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I need to name a column in a table and I'm wondering what the best option is.

Should it be "Published at" or "Published on"?

I only need to store a full date and time.

From some search I did, it seems that published at is used when referencing a date in the future while published on is used to reference a full date in the past, however it doesn't seem to be universal.

Any advices?

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closed as general reference by MετάEd, Mahnax, FumbleFingers, tchrist, kiamlaluno Sep 4 '12 at 0:06

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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3 Answers

I would use on for a date:

This was published on July 4, 2007.

and I would use at for a time:

That was published at 1:30 PM.

So, for a column that has a date and time, either preposition would sound both fitting and awkward at the same time, at least to my ears.

Why not simply name the column Published, sans a preposition? If you don't like that idea, you could use When Published.

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And then of course there's timestamp. –  RegDwigнt Aug 17 '12 at 9:27
What if it's for a year only? Is it correct to write "This was published in 2007"? –  galacticninja Dec 1 '12 at 11:58
@galacticninja: Correct. Use in for years. You can also use in for a month without a specified date as well: This was published in November 2003. –  J.R. Dec 1 '12 at 12:27
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It's been customary to name columns in passive voice, e.g. Publishing date/time. That way no matter what values in your data, the column name will be correct.

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This is actually either active voice or (in my view) a gerund. But good advice nevertheless. –  TimLymington Aug 17 '12 at 10:13
Sorry. Noun phrase is what I meant. –  Chris Aug 17 '12 at 11:40
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Based on my understanding, on seems to be the widely accepted preposition for dates. However, just to expand on @J.R.'s suggestion, I would use neither of them in a database column and go with the following alternatives:

Date Published(date_published)

Or if you want to follow Wordpress's naming style, then use the following:

If the table name is comment, name the column comment date(comment_date).

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