Ask Archer: Rules on Dating
Archer Answers Your Big Questions

Dear Prof. Archer,

I need some help on dating.

I am a bloggist who is stuck in the future. I am going to engage in some retro-postings to fill up a conspicuous lack of updates in the early part of May 2012. Before I proceed with such a dirty undertaking, how should I properly call my fiendish action? Is this termed backdating or antedating?

I do not have experience on any dating of this sort and would greatly appreciate your helpful advice.

Thank you very much.


Kind Regards,

Confused Dater


Dear Confused Dater,


Greetings from the past. I have received your missive and duly sympathize with your predicament. You have indeed come to the right animal for this problem of yours. I am quite the expert on dating.

Please note that these acts you just mentioned are rarely spoken of in polite company. They are, however, fairly prevalent in the electro-blog society. Generally speaking, it is acceptable to falsely date one’s posts but one is advised not to call too much attention to this act – such as writing about it for the third time running, for example. Also, one has to have already established an abundance of previous postings before backdating or antedating – one must set standards on the first few dates. Have some shame, man. One does not simply indulge in these questionable activities at the first given opportunity, no sirrah.

To reply to your query, I have deemed it prudent to consult a dictionary. The lexicon thusly defines backdating: putting an earlier date than the actual one. It also gives the following meaning to antedating: establishing an earlier date.

Antedate also has other meanings, of course, one being predate. To settle this in the context of your question, your devious actions may be considered both backdating and antedating. These two terms are similar but the devil is in the details, I’m afraid. Backdating means that you are setting forth an earlier date, whereas antedating implies that you are assigning a date after the fact. Think of it this way: if you are posting an article from May 29 and writing down a date of May 7, you are: 1.) backdating because you stipulated a past date of May 7, and; 2.) antedating because you are doing it from May 29. For myself, I am partial to backdating, but mainly because I am a dog.

I hope this helps elucidate your situation. It does not matter whether your plans involve backdating or antedating, however. Regardless of the proper term, you are still an idiot for even attempting to maintain a third-rate excuse for an electro-blog. No self-respecting bloggist engages in this sort of scheme because bloggists do not bother with time travel – they simply have all the time in the world. Fie and for shame, confused bloggist! Write me again when you have at least a hundred visitors a day.


I remain, yours, most dating-ly,

Archer (Prof.)

Categories: [language], [self-help]

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