1

According to Cambridge Grammar, the most common way of writing dates is as follows:

20 January 1993

and not

20th January 1993

However, the "th" is still produced by biber+biblatex by default:

\documentclass[british]{article}
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
  @book{mybook,
    author      =   {Author},
    date        =   {1993-01-20},
    title       =   {Wonderful Tiny Fact (WTF)}
  }
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
\begin{document}
\cite{mybook}
\printbibliography
\end{document}

The result is shown below: result of running the pdflatex-biber-pdflatex loop

While I am not arguing for or against the full stop after "Jan", I am arguing that using "th" is AGAINST the most widespread style. In addition to the above Grammar link, see the editorial style of the university of Bath, which explicitly forbids it. My British English teacher also explicitly considers it wrong.

Of course, there might be a technical solution to omit "th" (see Date format in LaTeX for the main text).

  1. How to omit the suffixes ("st", "nd", and "th") in dates in the bibliography?

  2. Can the current default setting of printing "th" actually be classified as a bug?

  • 1
    I'm not sure the second part is on-topic for us: style decisions are down to package authors and are also difficult to classify as bugs. (As a UK national I'm not keen on this move toward omitting the "th" part, though of course for a standard setting its not what one likes but what 'is' that drives things.) – Joseph Wright Apr 24 '17 at 13:30
  • 1
    To be honest, given the huge range of university and journal house styles, it doesn't matter what the default is so long as it's clearly defined and we can adjust it to match our requirements. Others may require the ordinal suffix to be superscripted, for example. – Chris H Apr 24 '17 at 13:40
  • 1
    That page is also rather odd - it permits shortenting of July but not June, a system that's rarely followed. – Chris H Apr 24 '17 at 13:42
  • @LeonMeierthe Cambridge link at the top of your Q: With the exception of May and June, months can be shortened as follows: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Jul, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec. (I'd forgotten about the other external link byt he time I wrote that comment) – Chris H Apr 24 '17 at 13:46
  • @LeonMeier I use it as an example to treat the page (and indeed any style guide) with a degree of caution, while supporting the aspects of the question that are about adjusting the output. – Chris H Apr 24 '17 at 13:51
4

Set dateabbrev=false option to use January instead of Jan. Ordinal numbers are not used by Australian style. So we can just copy the date definition from australian.lbx, like this:

\documentclass[british]{article}
\usepackage{babel}
% dateabbrev=false will stop abbreviation of months
\usepackage[backend=biber,dateabbrev=false]{biblatex}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
  @book{mybook,
    author      =   {Author},
    date        =   {1993-01-20},
    title       =   {Wonderful Tiny Fact (WTF)}
  }
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
% Taken from australian.lbx which does not use ordinal numbers
\DefineBibliographyExtras{british}{%
  \protected\def\mkbibdatelong#1#2#3{%
    \iffieldundef{#3}
      {}
      {\stripzeros{\thefield{#3}}%
       \iffieldundef{#2}{}{\nobreakspace}}%
    \iffieldundef{#2}
      {}
      {\mkbibmonth{\thefield{#2}}%
       \iffieldundef{#1}{}{\space}}%
    \iffieldbibstring{#1}{\bibstring{\thefield{#1}}}{\stripzeros{\thefield{#1}}}}%
  \protected\def\mkbibseasondateshort#1#2{%
    \mkbibseason{\thefield{#2}}%
    \iffieldundef{#1}{}{\space}%
    \mkyearzeros{\thefield{#1}}}%
  \protected\def\mkbibseasondatelong#1#2{%
    \mkbibseason{\thefield{#2}}%
    \iffieldundef{#1}{}{\space}%
    \mkyearzeros{\thefield{#1}}}%
}
\pagestyle{empty}
\begin{document}
\cite{mybook}
\printbibliography
\end{document}

enter image description here

  • 1
    leave dateabbrev=false out of the biblatex options. – David Purton Apr 24 '17 at 13:53

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