Monday 13th January 2003

A few people (such as in these annotations) have asked that diary entries display the day of the week. The reason I haven’t done this before is because I’m attempting to keep the diary content as close to the original as the web format (and the translations through Victorian editors and Project Gutenberg’s processes) allow. Pepys’ diaries included the month and year at the head of a page and each entry was marked with just the date. Occasionally he seems to have noted Sundays, but not always.

So, the question is, do I include weekdays on each entry, and if so how? Feel free to discuss this below…

28 Comments

Nicky   Link to this

Apart from Sunday, did individual days of the week have much significance ? Was Saturday a normal day for office workers like Pepys ? It would be nice to keep track of Sundays though (did he go to church every week, I wonder ?)

Buddha Buck   Link to this

I'd like day of week information, but only if it can be done in such a way as to indicate that it is new information, not included in Pepys origional text. It could be in an annotation, in a footnote, displayed in a different color, etc. Something like that.

language hat   Link to this

I don't see any need to be religious about reproducing the Gutenberg text precisely, especially since (as you point out) it's multiply corrupted already. Just put the day of the week in square brackets, the traditional sign of something added by an editor. (I'd be in favor of silent correction of typos as well -- there hardly seems any point in calling attention to changing something that wasn't in the original text -- but it's your call.) And it might be a good idea to add hyperlinks for everyone mentioned more than once in the text, not just those for whom the Gutenberg text has footnotes, so we can add annotations ad libitum. (If they're only mentioned once, the annotations to that entry will suffice.)

Jonetta   Link to this

Funny that you should address this - it was the first thing I thought when I pulled the diary up. I would enjoy knowing what day of the week it was and I agree it should be bracketed to indicate an edit.

Phil   Link to this

I don't feel the need to reproduce the Project Gutenberg text precisely because I see it as some object of perfection, or whatever. It's more about trying not to confuse sources. I like to make it clear that all text in the diary entry is from an external source with none of it amended by me or anyone but PG. Given there are already plenty of versions of Pepys' Diary, I don't really want to create another, apart from by adding annotations to an existing text.

Some entries already have extra words in square brackets to make things clearer, and I'm not sure whether this is from PG or the 1893 edition. Either way, I don't want to confuse this further by adding my own corrections or amendments to the text. Altering the dates for each entry is a different matter as these are already a slightly different format to Pepys' original, but it's still not something I wanted to rush into without asking for the opinion of others.

Mick   Link to this

I think it would be useful to know the day of the week. Over the course of the diary, we'd have a better feel for the ebb and flow of daily life. I feel as if I'm on a rigid schedule, and marvel at Pepys's ability to wander around London on a great bar-crawl. Even in my youth, I could only contemplate such a life on a Friday or Saturday night.

If you'd like to keep the entries less cluttered, could the day of the week head up the footnotes on the side? There it would be clearly dilineated from the PG text.

David Gurliacci   Link to this

Providing days of the week would help when we write annotations and refer back to previous dates. I'd like to be able to say "Just last Thursday, Pepys did a similar thing . . ." but I can't now.

There are several ways to distinguish Pepys text (and editors notes) from features of the site. You already use some:

--You have a horizontal line between your notes at the top of the main page and the most recent diary entry.

--You also have a different font and even a different font size. This is why nobody confuses your announcements with Pepys text, even before they read them.

--Different color.

--Location: You could put the date at the top or to the side.

--As LanguageHat says, [brackets] work.

--You could put a calendar in the corner with the day highlighted, although I think that might be more difficult for people to check.

--You could put a one-week "calendar" at the top of the entry, although that might involve more work for you. The day could be highlighted:
m T w t f s

Whatever you do, Phil, just make it easy for the reader and easy for you.

Peregrina   Link to this

Why obsess over the day of the week? Pepys chose not to include it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Perhaps the first annotation of each entry could note the day of the week? Alternatively -- keeping in mind David's suggestion re: simplicity and Phil's desire not to create a new version of the diary -- maybe Phil could put the day of the week in the footnote section, or perhaps somewhere else in [brackets], but followed by his initials, to set his editorial notations apart from the other editors'. (FWIW, so far this issue hasn't been much of a problem for me, since each Sunday has been noted, making it easy to figure out the day of the week of other entries.)

Phil   Link to this

"If it ain

neil_353   Link to this

re: the 12/01/1659 was a Sunday according to the Georgian Calendar.
It is important to remember that the UK, Ireland, British American possessions and the other possessions did not use the Gregorian calendar until the British Calendar Act of 1751. They used the Julian calendar which was already 10 days out of step by 59/60. So Sunday the 1st of January 1659/1660 in the Julian calendar was in fact Sunday the 11th January 1660 if you were to use the current calendar.

For those interested, the differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendar came about because of differences in the way leap years are assigned, in the Julian every 4 years was leap, but under the Gregorian it was every 4 years except for centauries where the year was not divisible by 400. Pope Gregory adopted the calendar in 1582 and most catholic countries followed soon afterwards. It took until 1752 for the UK to fix it’s calendar.

There is a simple rubrics for remembering the dates if the day is.

2003 -> 1659/60
Sunday -> Thursday
Monday -> Friday
Tuesday -> Saturday
Wednesday -> Sunday
Thursday -> Monday
Friday -> Tuesday
Saturday -> Wednesday

Ben   Link to this

i'm casting my vote to include the days of the week. thanks!

timholt1948   Link to this

It would be a good idea to add the day of week and perhaps identify holidays -- Maundy Thursday, Easter, etc etc

PHE   Link to this

May as well include day of week. Would probably make it seem more real.

htom   Link to this

Regardless of what you do about the day of the week, thank you for providing this; it's facinating, as are the comments by others.

Since you've already changed the format from month and year at the top with date on the entry, I'd just put the dayname in front of the date:

Friday, 12 January 1659/60

and make a notation on the day you start doing so that you will do so in the future.

Calender problems are nasty for most folk, even for most those who think they know how to deal correctly with them (and I don't.) I try to convert everything to Julian Day Numbers, and then backwards as needed, but that's silly for this use.

Pat Lashley   Link to this

I was going to suggest putting the day of the week in the Annotations; but I see Todd has beat me to it. That seems like the best compromise between maintaining the integrity and feel of the original diary and the readers' desire for additional information.

Eric Walla   Link to this

I've only had the chance to read the above discussion briefly, but how about a separate linked calendar page, to which we could refer anytime the desire to know the day of the week arises. My feeling is that we WILL be reminded on a very regular basis which day of the week is Sunday (based on Pepys' subject matter). Should that method fail, one calendar page covering the full time period should be easy to generate and then there would be no need for daily additions on Phil's part.

My concern is that we might ask too much from Phil to the point he doesn't want the burden--an entirely selfish concern, because I'm mainly thinking how to keep my own enjoyment of the diary from ending. It's remarkable enough to think he has committed himself to this project as it is.

Cate Frieman   Link to this

Heard about this on NPR, finally got around to reading it - thanks, Phil! As to days of the week, i don't really care - they would be a nice reference, but they don't seem too necessary.

Phil   Link to this

Thanks for all the thoughts everyone! As you may already have noticed, I've decided to add the day of the week above each entry, so as to make things clearer. On the few occasions where Pepys wrote this in himself, I've also included this in the diary entry itself, for completeness sake. I hope this makes the diary clearer!

Howard Bennett   Link to this

Yes, i see that you have started to include the days of the week and I wholeheartedly support that decision.

Thanks for creating what has become a daily 'must-do'for everyone I know!

Sean O'Leary   Link to this

I don't care. It's not as if he's on a 40-hour work week. I mean it would be one thing if the entries were "Before I went to bed I watched Friends and ER", but it seems like all he does is:

* Go places to drink,
* Borrow money,
* Walk around and try to get work done.

In my opinion, if he doesn't mention what day it is, then it doesn't bother me.

Carol   Link to this

I hadn't thought about the weekday issue, one way or the other, but now that you've added it, I realize that knowing the day of the week of which he is speaking makes the whole passage come alive. As others have mentioned, the Gutenberg version isn't a cast-in-stone authentic version, plus the annotations and explanations are already building a "new, improved" interpretation, so why not illuminate a bit further by giving the weekday's context too? I say "Keep it."

Diana   Link to this

Whenever Mr Pepys felt it necessary to give the day of the week should be sufficient for us (so far it's mostly Sundays).
I live in New York state, and first read about the Pepys webpage on BBC Online and then heard about it on NPR. Apart from the everyday comings and goings, I really enjoy the links to characters and places mentioned in the diary.

Guy   Link to this

Please do include the day of the week - it helps me keep track if I have missed a few days

Shawn   Link to this

I was asking myself earlier if would be possible for the Day of week to be added. I think this would put the entries into context for us readers.

Kevin Kelly   Link to this

Your solution to this problem works for me. Keep up the great work. It's my daily fix.

Jason Hutchens   Link to this

Knowing the original day of the week spoils my suspension of disbelief. Blogging Pepys' diary has the effect of making it seem as if the events are taking place "now". Adding the day of the week just confuses things. I much prefer the old format, where today's date matched the date of the latest diary entry. Apart from that small complaint, thanks, Phil, for providing your time and effort to such a worthwhile and interesting project!

Phil   Link to this

I know what you mean Jason. One alternative would be to shift the entries so we get a Monday entry on our Monday. But this would have other problems, like not getting his Christmas on our Dec 25th. In a way, while it was easier to believe the events were happening right now, it was just a cover-up, an illusion, and rather misleading; you'd get Pepys going to Church on what seemed like a Thursday for example.

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