Accents on capital letters in French
This is what the Académie française states on their website ( http://www.academie-francaise.fr/langue/questions.html#accentuation ):
- « Accentuation des majuscules »
- « Quant à l’utilisation des accents sur les majuscules, il est malheureusement manifeste que l’usage est flottant. On observe dans les textes manuscrits une tendance certaine à l’omission des accents. Il en va de même dans les textes dactylographiés, en raison notamment des possibilités limitées qu’offrent les machines traditionnelles. En typographie, enfin, certains suppriment tous les accents sur les capitales sous prétexte de modernisme, en fait pour réduire les frais de composition.
- Il convient cependant d’observer qu’en français, l’accent a pleine valeur orthographique. Son absence ralentit la lecture, fait hésiter sur la prononciation, et peut même induire en erreur.
- On veille donc, en bonne typographie, à utiliser systématiquement les capitales accentuées, y compris la préposition À, comme le font bien sûr tous les dictionnaires, à commencer par le Dictionnaire de l’Académie française, ou les grammaires, comme le Bon usage de Grevisse, mais aussi l’Imprimerie nationale, la Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, etc. Quant aux textes manuscrits ou dactylographiés, il est évident que leurs auteurs, dans un souci de clarté et de correction, auraient tout intérêt à suivre également cette règle, en tirant éventuellement parti des ressources nouvelles que peuvent offrir les traitements de texte modernes.
- Il en va de même pour le tréma et la cédille. » Charvex 10:54, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
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Term expiration - March 3 vs. March 4
I don't plan to make a big issue over this, as life is simply too short for it to be worth it, but please see here for discussion of the sources reflecting that the terms ended at 12:00 noon on March 4th. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:39, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
- I've responded to your post on my talk. (Just mentioning because I'm not sure whether you are watching it there. Feel free to respond either here or there, whichever is easier for you.) Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:38, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Essay on congressional term expiration
Something I wrote on an interested user's talk page, copied here, to be improved later.
- The question for the historian is: What do the sources say? If there are contradictory sources, who says what? Is it possible to establish what really happened? And, finally, what may one conclude? Let's apply this procedure to this case:
- The Continental Congress called the 1st Congress to assemble on March 4, 1789. No other authority exists for the beginning of the term, the Constitution (before the 20th Amendment) did not mention any date, or time of day. The Constitution says that representatives should be elected every "two years". No other authority exists for the length of the term. No authority at all mentions explicitly the end/expiration of the term. Calculating two years (not two years + one day!) one arrives at a term lasting from March 4, Year, to March 3, Year + 2, considering full calendar days. This was stated as such in the Congressional Biographical Directory for about 150 years without being questioned.
- Who says otherwise? A Senate resolution (as stated above) which claimed the right for the Senators to sit a little beyond midnight ("at 1 a.m."). Resolutions are not binding on anybody, except those present. Senate resolutions are not binding in any way on the House and vice-versa. The sitting members claimed unilaterally to sit until they are finished. They did so once, or possibly a few other times. This can not have any bearing on the legal term of office. A law needs three readings in either House, a constitutional amendment must be ratified by a number of States. A resolution is not even binding on the next-term Senate. It might be used as a precedent on another occasion, but the next-term Senators might just vote the other way round, it depends on the majority present.
- Apparently there is evidence that, on a few occasions (2, 3??), the outgoing Congress was in session as late as noon on March 4, under a unilateral claim that they could do it.
- Conclusion: The Senate or the House were sitting occasionally a few hours after the legal term seemed to have expired. Since no legal authority expressly states the end of the term, subsequent legislators, following common sense, did not find any reason to take exception to the practice. At the same time, since the original Senate and House journals always recorded the last day of the session as March 3 (even when the session lasted until a few hours after midnight) the congressional records, and the Congressional Biographical Directory stated the term as March 4 to March 3, adopting it as a convention, disregarding Sundays, and over-time hours, to avoid confusion.
- The reader of an encyclopedia who reads "served in Congress from March 4 to March 3," should know that it implies, among other points, the following (perhaps to be explained in some pertinent Wikipedia article):
- The House never assembled on March 4, the regular session began early in December, nine months later. In the meanwhile none of the members set foot in Washington DC (except in the case of earlier special sessions, on very rare occasions). Some were serving in State Legislatures, who when asked to resign on March 4 (the two offices being incompatible), said that the term would begin only when taking the seat. Resolutions (there we are again!) to this effect were passed in the New York Senate, and perhaps elsewhere.
- The Senate usually held a special session on March 4, without the outgoing members, and without most of the incoming members (only representives who were elected to the Senate, and other federal employees and officeholders present in Washington DC would qualify on this day) to inaugurate the President and Vice President, or vote nominations, if a quorum was still present. Most first term Senators were not there either, until December.
- The session might have lasted a few hours after midnight, and perhaps three times in 150 years until noon of March 4 in odd-numbered years, to finish the tedious proceedings of final votes on bills to be enacted. Since this was not recorded (the last recorded day being always March 3, except if it was a Sunday) it is impossible to say, in the vast majority of cases, at what hour (and date) the House or Senate really adjourned.
- Final conclusion: It is unwarranted, and must be considered WP:OR, to say that all terms of Congressmen at all times before the 20th Amendment ended on March 4. Absolutely no source says so. Even the above quoted resolution of 1851 does not say so. (Please read carefully!) It says in the preamble (falsely invoking the US Constitution which is silent on the matter) that "...the session...does not expire..." (not the "term" of the Senator!). Kraxler (talk) 14:18, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
John M. Diven phot
Thanks for the fix
I saw your edit to United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 1826 where you fixed my change from C. to century. I hate making mistakes like that, but I'm glad when somebody corrects me afterwards. Keep up the good work. SchreiberBike (talk) 19:40, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi-I started an article about Estella Diggs who died recently and served in the New York Assembly. You may want to expand the article. Also you may want to look at the Mark Lane (author) article. He served in the New York Assembly for one term. There was some question about how truthful Mark Lane had been about his career. Many thanks-RFD (talk) 11:35, 19 April 2013 (UTC)