" or "1907-c. 1980" to indicate 1907 is an exact year while 1980 is an approximate year.
Years prior to 1000 CE must be followed by a non-breaking space (inserted as  ) and then BCE/BC or CE/AD as appropriate. Only one convention (BCE/CE or BC/AD) may be used on a page. To insert "2013 CE", type: 2013 CE. For years after 1000 CE/AD, the addition of "CE/AD" is optional. To indicate an approximate year or time period, use "c." (without italics) as an abbreviation for circa. For example: "c. 1200 BCE" to indicate "around the year 1200 BCE" or "1907-c. 1980" to indicate 1907 is an exact year while 1980 is an approximate year.
While on this topic we should also discuss the use of other calendars and set forth proper style for them as as well as state when they are acceptable to use. AHeneen (talk) 06:27, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Just pointing out that BC/AD would be preferable in certain situations, usually related to sites tied up in Christian history, like Christian holy sites or sites whose significance changed after the adoption of Christianity (in a place like the Roman Empire). --Peter Talk 13:25, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

How to express "Noon to 6AM the next day" ?[edit]

I have written this:

Karaoke-kan (カラオケ館), Roppongi 5-1-6, +81 3 5786-9400. Noon to 6AM the next day, 8AM on Fridays/Saturdays. ¥640 for half an hour, ¥133 before 19:00.

I am aware the hours should be standardized, but is 12:00-05:00 acceptable? I am worried some would misinterpret it. What is your recommendation? Nicolas1981 (talk) 11:07, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Yep, this is one of those cases where 24-hour format can be confusing. How about "closed 06:00-noon"? LtPowers (talk) 13:53, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
If we go with the "closed 06:00-noon" idea, expressing the Fridays/Saturdays would become almost impossible, I think? Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:30, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
"Closed 06:00-noon; 08:00-noon F Sa" (or "08:00-noon Sa Su", depending on which was meant). LtPowers (talk) 13:59, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
How about "12:00-30:00" like is sometimes seen in overnight schedules in Japan? Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:30, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
No, definitely not that. I've never seen it, and a lot of people are likely to think it's a weird mistake. My vote would be to leave the hours as "Noon-6AM". That's the least ambiguous format.Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:33, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Order of hours and "daily"[edit]

The sidebox at Star nominations has said to use "...daily" not "Daily..." since Sep 2008 (per Wikivoyage talk:Star nominations#Thoughts on Star nom process), even though this guideline does not say it.

This guideline has said to use "24 hours daily" since Jan 2013 (per #24-hour party people).

The prescription at Star nominations has now been queried by two editors.

Should the guidance be (using examples here for ease of reading):

  1. 9:30AM–5PM daily
  2. Daily 9:30AM–5PM
  3. No preference for either the above (and remove the preference from Star nominations).

If we decide on Daily 9:30AM–5PM, would we stick with "24 hours daily"? Nurg (talk) 10:22, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

My understanding is that Star grade articles should be perfectly formatted according to our manual of style that was current when they achieved that grade (and ideally the formatting would be updated as our MoS changes).
Rather than have the prescription at Star nominations fall out of step with our actual policy expressed on the relevant page of our MoS (and to avoid policy discussions being distributed in several places), I strongly favour removing the potted advice (and preference).
However, I do favour the idea of having larger periods of time given first, so an example of my favoured style would be: 23 Apr–14 Sep daily 09:30-17:20 or, in the event of non-closure during that Northern Hemisphere summer period, the example I would favour would be: 23 Apr–14 Sep open 24/7 or, if it were not thought too incomprehensible: 23  Apr–14 Sep 24/7.
Neither consistency nor brevity should sacrifice a readable style or tone. --118.93nzp (talk) 10:26, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
You've lost me. I gave 3 numbered options. Do you agree with one of them or none of them? Nurg (talk) 19:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
None of them, Nurg.
[I don't favour (1) because I don't think that we should be giving separate advice about formatting on our Star Nom page rather than just suggesting that editors check-out our MoS pages and, if we did, I certainly wouldn't suggest that they use the generally more long-winded, less clear and less widely understood in a world wide context 12h format and certainly not the pug ugly and difficult-to-understand-in-crowded-listings format of upper-casing AM and PM. I also don't favour (1) because it puts the daily interval after the times rather than before the times in a consistent order of larger time intervals first eg: Year or Season Month Day(s) Times.
I also don't favour (2) because we should NOT be giving separate advice about formatting on our Star Nom page rather than pointing editors towards our MoS pages. If we did, I certainly wouldn't suggest that the advice use the generally more long-winded, less clear and less widely understood in a world wide context, 12 hour format and certainly not the pug ugly and difficult-to-understand-in-crowded-listings format of upper-casing AM and PM. (2)'s only saving grace is that it does put the daily interval before the times in a consistent order of larger time intervals first: Year or Season Month Day(s) Times.
I also can't favour (3) because, although I agree that we should NOT be giving separate advice about formatting on our Star Nom page rather than pointing editors towards our MoS pages, I do actually prefer (2) to (1) because it does put the daily interval before the times in a consistent order of larger time intervals first: Year or Season, Month, Day(s), Times.] --118.93nzp (talk) 23:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
So you think "Daily" should come before the time, and that the policy overleaf should give that guidance to editors. Nurg (talk) 01:20, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes to your first paraphrasing/translation, Nurg, but NO to your second. As I've written several times now, I really don't think we should be giving separate advice about formatting in the sidebox on our Star Nom page rather than pointing editors towards our MoS pages (of which the page overleaf is an example). --118.93nzp (talk) 01:52, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, and sorry, I seem to be having difficulty making myself clear, but I now know what you think on the main thing I was asking. I understand what you are saying about the Start Nom page. But I'm confused by you saying No to putting such guidance overleaf, by which I mean on Wikivoyage:Time and date formats. Nurg (talk) 03:32, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
My wording could have been better (I've amended it now) and I've removed the conflicting advice on the Star Nom page (which also favoured 12h AM/PM formatting without making clear that the correct 24h format is also perfectly acceptable). Sorry for any unwitting confusion caused. --118.93nzp (talk) 08:21, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

24 hours, 7 days[edit]

To my mind, "24 hours daily" makes no sense in American English; only some period of time less than 24 hours or other repeated action ("Trains depart daily at 1 PM.") makes sense to use with "daily" here. Our expression is "24 hours a day," though "open 24 hours" is quite sufficient. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:34, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, but we're not just writing for an American audience. I think "Daily 24 hours" maintains parallelism with both "Daily 9AM-5PM" and with "M-F 24 hours", and so should be the recommendation. But I also don't know if we need to be strict about it. As long as the chosen wording gets the point across, and is consistent within an article, it shouldn't hold up a star nom. LtPowers (talk) 12:42, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
"Daily 9AM-5PM" looks wrong to me without a comma after daily. Just "24 hours" seems more ambiguous. And "24 hours daily" doesn't seem weird to my American ear, but that could be from spending too much time here. I would say that "24/7" would be best, but it might trip up non-native English speakers. --Peter Talk 16:11, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree that 24/7 is best and actually think that "24/7" is very common around the world. both in poor English and often as a symbol mixed in with non Roman scripts such as Amharic, Hindi and Thai. It's certainly much shorter to use in listings and, as I write in a section below, brevity is good. --118.93nzp (talk) 06:01, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Still a mess[edit]

I proposed a revamped section above. Still nothing has been done. The ugly caps are still the only mandated am/pm format, a prescription that is so off-track that I see no one seems to take any notice in the articles. Tony (talk) 13:55, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps this (and other forlorn and neglected issues such as the silly footnote style external link format and the daft way that image sizes are being arbitrarily changed from a proportion of the user's default preference size to fixed pixel widths) should be raised in the pub for a wider airing, Tony? -- Alice 16:45, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
A better place to raise them is at Wikivoyage:Requests for comment which is intended for such things.
For the links question, the policy is at Wikivoyage:External_links#External_link_format and the place to discuss it is that article's talk page. Then you might add a pointer on the RFC page. By the way, until/unless there is consensus to change that policy, please stop "fixing" links to follow your personal style preference. Pashley (talk) 17:09, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that this policy has a lot of flaws, and I personally do ignore it from time to time when it's not the best. Alice, the [1] style external links are being phased out, if you happened to read the discussion on that talk page. It's just a matter of getting unambiguous support. I might attempt to do that now. James Atalk 05:25, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Pashley, links? I don't understand (perhaps you've posted in the wrong thread). Tony (talk) 09:36, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
As usual, Pashley is technically quite correct and was responding in a measured way to my own off-topic comments about "forlorn and neglected issues". While an rfc is intended exactly for this kind of thing, in these cases where we have not been putting the traveller first for a long while (eg by flouting some basic principles and conventions of the world wide web and user's image preferences) I do think there is a case for alerting a wider audience in the pub.
I've never understood myself why we ostensibly have a "no shouting" policy and then almost mandate it for the times display of US articles... -- Alice 11:23, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Alice, thanks for your comment. Let me review this talk page (I didn't know that much of my earlier proposal had been adopted), and work out what issues are viable for an RfC. The allowance of lower-case am/pm as well as uppercase uglies will be the obvious one. I can say already that for practical reasons of not wanting to create a huge reverse-engineering task, I'm not in favour of banning either upper or lower case—I do see lower-case am/pm a lot. So it seems to me the pragmatic thing to allow both, but to give editors the right to downcase consistently if they're editing through an article with the AM/PM shouting in full or, as so often, in part. Tony (talk) 11:31, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Full support for your practical and sensible proposal, Tony. -- Alice 17:42, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
My opinion is above at #Triple_consensus_again.3F.
However, it does seem worth noting that here in Canada, where the 24-hour-clock is generally rather rare except for Quebec & the military, I see the uppercase AM and PM much more often than the lowercase versions. I agree that they are ugly, but if they are actually much more widely used (which is my perception, but may not be accurate) then we should stick with them. Pashley (talk) 01:27, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
This is not an American (or North American) site. Tony (talk) 08:25, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I certainly was not — and I do not think anyone else was — claiming this is, should be or even could be exclusively a North American site. But it is among other things a North American site.
I think that means we have to have the 12-hour clock in North American articles because that is what most readers will know. I have argued we should use 24 everywhere except NA, instead of the current policy of 12 everywhere, but I cannot argue against 12 in NA (even though I personally prefer 24) since 12 seems to be clearly standard here.
The only question I wanted to raise above was AM/PM vs am/pm. If the uppercase form is standard, then (again, despite my personal preference) I think we should use it. Pashley (talk) 10:32, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I prefer am and pm to AM and PM (as I said in the first post to this page, in 2003 – I haven't changed my mind). Nurg (talk) 10:52, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely right, Nurg.
Since these two abbreviations derive from the latin phrases ante meridiem and post meridiem it seems rather ignorant (as well as ugly) to capitalise the abbeviations when the full words aren't normally capitalised. -- Alice 11:22, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't have any preference between lowercase and uppercase for AM/PM (because there are more important things in Wikivoyage and life to worry about and work on). But I am against changes to these sorts of policies that are of no to minimal benefit, but would require significant work to change. I am also generally against introducing style inconsistencies, when avoidable. --Peter Talk 16:32, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I could have written that for you, almost word for word; but it would have been too pointy, and rather impolite. The notion that nothing is worth changing because it will be too much trouble is a very poor way to proceed (the I've-got-better-things-to-do argument). The claim that this is an inconsequential proposal doesn't stand up—these ugly, shouting capitals are all over the place, and are markedly inconsistent within many articles (understandably, since most folk don't write THE CAPS naturally). But even if the proposal were for a more subtle change or allowance, it wouldn't matter. Did you notice that there was no proposal to convert the whole site by creating a massive reverse-engineering job to comply? No, it's a practical acceptance of two formats, not the age-old insistence on SHOUTING CAPS. I'd like to see encouragement of stylistic improvements rather than an automatic reaction against change (in just about every respect, thus far, as I've experienced it). You'd be the first to complain if there were tiny editing glitches in a movie. Tony (talk) 02:03, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't really get the fuss over the all caps. Perhaps it's some weird Canadian quirk, but I see websites for local businesses that list their hours with caps -- so it's not just Wikivoyage that does it. I also find that the caps make the hours stand out from what can otherwise be a sea of text in our descriptions.
That said, showing it as AM/PM or am/pm doesn't strike me as being something that is going to confuse a traveller. I wouldn't object to allowing either as long as it was consistent within a guide (and for huge cities, that would mean all districts have the same usage). -Shaundd (talk) 05:38, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, both people that seems to think it's shouting are from countries that routinely use 24 hour time, so perhaps they're not as familiar with its common usage in 12 hour countries? I've routinely seen both AM and a.m. across North America (with the unpunctuated am well in third place, I think, though I've never really paid much attention), and with no other implications associated with that choice; it's certainly not interpreted as shouting. So far as I'm aware, AM/PM are also the standard abbreviations used for the status bar clocks on every computer and smartphone operating system of note. -- D. Guillaume (talk) 07:04, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Could you please get your facts right? I'm not from a country that routinely uses 24-hour format. Tony (talk) 08:55, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Both are standard, and I don't perceive "AM/PM" to be shouting. However, I think the issue is when you have multiple times listed in a short space. Eg, "M-F 8AM-12PM, 2-5PM; Sa 8AM-2PM; Su 10AM-1PM". That all looks very messy and jumbled to me. But in an isolated case (M-F 8AM-2PM), it looks fine. My support would be to a case-by-case judgement, as long as the entire article is consistent. Then there is no need for mass trivial changes across the wiki, but users who believe it is messy are appeased and able to make the articles they're working on cleaner and easier to follow. James Atalk 09:53, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
As usual, you're not wrong as to which is the more readable, James - I'm always amazed at how US manufactured aircraft (and aircraft signage) use ALL CAPS when German psychologists determined back in the 30s (when the autobahns came into use) that lower case was more quickly read. A few milliseconds matter at 160 km/h (100 mph).
PS: I was raised in a country that does not use any of the three proposed formats - and I'm writing this comment from Ethiopia, a country which has it's own time keeping system. My personal preference is the same as that of most armed forces and for the same reasons - accuracy and unambiguity...
These are good points (ease of reading has been my primary concern, along with majority practice in English); but you're not suggesting inconsistency within an article, I presume. To respond to your specific example of isolated usage, I do believe the M–F is easier to pick up when not jostling with four other caps nearby. Perhaps compare one above the other:


M–F 8am–2pm

Looks like I have no other option but to propose specific text. Tony (talk) 10:08, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

RFC: introducing optional AM/PM and am/pm[edit]

Please support or oppose, and/or provide a comment, for this proposal for a one-line addition (highlighted in green) to the policy on time formats.

The proposal results from the apparent support by many editors for lower case, or for a choice between them. Editors may or may not consider readability an issue, and would have the ability to decide for each article, and by consensus on the talk page if disagreement arose. Readability may be issue for some editors; real-world usage appears definitely not to insist on caps only.

Examples of multiple times listed in a short space:

  • M–F 10AM–2PM, 5PM–10PM; Sa–Su 11AM–3PM, 5:30PM–10PM


  • M–F 10am–2pm, 5pm–10pm; Sa–Su 11am–3pm, 5:30pm–10pm

Introducing a choice is designed to avoid making articles with upper case suddenly non-compliant, as a common practicality and in view of a few editors' concerns that "it's just not worth the trouble".

In terms of consistency, the addition would mirror the existing policy on the choice between 24- and 12-hour formats ("Do not use both 24- and 12-hour formats within one article.")

The proposal results from much debate going back to 2006; for example, here and here.


  • Minutes are not shown for full hours: 5PM, not 5:00PM.
  • Where minutes are shown, use a colon as the separator: 5:26PM, not 5.26PM or 5-26PM.
  • Omit periods (full stops) in "AM" and "PM": 10:30AM–5PM, not 10:30A.M.–5P.M.
  • Use noon and midnight, not 12AM and 12PM.
  • Don't space the number from the am/pm sign: 2PM (not 2 PM).


  • Use either upper case 9:30AM–5PM, or lower case 9:30am–5pm, but keep the case consistent within an article.
  • Minutes are not shown for full hours: 5PM, not 5:00PM.
  • Where minutes are shown, use a colon as the separator: 5:26PM, not 5.26PM or 5-26PM.
  • Omit periods (full stops) in "AM" and "PM": 10:30AM–5PM, not 10:30A.M.–5P.M.
  • Use noon and midnight, not 12AM and 12PM.
  • Don't space the number from the AM/PM sign: 2PM (not 2 PM).


  • As proposer. Tony (talk) 11:15, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Choice is good - provided a consistent style can be maintained within articles (and closely related articles such as districts of the same city) -- Alice 13:37, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Put this fairly trivial issue to rest and make hopefully everyone content with the outcome. However, should there be wording in place to "discourage" (or maybe disallow) people from mass-changing articles from one format to the other, or even edit-warring with other users about it? James Atalk 13:54, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not very fussed by this one way or the other. My impression is many users naturally use small caps over large caps, and it seems unlikely to be something that will cause travellers confusion, so I'm fine with the proposal. If it reduces some of the nitpicky MoS edits in the long run, I feel it outweighs the disadvantage of not having a consistent AM or am across the site. As I mentioned above, I would like to see the same style applied to an entire huge city article though (districts + main page). -Shaundd (talk) 17:14, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Alice nailed it and, since there has been not a single oppose since 11:15, 23 June 2013 (UTC), I'm now going to make the change suggested. --118.93nzp (talk) 23:10, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
In the discussion below there were opposes. Mainly because now we have something else to debate on every single article as to how we express time. --Inas (talk) 00:05, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that POV, Inas. That may well be true, but with a consensus style of decision making, it's very difficult to make undramatic progress if editors are either ignorant of this Rfc or too lazy/havering to put an entry in the relevant sub-section below. Do you really mean to hint that we have had all this sound and fury (and the subsequent opprobrium instigated by Tony's journalistic efforts in the Signpost) for nothing? I would find such a stance tragic and ironic confirmation of Tony's most extreme categorisations of the editor community here. --118.93nzp (talk) 00:16, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Yep. The dramatic progress is all happening here. We've made AM/PM case optional. Don't know what I was thinking. --Inas (talk) 00:20, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
As Peter noted below, long ago, "This style of rfc (taken from other WMF projects) is not how Wikivoyage forges consensus. ... The duality of support/oppose does not make for good discussions, which should allow organic developments of new ideas, new compromises, etc." Opposition was present and fairly strong, and the fact that it wasn't enumerated under the "Oppose" section doesn't invalidate it. LtPowers (talk) 03:24, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps that's part of the problem then and why we seem to have so many long drawn out discussions lately on Wikivoyage that never reach this magical consensus that only certain editors are capable of discerning.
The style proposed here has the advantage that the editor themselves can express their own choice of Oppose, Neutral or Support very clearly and unambiguously without the risk of their position being wrongly assessed by one of the closing Druids and without depriving any participant of the ability to have an extensive and even rambling discussion rather than being forced into unequivocal brevity.
Or do you think that our policy decision procedures are already perfect and needing no change, ever? --118.93nzp (talk) 09:35, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
First of all, I don't appreciate your repeated insinuations that there are "certain editors" -- "closing Druids" -- that believe they are the only ones who can discern a "magical consensus". That's insulting and rude, and it's exactly the type of barely-civil sniping that has caused the vast majority of the conflict on this Wiki as of late. Stop doing it.
Second of all, you've set up a ridiculous false dichotomy -- a logical fallacy -- between "our policy decision procedures are already perfect" and "the style proposed here". You know darn well those aren't the only two options, but your fallacious exclusion of other options appears intended to back me into a rhetorical trap. I won't cooperate with rhetorical tricks like this.
Thirdly, the reason we've avoided this sort of format in the past is exactly as specified by Peter, below, and one which you have not even made an attempt to refute. Sometimes opinions are not easily distilled into one of three pat categories, and sometimes consensus can not be discerned by counting votes. Were we a direct democracy, this format would make sense, but we are not. LtPowers (talk) 19:59, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Aren't we allowed to move more towards the "direct democracy" end of the spectrum and away from the druidical obscurity of the current decision making process for the sake of clarity and the perception that the "consensus" is rigged? --118.93nzp (talk) 23:36, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
The opinions and points are fairly clearly presented below. Just because they aren't under headings doesn't make them less clear. It isn't about how many people support an idea, but rather the arguments presented on both sides. However, the voting model you seem to be suggesting is easily rigged, if, for example, if someone less scrupulous than us were to use three accounts over time to present the same case, they could easily make rig a vote. At the moment, we don't really need to care about this, because it is the arguments that count. In any event, this discussion is best held at Wikivoyage_talk:Consensus, rather than here. --Inas (talk) 00:59, 12 November 2013 (UTC)




  • Response to JamesA: Sounds a bit clunky to write it into the rules; but if people think a sentence suggesting notification on the talk page beforehand as normal procedure, it could be proposed. (I suspect, on rare occasions when I copy-edit an article, I'd be inclined to harmonise the formatting to lower case; copy-editing a WV article is quite a big undertaking, so it's hard to imagine zooming through masses of articles making changes. Tony (talk) 15:34, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

To beat a dead horse, we try to keep styles consistent across guides, not articles. This raises the question of what constitutes a guide. It would clearly look unprofessional to have some district articles of a huge city guide using different formatting than others and the main article. Does the same hold true for a region? For a country? Right now, with the few instances where we do allow for variance in formatting (local spellings and 12 hour vs. 24 hour clocks), it is done at the country level. If pursuing the very unclear benefit of allowing either uppercase and lowercase (appeasing punctilious punctuation pedants?), I would think we would want country-level consistency. But I'm inclined to think that the unclear benefit of allowing both styles is outweighed by the disadvantages of varying styles across articles that are essentially part of one guide, or for that matter debating whether Iceland should use pm or PM. In a nutshell, both styles are common and acceptable and yes, professional, but we should choose one for consistency.

On a very different note, this style of rfc (taken from other WMF projects) is not how Wikivoyage forges consensus. If you have an argument, write it, and try to convince others of your opinion. The duality of support/oppose does not make for good discussions, which should allow organic developments of new ideas, new compromises, etc. --Peter Talk 21:36, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Peter, you say, "we try to keep styles consistent across guides, not articles"—The guideline already requires consistency within articles for the 12/24-hour format choice; that was the lead I took, and avoids the complicated, messy issue of defining what a "guide" is. I have no doubt that over time people might seek to harmonise articles in geographically or culturally related articles, but it is a wiki, and therefore a permanent work in progress.

    "we should choose [upper or lower case] for consistency"—I don't think this has been working, which is the reason for proposing a binary choice, just like the 12/24-hour choice that seems to have worked very well.

    On the "style" of this RFC, I sought but found no advice at the RFC page, although I was keen to comply with whatever is normal. If you favour a certain style, one suggestion is to write a short section advising editors at the top of RFC—Wikivoyage is no longer a stand-alone project and presumably would like to attract more participants in; so we could all help to make favoured processes more apparent to new editors. Tony (talk) 04:40, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

You raise some good points.
Can we allow the user to set preferences in their skin as to the display of dates and times that they prefer? -- Alice 21:44, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
In the body of the text, not that I'm aware of. (You can set your preferred date and time format for site functions several different ways in Special:Preferences, but I'm amused to note that they're all variants of 24 hour time, with no 12 hour options at all.) In principle this could be done with a Greasemonkey script or similar equivalent running in the browser of an interested individual user, and I think this would be far easier than trying to hack something into the site's display code itself, though I'd also expect occasional display errors from the difficulty of correctly interpreting all time formats as times - especially around the use of "am" as a word.
If only decimal time had taken off, this would be so much easier! -- D. Guillaume (talk) 22:09, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
We often seem to get users who find the all-caps offputting, but is there anyone who seriously favors it over lowercase? If not, then the only thing holding us back is the pain it would be to change the whole site to the new format. Inertia is a crappy reason not to make an improvement, but it is a good reason not to make a lateral move, so I guess the question depends on which we feel this change is. I understand Peter's desire for consistency, but I think it's a shame if it holds us back from making a change that most people agree would be an improvement. LtPowers (talk) 02:28, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
If someone proposing this were to whip up a bot that could complete the "lateral move," that would be fine by me. But I don't think there is anything being gained in this proposal that would be worth sacrificing consistency. We'd be sacrificing something of low-medium importance for something that's not worth the time we're taking to think about. --Peter Talk 06:30, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
I see a lot of inconsistency at the moment. Tony (talk) 07:18, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • So taking into account this formal proposal (launched and advertised two weeks ago) and the views expressed in several earlier threads on this page, I think it's appropriate to add the bullet allowing choice. I'll do so after a few days unless anything new comes to light. Tony (talk) 14:45, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Just to bump, am I really the only person who thinks this is a bad idea? --Peter Talk 18:58, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

I think it's a bad idea. It doesn't really matter whether AM/PM or am/pm is used, but at least we should strive for consistency with our guides. Globe-trotter (talk) 19:10, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree. If we must keep the 12-hour clock (& I think we must, see comments above) then either keep AM/PM or switch to am/pm. (I have commented on that above too & have not seen an answer.)
Having a policy that allows writers to choose with "optional AM/PM and am/pm", and of course to have silly arguments over the choice, strikes me as a spectacularly dumb idea. Pashley (talk) 19:12, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
That's an inconsistent view in itself: fine to have the 24/12 option within an article, but you have to either (i) legislate to insist on capitals that so many editors don't like, and that are minority usage in English, or (ii) legislate to enforce lower case, thus rendering lots of the site non-compliant? Why make a rod for our backs? The proposal is simply to allow lower- or upper-case am/pm as long as article-consistent. It's a minor change that has clearly been wanted by a lot of editors, if you look at the history of this page. When you compare it with the daft "Singapore shall use BrEng and Japan shall use AmEng" rule, this is a model of flexibility. Tony (talk) 09:44, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not seeing any inconsistency in his view. For (i), "so many editors" seems to be primarily yourself and Alice, with the rest of the contributors expressing various levels of mild disinterest even back in 2006, and I see no evidence that capital letters are a minority usage in English. I'm still of the opinion that we should just pick one and stick with it; I'm not particularly worked up about which one, as I don't see any of the options as convincingly "right" or "wrong" in common usage. I find switching back and forth in an article uglier than any possible aesthetic difference between PM and pm. -- D. Guillaume (talk) 19:06, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"switching back and forth in an article"—is this a new proposal you want to put? I think I'd oppose that. Tony (talk) 02:10, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I've tried to stay out of these sorts of discussions because I know that some people care enormously about these types of details, and I'm not one of them. That said, for formatting details like this one that have country-specific variants I would agree that it's somewhat important to be consistent within an article or a group of related articles, and less important to be consistent sitewide. Of more importance (I think) is that edits that do nothing other than change details like "AM" to "am" or twelve-hour format to 24-hour format are something I'd be happy to see less of since they tend to create conflict; while style guides for such things may be useful, for details like this that are highly subjective and don't greatly affect usability they should probably be recommendations rather than policy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:20, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I also don't care about these details, but my objection is exactly what Pashley points to. Having a straightforward "use this version" policy immediately ends any silly arguments. --Peter Talk 20:24, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
You're calling me "silly". OK. Apparently an iron-fisted approach doesn't avoid silly arguments, which is why this thread, and countless threads above, exist. Tony (talk) 09:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

This is from the project page:

"Use the date format of dd mmm yyyy, e.g., 10 Jan 2003."

That date format is not used in the United States, and it's strange to see it in articles about US destinations. The format we use is mmm dd, yyyy: i.e., Jan 10, 2003, or alternatively, 01/10/2003. I propose that we never use the confusing all-number abbreviation, but that we not force non-US format on articles about US destinations. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:54, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Ok. Nurg (talk) 10:36, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Would you be OK with my specifying mmm dd, yyyy for articles about US destinations? I'm not sure any country other than the US uses this strange, counter-intuitive date format, so I wouldn't suggest it for any other place without knowing for sure it's used there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:45, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Most editors and readers of articles of US destinations are probably Americans, and you are afaiu more comfortable using that standard than for example the European version. And visitors from elsewhere will encounter those formats while in the US. ϒpsilon (talk) 11:02, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
What does "afaiu" mean, please? --118.93nzp (talk) 22:49, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
afaiu or AFAIU means As Far As I Understand. ϒpsilon (talk) 05:07, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that, ϒpsilon. --118.93nzp (talk) 05:48, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I will make the change. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:49, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Please don't. Many of our U.S. articles already use the specified format and I don't relish the thought of changing them. LtPowers (talk) 18:25, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
As I see it either Jan 10 2003 or 10 Jan 2003 could be used. Being Canadian I automatically use the first in normal writing. I can try to remember to use the second for some countries, but I'm not likely to get it 100% "right" or to complain if others don't. I do think this matters much; like color/colour it does not change the meaning and in most cases is just not worth worrying about.
Where there is a problem is with numeric formats. An American writes that date as 10/1/2003 or 10-1-2003 while others use 1/10/2003 or 1-10-2003 for the same date. Each group will read the other's January 1st as October 10; there is a major ambiguity. I therefore think no dates in those formats should ever be used. The ISO standard 2003-01-10 is the only numeric format that handles this without ambiguity; I do not think we need purely numeric dates at all, but if we do that is the only format worth considering. Pashley (talk) 22:07, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

One of the problems with creating an anonymous "Avatar" account (like LtPowers and Nurg has had for a long time and that I have just very, very recently created) is that it encourages the Avatar user to want to pronounce on every topic (even if they have no real, long term interest in the topic - but I'm certainly not suggesting that is the case here) so as to enhance the perceived status and authority of that Avatar.

After a while, the magisterial persona of the Avatar (or pseudo-anonymous named account) even encourages others to support or oppose the Avatar's position even without studying or assessing the argumentation advanced. Even more dangerous is the temptation for the real person behind the pseudo-anonymous named account to bolster their arguments (and perceived authority) by creating additional accounts. After they've got away with that successfully for a while, they may even create alternative Avatars with different "personalities" as attack dogs (able to voice sentiments more plainly and brutally than would seem in keeping with the majesty of the persona of their original Avatar). Now I did not deliberately set out all those years ago to only use plainly anonymous IPs for such philosophical or well cogitated reasons. To the contrary, my own reasons for not previously creating an Avatar were far more mundane.

Now that I have followed LtPowers goadings to create such an Avatar account {I've justified this to myself as wanting to investigate the technical operation of such features as Wikilove, my choice of thumbnail size displayed (to a limited degree), and the ability to maintain a watchlist of articles and Avatars rather than knuckle under} I'll need to resist the consequent temptation to pontificate on topics that I have no real knowledge about or interest in.

However, that is definitely not the case with MoS matters. All those years of copyediting anonymously have given me a great and abiding interest in improving our MoS, so first some general principles:

1) Consistent style intra-article, intra-region and intra-country is good. It gives a more authoritative tone to our articles and, in this period of low readership, this may be useful if journalists are reviewing our guides. It's also a good thing to have for the guide as a whole (where achievable) both for that reason and for editors to feel more comfortable when stepping out of "their region" to edit and in creating less work for low profile copy editors like me.
2) Brevity is good in listings and even sometimes in the body text of articles. However, this should not come at the expense of clarity where abbreviations are used.
3) Neither consistency nor brevity should sacrifice a readable style or tone.

As LtPowers says, we've had the dd Mmm yyyy style currently suggested by our MoS for very many years now and it would require a very strong consensus to change it and then a subsequent educational effort to bring that change to the attention of all our editors.

However, there may be technical means available to accommodate customised style changes within our articles when they are actually displayed to registered users.

If we continue to mandate editors to use the standard style of dd Mmm yyyy whenever they edit, since that is a consistent pattern, it should be possible to have a user preference set (obviously, like thumbnail sizes or zone time displayed, available only to registered and logged in readers) for the actual format shown. The choices could be fairly wide, not just US style and include yyyy-mm-dd, 10/1/2003 or 10-1-2003 while others use 1/10/2003 or 1-10-2003, etc, etc.

The same principle could be applied to other trivial stuff, the obvious candidate being to get rid of that less-than-obvious-to-newbie-or-casual-editors HTML of no breaking space where units of measurement are concerned (but still display a space for logged in registered users who have set a preference for that) and, of course, the great and perpetual 12h/24h and am/AM wars for time formats.

So, NO, please do not change one of the very few formats that are not currently subject to US exceptionalism since, once we have a proliferation of different date styles hardcoded into our articles, it will become very much more difficult to allow a "thousand flowers to bloom" in the way these dates are actually displayed to logged on, registered readers. --118.93nzp (talk) 22:49, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Dear 118.93nzp, since you mentioned me by name, yes, I have had the magnificently magisterial persona of an "Avatar" for ten years now, so as you emerge from your years of so quietly editing wikis under the goading of that mere five-year-old stripling LtPowers into what is, for you, this new land of user accounts and raging temptation, I stand ready to dispense wisdom to you from the depths of my experience and the heights of my aggrandizement. My Wikivoyage acolytes (sheep, all of them) will fall at my feet if I can bolster you to pontificate only on matters of which you have real knowledge and interest. As to my alternative "Avatars" with different "personalities", alas I have no attack dogs, I have (here showing a rare glimpse of my soft side) only sock puppies. Nurg (talk) 08:52, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
That seems like really good advice, Nurg. Now I have my brand new global WMF account I'll try really hard to resist temptations. As for mentioning you and LtPowers by name, I did that not because I thought either of had operated alternative accounts (never mind for use as attack dogs) but rather because I thought it would be self evident that both of you did not and equally self evident that, although you were entirely anonymous, you were examples of magisterial personas. My humble apologies if anyone else made a similar misunderstanding. (I didn't think it right to give examples of Avatars that I am fairly sure have sibling Avatars controlled by the same human intelligence.) --118.93nzp (talk) 09:15, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
First, I think it's ridiculous to require editors of article about the US to use formats we don't use, which many of us are unfamiliar with, and which "feel wrong" to us. Second, is the display setting you suggest really technically feasible? Third, please, everybody, stop using loaded terms like "US exceptionalism." "American exceptionalism" is the ideology that states that rules like international law don't apply to the US, just because it's the US. That's not what this is about, and using terms like that in this kind of context is poisonous. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:47, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, we're not requiring any editors to use any format in particular when they improve our articles. Sure, it would be nice if they followed our MoS and that would save giving later copy editors like myself extra work but I hope you appreciate the distinction. I'm sure you also appreciate that it's not just US based editors only familiar with US ways that edit or read US articles. It's just that we currently have a situation where, due to past belligerent US (now what's the word to use that won't annoy our US friends - errrr, centrism?) our MoS Abbr seems to claim that few US readers or editors would understand that "Canada Sq" might be an abbreviation for Canada Square when seen in one of our Listings and I'm really loath to promote any more ghettoisation of our US articles.
Secondly, I may be woefully out of date. Many years ago I seem to remember that, if you were a registered user you could have dates displayed in your preferred format ( but, since I only ever registered a WMF account very recently, I've never had any practical experience of this happening.
Thirdly, my apologies for unwittingly rubbing you up the wrong way. I suspect that this may be a language variety difference (eg, "dick" or "prick" is extremely and powerfully abusive in NZ English but, I am beginning to suspect, may be mild in US English) and I certainly had no intention of using "US exceptionalism" in a poisonous way. Now I've read the article at, I fully see how the very similar "US exceptionalism" combination of words was unfortunate. I was really just referring to features of our MoS such as non-metric units and not using the 24 hour clock universally understood outside of the US. --118.93nzp (talk) 03:23, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for reading up on that. I think "dick" is only a slightly harsher word than "jerk," nowadays in the US. I'll try to be careful about using it in an international context in which it might be interpreted as way overboard. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:24, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
It was really my pleasure to read that interesting WP article.
In the South Island, "dick" is still common slang for penis.
The RNZPC still maintains a list of "NZ English words likely to give offence to foreigners" precisely to avoid that kind of misunderstanding. In my personal experience, I've seen some officers use that short list in exactly the opposite way to that intended. Because of the US Antarctic base in CHCH, I believe I also saw an expanded version that had been developed by RNZAF personnel there in CHCH as a bit of a laugh - but that's another story...
On Frank's point, if we ever get to the point of having dates expressed differently to different users, a handful dd Mmm yy v Mmm dd yy will be the least of our problems. If the format is actually parseable enough to translate, which I doubt, then both formats are just as easily translated.
On Ikan's point, it probably is valid to specify a standard that people don't commonly use. We do it in numerous other places. We simply stress that up front people can write how they are most comfortable, and others can refine it to the common standard.
On the actual issue itself, in my years of wikivoyage editing, I never even knew about this standard, and even having just read it moments ago, I still don't know which one I should use. Both read quite clearly to me, so I'd be quite surprised if there would be a reader of our guide who was confused by them, or many editors that needed reeducation. --Inas (talk) 02:20, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I've just noticed your comment in the Pub, Inas. In the interests of civility, I would ask you and everyone else on this project not to call me Frank, as we hardly want to ignite another drama do we? Although my real first name does include the letter "K" in it, calling me "Frank" causes confusion and ambiguity with another copy editor, User:W. Frank who, as far as I am aware, has never advocated that we adopt dynamic date display. If my account name is too long, I suppose you could shorten it to "118"? Thanks everyone in advance for your co-operation in this regard... --118.93nzp (talk) 20:51, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
For many years, en.WP allowed users to view dates in their preferred format; permitting this feature to work required users to wikilink the dates like so: [[1 January]] [[2014]]. Policy on this was changed several years ago to eliminate this after years of frustration. I wouldn't suggest reviving it for our project. Seriously; it beggars belief to fathom that anyone would be incapable of understanding either common date format. LtPowers (talk) 03:35, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll agree that comprehension isn't an issue, but it sure bugs me for people to change US dates to non-US style in articles about US destinations, in the same way it would bug me if someone "corrected" spellings in articles about US destinations to British spelling. I have no trouble understanding British spelling, either. The most logical date formats to me are the European (etc.) day/month/year and the Chinese (etc.) year/month/day. The US format of month/day/year is counter-intuitive, but like our pints, quarts, gallons, miles, and so forth (which were really British units, but anyway), we use it. It looks like I'll be on the losing side of this argument, and I sure won't make a Federal case (or should I say, a case at the Hague?) about this, but I still don't like it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:14, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I really wouldn't bother, Ikan Kekek. I understand it would go against the grain and I'm sure you've got far more productive things to do with your time. Just leave it to editors like AHeneen, Alice, Frank, SomeIrishPerson, Tony(?) and I who really seem to care about this sort of small potatoes stuff. --118.93nzp (talk) 05:54, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Right, indeed I do. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:58, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree that a determination should be made based on who is able to marshal the most "votes" to bully the other editors at any moment in time. These are all acceptable forms of standard English. A way must be found to accommodate them all, and preserve the international character of the website. --Neotarf (talk) 07:10, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
It's not bullying, and I don't feel bullied. Are you suggesting that your (and my) minority view should be victorious? If you want people to agree with you, you have to try to convince them why it makes sense for them to do so. We've had difficulties on this site before with people who refused to accept that they hadn't convinced a consensus to go along with their point of view on some relatively minor matter like this (and I do think that date format is a minor matter) and became quite disagreeable. I hope it's clear that I mean no unfriendliness in what I'm about to say, but I'll say it, anyway: If you can't tolerate working by consensus, you may unfortunately need to reconsider participating in Wiki projects, because that's how they function. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:24, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
No, "A way must be found to accommodate them all" does not mean the same thing as "your (and my) minority view should be victorious". It means the complete opposite. --Neotarf (talk) 11:59, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you should try making your case that a way must be found to accommodate all forms of standard English. To an extent, we do accommodate them, by encouraging editors to write in whatever format they find comfortable and trust that wikignomes will come by in due time and standardize. But clearly you expect more; perhaps you should explain why. LtPowers (talk) 21:05, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
That sounds sweet and reasonable - except that if you examine the actual discussion pages of this MoS you will find it littered with incidents where long established editors (I won't pour petrol on the flames by using that "old boys club" or "old guard" designation that you hate so much) will spend days and weeks wriggling and squirming in a determined effort to block improvements by "wikignomes" seeking clearer and more practical rules and, when they finally realise their resistance is futile/nonsensical, resort to either personality politics (even going so far as to allege sock puppetry or incivility) or dismiss the long resisted clarifications and improvements as too trivial to both changing/waste any more time discussing.
The classic example of this hatred and discouragement of "wikignomes" is, of course that TECHNICALLY us wikignomes are still supposed to be wasting our time changing "10am-4pm" to "10AM-4PM" on sight, even though not a single editor has ever spoken up to say the latter form is either more common, looks better or is easier to understand in cluttered listings. I for one point blank refuse to do this idiot labour unless someone comes up with a rationale that is better than Evan's inertia argument made before we had bots to do exactly this kind of mind- numbing chore.
Will we ever change? Of course not, since to do so would be to admit that Tony was right all along on this trivial point of suggesting a little flexibility. --118.93nzp (talk) 04:22, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Have you forgotten what this thread is about? It's about a proposal by me, and then subsequently by Neotarf, to use Mmm dd, yyyy format for dates in articles about US destinations. You are against the proposal. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I thought you wanted a standard - any standard to allow definitive style editing? Now we aren't being flexible enough to allow a variety of date formats?
As far as not wanting to do the work, it's a volunteer site, and the work is optional. There are long todo lists if something else appeals. Perhaps when User:Alice and User:W. Frank are back on board, then can fill some of the gaps in the work you dislike? --Inas (talk) 04:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

A new date format compromise[edit]

I have re-added the Mmm dd, yyyy format as an acceptable format. Let's not make the mistake of the English wiki, where you see a perfectly readable format constantly replaced by this unwieldy, unparsable eye-snagging form, and for no discernible reason. —Neotarf (talk) 01:06, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

What in the world are you talking about? First of all, this is "the English wiki". Second of all, which version do you find "unwieldy, unparsable" and "eye-snagging"? LtPowers (talk) 01:34, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
What I am talking about is en.wp, where the Australians have taken over the MOS, and done much to it that was useful and refreshing and challenging--and international, as a wiki should be--but also left it with this very same unfortunate date formatting, so that all over en.wp you see perfectly readable dates being robotically converted into this strained and unintuitive rendering.
The format I refer to is the dd Mmm yyyy format, which might make sense for charts and tables, or even titles, but when the thing is used in a paragraph, or read out loud, it breaks down completely. Now I'm all for making things look erudite, but not at the cost of sacrificing readability and the basic usefulness of the site.
The change I made to the text was not to favor one format over another, which the previous text did, but to provide for other perfectly correct and usable and internationally accepted forms to be used. And I have been conciliatory, not deleting a format I consider to be nearly useless, but merely adding another format that I believe many editors will prefer to use. Surely the gnomes can find something better to do than to go around changing one perfectly good date to another. --Neotarf (talk) 05:54, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
If that flexibility is acceptable, then I'm really at a bit of a loss to understand the great (and seemingly inconclusive) am/AM debate above...
However, I still hope that technical means may be available to have our text displayed according to users' (national?) preferences. --118.93nzp (talk) 06:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, I didn't participate in that debate, and now I'm afraid to read it, but I suspect that flexibility is more irritating to some people than to others. For an encyclopedia entry, it makes sense to have things tightly written with a standard format, and I totally support that. But a service for travelers needs to be a little more laid back. And I'm not sure it's useful to claim a particular nationality for a particular format either; even if it wasn't divisive, I suspect there is a lot of crossover. --Neotarf (talk) 06:36, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

I still haven't completed my technical research and it does not subtract from Inas's point at all but I still believe that there may be a magic word parser #format date knocking around that would act like {{#dateformat:25 Dec 2013|mdy}} to output
→ (your preference), such as December 25, 2013

This mythical function, if it still exists, would format an unlinked date based on user "date format" preference, and adds metadata tagging it as a formatted date. For logged-out users and those who have not set a date format in their preferences, dates can be given a default: mdy, dmy, ymd or ISO 8601 (all case sensitive).

If only the month and day are given, only mdy and dmy are valid. If a format is not specified or is invalid, the input format is used as a default. If the supplied date is not recognized as a valid date (specifically, if it contains any metadata such as from a nested use of these or similar templates), it is rendered unchanged, and no (additional) metadata is generated.

We'd need to also be aware that, although the ISO 8601 standard requires that dates be in the Gregorian calendar, the ISO parameter in this function will still format dates that fall outside the usual Gregorian range (eg: dates prior to 1583). Also, the magic word cannot properly convert between negative years (used with ISO 8601) and years BCE - but that shouldn't be a huge problem in a travel guide. --118.93nzp (talk) 06:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

There's a reason en.WP abandoned dynamic date formatting. It's not a good idea. LtPowers (talk) 18:59, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I assume that the discussion that led up to that decision was long and tortuous but could you provide a link to get the flavour of the discussions or perhaps encapsulate them for us, Powers? --118.93nzp (talk) 20:38, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure you could have found this yourself, but here is a decent link I found after a quick search. LtPowers (talk) 15:04, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
That's helpful, Powers - thanks! Off to read it now... --118.93nzp (talk) 15:26, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

So... what's the consensus on how to abbreviate "ante meridiem" and "post meridiem"?[edit]

After dredging through the talk page, I see a murky consensus that both AM/PM and am/pm are acceptable. But the policy page has not been updated accordingly. Either this was an oversight, or the consensus wasn't consensus-y enough to resolve the issue.

So... what's the story? — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 21:04, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't believe there was a consensus, which means the status quo remains. More directly, the two editors who seemed most in favor of the change are no longer around. Powers (talk) 00:44, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Hours cleanup: YOU can help :-)[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Wikidata or not, we really need to make listings conform with our Manual of Style.

HELP NEEDED: List of possibly ill-formatted hours that YOU can fix.

Please read the Manual of Style's Hours section (it is short and worth a read) one more time, then fix what you can :-) There are false positives: Hours that are clearly human prose should be left as is. Please remove the lines that you fix or that do not need fixing. Thanks a lot! Syced (talk) 03:43, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Power-users can download the CSV file of all listings data, remove unrelated columns, and perform custom searches/matches to spot errors not detected by my script. Syced (talk) 03:49, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I assume that you are referring to Wikivoyage:Time and date formats. To me the list seems to be just a good illustration of the problems that we might have in trying to automate times, rather a list of things to fix. I did see a few problems in a long list of things which looked OK. I would prefer to try to fix problems in a list in which 90% of the list have a something which will actually cause difficulties for a reader. It would be ideal if the list could be in country rather than alphabetical order, as it is usually easier/quicker to fix things in places which I have been near / appreciate what was meant. AlasdairW (talk) 17:35, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

It would be good to convert this into a maintenance category and make mention of the common false positives that would commonly appear. But I also agree with Alasdair and think that the time and date inconsistencies don't necessarily make it more difficult for the reader to understand or trust the listing. Sometimes it clearly does though like "930am-10PM" in York (Maine), which looks terrible, so I think this list still has some purpose. Gizza (t)(c) 22:43, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback! I added an explanation. Adding a maintenance category might be a good idea indeed, it would contain many articles though! Syced (talk) 12:07, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes incoherent hour formats are still understandable, but we have a Manual of Style for a reason: it improves the reading experience. So actually about 90% of the items in the list need to be fixed. Even in the same article there are so many different format in use: 07:00-22:00, 08:00 - 20:00, open 5pm to 11pm, 3pm-11pm, ... adhering to the Manual of Style would definitely improve Wikivoyage. Syced (talk) 12:07, 16 May 2015 (UTC)


Can someone give me the One True™ Answer about noon, in the 12-hour time format? The obvious options are:

  • 9AM–12NOON
  • 9AM–12 noon
  • 9AM–NOON
  • 9AM–noon

Please {{ping}} me; I want to make sure that I've got the examples right in Template:Sleep/doc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

User:WhatamIdoing: It's the fourth of those options. Powers (talk) 20:30, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Same for midnight? I still find it very confusing to make noon "12PM". Noon is M - the meridian. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:32, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, maybe 12:00:00.00 is supposed to "M". But it'd be strange to say that 12:00 is "AM" and 12:01 is "PM", so in the sense of making it match with the rest of the minutes in the hour, it's "PM". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:49, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, same for midnight. The confusion over AM and PM is precisely why we use "noon" and "midnight" instead. Powers (talk) 23:43, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm glad we do. I just find it so illogical for noon to be "post-noon", which is what PM means. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:25, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
The meridiem lasts only for a split second, astronomically speaking. So consider the meridiem to be the moment in between 11:59:59.99 and 12:00:00.00. Powers (talk) 18:11, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Sunrise or Dawn?[edit]

Should it be sunrise-sunset, or dawn-dusk? A lot of things open/close with the sun. --ButteBag (talk) 18:54, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Both are OK, I think. But as an absent-minded non-native English speaker I often mix up "dawn" and "dusk" so maybe sunrise/sunset is better. :) ϒpsilon (talk) 20:09, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
At least in Australia, dawn and dusk don't receive much usage and I'm sure many people don't even know what they mean. So I'd stick to sunrise/sunset; it's completely unambiguous. James Atalk 01:33, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
It depends on what is meant because these words don't mean the same thing. Dawn is when it starts to get light but before the sun has risen over the horizon. After the sun sets there is a period of twilight until dusk when the light all goes. The further one gets from the equator, the longer the morning and evening twilight is, and the more significant the difference in meaning is. I suspect that for open/close times, sunrise/sunset is more common than dawn/dusk. Nurg (talk) 06:14, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

What does our manual of style say on "Anno Domini" or its shorthand AD?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I think we should try to avoid such overtly sectarian language, even though everybody knows what our calendar tries to date itself after (failing miserably, by the way - there is a better chance Rome was founded 0 a.u.c. than that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem at the supposed time - much less during a time when Quirinus was proconsul in Syria and Herod the Great was alive and ruling Judea). Is there any reason to not make it clear in our MoS that dates should be used without AD or CE when there is no chance for ambiguity and when ambiguities may arise CE and BCE are to be preferred over openly Christian terms? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:53, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

  • I'd vote for that proposal. Makes sense to me. Ground Zero (talk) 22:55, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm not opposed, but I think there are more important things to focus on. AD and BC are probably more widely known about and used. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 00:32, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Agreed with ThunderingTyphoons!, and I also don't think AD and BC really qualify as "openly Christian terms" - at least not any more than the days of the week Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday qualify as "openly Norse Pagan terms" (look up their etymology if you don't get the reference). There's no question that they're Christian-derived, but I think overwhelming popular usage has effectively leached out any bona fide religiosity from the terms. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:49, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Well AD should actually be placed before the year, which is done wrong so often that it seems conceivable most people don't actually know what AD means. At any rate, where would such a recommendation be placed if it were placed? If I for example correctly recall the policy on spelling we do not ask for people to do nothing but change spelling but we nonetheless give recommendations. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:51, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Wikivoyage:Time and date formats is the page with guidelines about dates; see Wikivoyage talk:Time and date formats#BCE and CE for the last time this issue was discussed. I agree with User:ThunderingTyphoons! and User:AndreCarrotflower that this is not an issue that currently is in need of a solution. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:04, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
It would be here: WV:Time and date formats, but it isn't, presumably because those who wrote that guide didn't think it was important. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 01:00, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Any opposition to having a line to that effect in "dates"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:03, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
It looks like three of us are opposed, mate. Not to the idea in principle, just to the perceived need to 'legislate' on something which isn't much of a problem. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 01:30, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I'd suggest avoiding BC and AD in articles about lands that are not primarily Christian, such as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel. For places with Christian majorities, who cares? And in the case of the Vatican, it would be absurd to use any other dating system. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:30, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm also not seeing a need to have an official rule about this. It doesn't seem "overtly Christian" to me, either. (Perhaps "subtly Christian", but not overtly – and CE/BCE just becomes "hiddenly Christian".) Overall, my preference is to avoid using either AD or CE, unless the article also contains information about a BC/BCE event (e.g., "This castle was built in 1252", not "AD 1252". WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:17, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
My proposed wording would be something like the following: "Unless it would be ambiguous otherwise, years and centuries can be given without AD/CE. For dates before the death of emperor Augustus or which would be otherwise ambiguous in other ways CE/BCE is the preferred form. If you have to use AD (e.g. for overtly Christian events) recall that Anno Domini (meaning "in the year of (our) lord") has to be placed before the year". And yes, you can change the Augustus thing. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:43, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
In the U.S., xxxx AD or xxxx BC are the usual forms. I don't think we should be requiring people to do things that, while used in Latin, are by now counter-intuitive in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:49, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Like everything in our style guide, no-one is required to follow it. The advantage of having a rule is that it seems disputes that people wouldn't be wasting their time on, e.g., where one editor revises a section of an article and in so doing, changes from one notation to then other, and the original editor objects and changes it back. Let's pick a lane on this to avoid future disputes. In the end, contributors will use whichever system they prefer while they are writing, and that notation will remain until someone decides to change it. Ground Zero (talk) 19:55, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't think you understand. I consider it wrong for people to change 2017 AD to AD 2017, and I'd rather not have arguments about this, but since it was suggested as a site-wide policy or guideline, I engaged with it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:01, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm all in favor of having the discussion here, and settling it, however it turns out rather than having the same discussion on various article talk pages over the next bunch of years. There are elements of WV style that I do not like, the preference for American spelling, for example, but I am glad that the guide gives us direction to settle disputes quickly and easily. Using the style guide as the arbiter is efficient, I think. So I think you've identified that there are two issues: (1) should the style guide take a position on era notation, and (2) if so, then which style? I would rather have it reflect the style I don't prefer than have it not prescribe at all. Ground Zero (talk) 20:17, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Not everything has to be micro-managed, and there are quite arguably more productive uses of our time than to specify everything in the Manual of style. That said, the only thing I consider important is not to use "AD" and "BC" in articles about non-Christian religions or majority non-Christian lands, and to use "AD" and "BC" in articles about Rome, Christianity, etc. A lot of this is really straightforwardly intuitive and logical. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:35, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

(reindent) Going back to Hobbitschuster's proposal above, it seems as if other sources generally use AD/CE/etc. to refer to dates before and including 1000 AD when it's not otherwise completely clear that the number refers to a year, and of course BC/BCE/etc. is always used to refer to all dates before 1 AD. I think that's a good policy for us to follow. As for the terms themselves, I have a slight personal preference for AD and BC over CE and BCE simply because those are the formats that are most popularly used (and are used the overwhelming majority of the time in nontechnical, nonencyclopedic literature, as Wikivoyage aims to be. But like most people in this discussion, I don't really think it's worth policing that too strictly. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:58, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

time template proposal[edit]

Because of recent discussion of which time format to use (am/pm or 24 hour) I would like to suggest the use of a template that shows on the page the time format given, and on mouse over shows the alternative format. For example:

  • {{time|17:30}} gives 17:30
  • {{time|17:30|21:00}} gives 17:30–21:00
  • {{time|5:30PM}} gives 5:30PM
  • {{time|5:30PM|9:00PM}} gives 5:30PM–9PM
  • {{time|5:30AM}} gives 5:30AM
  • {{time|5:30AM|9:00AM}} gives 5:30AM–9AM

This is not quite to the current recommend format (getting the few special cases make a much more complicated script) but is it acceptable? Input, comments, and suggestions requested. --Traveler100 (talk) 13:21, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Cool. I think this would be helpful. Would the templates also be able to handle non-standard format, i.e. convert "5.30 pm" to "5:30PM" and "17h00" to "17:00"? Ground Zero (talk) 13:35, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
would take a little but more coding to get them to work. --Traveler100 (talk) 13:59, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I like this! One worry I have is midnight and noon. As I understand the way it currently is (12:00 00:00) is correct, but sometimes people don't know about that weird convention (11:59 AM then 12PM). This might not be so much of a problem though, since we could just use noon and midnight as text in AM/PM articles and 12:00 and 00:00 which are also unambiguous in 24-hour article. What do you think? Drat70 (talk) 00:57, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
As the template shows both the AM/PM and the 24 hour format is there still a misunderstanding possibility. If so could add noon and midnight to the mouseover text. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:35, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, you have a point, probably not much risk of misunderstanding. Drat70 (talk) 13:10, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
additional format support and updates
  • {{time|5:30 pm}} gives 5:30PM
  • {{time|17h00}} gives 17:00
  • {{time|6PM}} gives 6PM
  • {{time|12:00|00:00}} gives 12:00–00:00
  • {{time|12:00PM|12:00AM}} gives 12PM (noon)–12AM (midnight)

Covers a few of the comments --Traveler100 (talk) 06:51, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

The point of WV:TDF is to make the guide easier to read by encouraging consistency in formatting, rather than variety. I think we'd want:
  • {{time|5:30 pm}} to give 5:30PM
  • {{time|17h00}} to give 17:00
  • {{time|12:00PM|12:00AM}} to give noon—midnight
Does that make sense? Ground Zero (talk) 11:20, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Yes makes sense, was wondering about this myself. At the moment it simply displays the format that was input, but would not be too difficult to change to the defined standard. Will probably however work on a bit different template coding method as it is starting to look complicate and would be a pig for someone else to edit or even for me a few months down the road. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:56, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Template updated, examples above reflect current status. Are we good to use this in article? --Traveler100 (talk) 06:18, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Example use at Edinburgh#By bus and Edinburgh/Old Town#See. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:07, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Am I the only one who finds the underlines distracting? And how would this work within listing templates? Powers (talk) 21:38, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
One of the example usage articles shows its use in a listing, actually the underlining helps visually split the information up. In line (the other example) maybe not so visually pleasing but it is showing that there is mouse over information. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:03, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I agree some indication of mouseover information is necessary, and we've used those dashed underlines in the past for other mouseover displays. But I fear that in an article with time information in every entry that the extra attention called to every single time display on the page would be excessive, especially for readers who already understand both time formats. Powers (talk) 13:30, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Expanded short names for days of the week[edit]

Per this discussion, should we expand names of the week to three letters (e.g. "Mon" rather than "M") in listings? —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:06, 2 September 2017 (UTC)


  • It's more readable and the amount of characters that it will add to a listing is trivial. I realize that screen space is a premium in mobile browsers but I personally find it a lot more difficult to read when these names are so short since it's counter-intuitive. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:06, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes, I have advocated this for years. As I see it, easier reading clearly trumps other considerations. Pashley (talk) 19:16, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I look at a listing and see Su M or M W F and wonder what it is saying. Three letters makes it clearer what it is saying. Helps when English is not your first language and I think also makes reading easier on a small screen as less chance to miss reading.
    • Also allows for easier template writing as fits output from #time. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:20, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I'd kind of prefer less rigidity, but I think this would usually be an improvement. Part of the problem is that some abbreviations are common for native speakers ("MWF" or "TTh"), but using the same style in other combinations requires thinking ("Su M"). On the other hand, I was trying to write a listing for an attraction a few weeks ago, and I eventually gave up. They were open every day of the week, but the closing hours varied by the day of the week and the month – a lot. I think that I finally wrote something like "opens daily at 10AM" and gave up on the rest. But if I'd tried to write down all of those details, then I'd probably want to use the more compact form. So: maybe less rigidity because of these weird cases, but the longer form would usually be better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:24, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree, and especially with Pashley's remarks. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:56, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I was surprised when I first saw the one/two letter day abbreviation policy. I've never seen this style anywhere else. Gizza (roam) 02:05, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree with using three letters, as it avoids any confusion with months - does F-M mean Friday to Monday or February to March? AlasdairW (talk) 22:00, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Don't know if this discussion is still active, but I'm also in favour of changing the current abbreviations. Either to the three letter abbreviation, or as a compromise, we could use the same format as in Openstreetmap: "Mo | Tu | We | Th | Fr | Sa | Su : a 2-letter abbreviated English weekday name". Xsobev (talk) 12:34, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
    Moving to all two-letter abbreviations might be an acceptable compromise, but I still don't see the point of a change at this late date. Powers (talk) 01:36, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure when the current day of week format was decided, but there seem to be quite a few people who think it could be improved. I've seen many articles which used different formats than the current one, so it's not like we're going from a completely consistent state to inconsistency by changing the format. On the contrary, if we use a more common format, then especially new users will add days of week in the "right" format more easily and maybe even without knowing about this guideline. Xsobev (talk) 11:19, 25 October 2017 (UTC)


  • Looks like I am alone on this, but I actually like the current way. Especially with weird opening hours or different sets of opening hours for different seasons, using only one letter makes the notation more compact. I have the feeling otherwise the opening hours can overwhelm the listing a bit. But this is just a slight preference, I think either option would work fine. Drat70 (talk) 12:08, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
  • This is a pointless change and would require hitting nearly every article on the site to make a trivial adjustment. Our listings have always used the shortest formats possible, and I don't see how M Tu Th is any less readable than Mon Tue Thu. In fact, I think it's more readable; three-letter abbreviations look too much like words when chained together like that. Powers (talk) 21:35, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm going to side with "disagree" here. I don't much care which format we use, but I do think that it is easiest for readers if we pick one format and and stock with it. (My pick probably would be three-letter, but that's neither here nor there.) Since there doesn't seem to be any concrete proposal on how to change the existing dates over to a new format, the three-letter and two-letter proposals only seem to put most of out listings offside the policy, ensuring less consistency and less ease of use for the reader. Let's put the traveller ahead of our own formatting preferences. Ground Zero (talk) 13:43, 19 October 2017 (UTC)


Earlier discussion at #Days_of_the_Week. Pashley (talk) 19:18, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

I'm not that fussed about which format to use, but I am wondering if anyone has a plan to convert all of the existing formats from the current style to the proposed style. Can a bot handle this, or are we going to make most listings no longer conform to the style guide? That doesn't seem to be a good way of getting consistent formatting that makes it easier for readers to find information. Ground Zero (talk) 21:23, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
It should be possible to get a bot to make the changes in listings' hours parameter, anywhere else in an article there would be a high risk of changing something that is not a day of the week abbreviation.--Traveler100 (talk) 12:20, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
We can and probably should allow both formats, and could recommend the three-letter abbreviations in simple cases and suggest using the old standard where long abbreviations would make that part of the listing overly long. Consistency is good, but where opening hours themselves are non-standard, an easily recognized format that conveys the info well is more important. If starting to convert, I think converting as articles are updated is a reasonable strategy: consistency in an article is more important than consistency between articles. Even in a single article, consistency is mostly important for the simple cases. --LPfi (talk) 13:44, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I see no need to convert, and we should allow both formats. I would suggest that a small amount of inconsistency in articles may be a good thing in suggesting to readers that they are reading the work of multiple editors, not a giant corporation. AlasdairW (talk) 20:18, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Do you really think we're in danger of appearing too polished and professional? Are we talking about Wikivoyage here? I just don't see that. I think that being consistent across articles, in addition to being easier for readers, makes us look like we are organized and know what we're doing. Accepting different formats seems to be more about catering to the diverse tastes of editors rather than putting travellers first. Ground Zero (talk) 23:20, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
And why shouldn't we cater to the diverse tastes of editors? As I see it, the large amount of leeway that we give contributors is a feature, not a bug: it makes for a much more easygoing editor experience, which is invaluable if we want to generate more and better content, which will in turn attract more readers, not to mention helping differentiate us from Wikitravel for SEO purposes. I know this all is a big part of what keeps me coming back. Meanwhile, at Wikipedia, where there are a million and one persnickety rules and style points that are enforced with almost sadistic zeal, they're having an editor retention crisis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:00, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
We already ask for consistency on many formatting matters, like the structure of an article, because we put the traveller first. If someone quits in high dudgeon over "Tu" or "Tue", they probably weren't cut out for collaborative projects. Ground Zero (talk) 14:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)