7

Many posts here on the site refer to some sport event or to some sport result which happened on some date. Is it ok to use words such as today, yesterday, tomorrow, recently, last months, this season, last season, ... to describe when something happened?

On one hand, it is true that these phrases will be no longer valid if somebody looks at the same post a few years from now. On the other hand, the post has timestamp clearly showing when it was posted - and from that the reader is able to infer what is meant by yesterday (and other similar words).


I am asking this in connection with recent suggested edits with the comment "term is ephemeral". For example: 14837, 14839, 11840, 11841, 11842, 11843, 11844, 11845, 11846, 11847, 11848, 11849, 11851, 11852, 11853, 11854, 14858.

6

Let's say I look at the site tomorrow morning and there's a new question on the site:

In this evening's Athletics vs. Angels game, [something happened].

with the intention is to refer to this game.

However, if I look at the timestamp on the post, it will say "7th April", and if in a few years time I then try and search for that game, I'll most likely end up with this different game instead.

What's happened there then? A bug in the Stack Exchange software? Nope, just time zones. I'm in the UK, so by the time that an evening game starts on the west coast of the US, it's already the next day in the UK.

Therefore in conclusion: it is important to be precise about dates. But I'm not sure it's worth bumping questions just for this. I'll try and edit new questions as they come in to fix them up but I agree with others than it's not worth editing questions just to do that unless there's a special case which means the question is really unclear at the moment.

8

It depends on question being asked.

For example:

  1. What to look for in a new squash racket

The question reads,

Yesterday I broke my squash racket with a particularly ill-placed split second reaction near the wall. So now I need a new racket. What should I pay attention to when buying one?

When this racket was broken is not of importance to the question so use of yesterday is OK and removing it with explicit date doesn't improve the post.

  1. What is the name of Pogba's body swerve played on Mustafi?

The question reads (before approval of suggested edit),

Yesterday on 7 July 2016 during ...

Mention of yesterday along with explicit date is not needed so can be removed.

  1. Why did a swimmer wear a swim cap with someone else's name?

The question reads (before approval of suggested edit),

Yesterday, in the 200m freestyle qualifying heat, Nimrod Shapira Bar-On (from Israel) wore a swim cap with another person's name.

Removal of yesterday with exact date of qualifying improves this post (IMO).

Other examples of suggested edit where removal of yesterday with exact date of event helps the case and got approved: 14848, 14847, 14846, 14853 and 14809

There are cases where removal of these terms doesn't improve the post like: 14840, 14837 and 14851


the post has timestamp clearly showing when it was posted - and from that the reader is able to infer what is meant by yesterday (and other similar words).

Yes, the post has timestamp but the exact date explicitly mentioned in the question body makes it easier to read and search for that event using that date (IMO). It definitely saves few seconds as we don't have to look down at the timestamp.


In conclusion,

Removal of these terms (today, yesterday, tomorrow, recently, etc.) doesn't improve the post in all cases. So, we should let a reviewer decide in case of suggested edit OR editing or suggesting edit if we think that the post will be improved.

There will be cases where approved review might get rolledback by OP or another user and these cases should be dealt in case by case basis.

  • 5
    I agree with your assessment. In general, don't only use a relative time designation. But simply removing it and doing nothing else to improve the post isn't worth an edit. – Michael Myers Apr 6 '18 at 0:34
  • 2
    This is how I've been editing or requesting edits from post writers. Sensible policy: include the information necessary, don't get pedantic when it's not needed. – Nij Apr 10 '18 at 4:13
  • 2
    I agree. That's exactly how I tried to review those questions. Do we need a precise date in the question we're looking at or is it irrelevant enough to not bump it? Only because it looks better should be no reason to edit old questions. And removing occurrences of yesterday, today, etc. without adding something else (a date) isn't worth an edit at all IMHO. When there's no need for a date there's no need to edit it. – dly Apr 10 '18 at 6:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .