Forums: Index > The Wizengamot > Extremely variant birth/death dates

Does it really provide any value for the wiki to list birth/death dates in a character's infobox that are merely "before <insert first/last known year that they are mentioned to be living>"? Many pages currently do this, but it seems both misleading (a casual, quick-reading reader may assume they were born close to that date, when they in fact may have been born decades before that) and unnecessary (obviously they must have been born and died after they were known to be living). Thoughts? -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 02:11, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Not to contest the validity of your points, but I'd just like to point out an observation regarding your casual, quick-reading reader scenario. If said reader is looking at the infobox for dates, and you don't include any "before/after <insert year number>" whatsoever, then they'll have no dates to to work with at all. It's not like the infobox has a "Known to have lived between" row where the dates they are known to have lived can be inserted without being assumed to be birth/death dates. That being said, I do agree that a casual reader might assume the birth/death was somewhat close to the before/after dates that are inserted, even if it is not the case. However, I don't think I have a solution to offer regarding that. if anyone does have a solution, I'd invite them to share. --Luxali (talk) 02:11, October 31, 2013 (UTC)
I think explaining why those dates were given (which is the case on most pages) is all we can do. You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! (talk) 02:38, November 14, 2013 (UTC)
Very late to this--but you might consider what historians of the arts do and use "fl" for "flourished" a date at which the individual was know to be active.
I was thinking that same thing. In other encyclopedias, "flourished" is widely used when the birth year is unknown, and I think it would be a great fit on this wiki, where little is known about the births of very many characters. —C Teng 08:17, July 30, 2014 (UTC)