Proleptic Gregorian (was Re: Functions add/diff/cmp for xtime)

Nathan Myers ncm at
Thu Oct 15 03:00:05 UTC 1998

Paul Eggert writes:
 >    Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 07:55:02 -0700 (PDT)
 >    From: Rich Wales <richw at>
 >    So, the "proleptic Gregorian" calendar would be the result of extending
 >    the Gregorian calendar back into the past, before it came into use in a
 >    given location, or even before it was invented.
 > Actually, you've got it backwards.  Strictly speaking, the proleptic
 > Gregorian calendar refers to the future, not to the past.  That is, we
 > assume that the Gregorian calendar will be used indefinitely into the
 > future.  The term ``proleptic'' is a misnomer when applied to
 > backwards extrapolation of a calendar, since the term ``proleptic''
 > refers to the future, not the past.

My Random House says (among many other things):

  1. The anachronistic representation of something as existing before 
     its proper or historical time, as in the precolonial United

Nathan Myers
ncm at

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