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The phrase on point has several well-documented meanings (some of which have already been discussed on EL&U, here). But none of them seem to fit the usage in a headline of a recent article in the 'Lifestyle' section of the LA Times:

Summer unofficially begins once the calendar is on point. Here’s where to start in July

By The Editors
July 5, 2023 1:45 PM PT

Hermès exhibition comes to Santa Monica

“On the Wings of Hermès” lands in Santa Monica in July, blending cinematic performance, dance, puppetry and opera to visualize the fable of Pegasus and his seven foals. The dreamlike performances …

D.S. & Durga opens in Venice

Fragrance heads been knowing about D.S. & Durga, the Brooklyn-born fragrance house that’s garnered a cult following for unique, emotional concoctions that evoke a “steamed rainbow” or “burning barbershop.” And the rest of L.A. is about to find out. …

The OED lists several meanings:

II. 20.
c. The position at the front of an advancing force; the position at the head of a column or wedge of troops. Also: a person or group occupying this position; a leading party or advanced guard. Now chiefly U.S.
        Forster, who was on point, covered him, and the Jap unslung his rifle and sat down.

m. on point: (that is) relevant, apposite, accurate; ‘spot on’; (also) direct, focused. (Earliest in legal contexts.)
        But Cruise has always been completely on point; he knew even then that he wanted to work toward ever-higher professional levels.

Merriam-Webster gives

on point
: relevant to the issue at hand : accurate and appropriate for the purpose or situation trying to stay on point

A previous EL&U answer cites the Urban Dictionary:

to be perfect; to satisfy; whatever it was, it met the person's standards
"Damn, that chicken was on point!"

Some other entries from the Urban Dictionary give it as

When something is ultimate perfection
Guy styles hair really well
Guy's Friend 'daymn your hair is on point mate'

a)Up to par...ready to perform at best...ready to get down to business.

b)to not be drunk/stoned..."I's all good"

a) "B*tch...you best get your shit on point" or

b) "F*ck, pigs...man throw that shit out the car and get your m.fkin shit on point..." or "Naahs man...i's got my strut on point"

1.) On top of things, in control of the situation

2.) Incredibly good-looking, referring to males
She ran exactly on schedule... she's on point.

Holy SHIT he's on point! Look at that ass!

tight, right on time, cautious.
Yo the rims on that whip were on point.
Yo i had these cats on point when they saw that nine.

  1. achieving a level of musical or otherwise artistic excellence
    Bro, that last freestyle was on point.

Question

From the above, my best guess is that

Summer unofficially begins once the calendar is on point

roughly means something like

Summer unofficially begins once there are many really cool and exciting events happening all over town

But is that right? I fear I might not have enough of a left-coast frame of mind/slang skills to correctly unpack this headline. For what it's worth, ChatGPT's interpretation was,

In the context of the headline, the phrase "the calendar is on point" means that the current date is in the month of July, signaling the beginning of summer. It implies that the arrival of July is an important marker for the unofficial start of the summer season. The phrase "on point" is an idiom that means something is correct, accurate, or exactly as it should be. In this case, it suggests that once the calendar shows the month of July, it aligns with the expected time frame for summer activities and events to take place.

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    I'm a native speaker and am rather perplexed by that usage. The article headline doesn't really much make much sense at all - they seem to be suggesting that summer is unofficially starting in July since the calendar is filling up with events, but summer already officially started in June. I've never heard it suggested that the unofficial start of summer could come after the official start. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 14:59

2 Answers 2

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Left coast here. The headline is odd but I would go with . . .

on point
2. INFORMAL • US
extremely good, attractive, or stylish.
“her outfit was on point”
Source: Oxford Languages via Google search results

Summer begins once your calendar is “stylish” — that is, sporting fashionable events.

 

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As has been noted in the comments, the term "on point" doesn't make any sense here, as the definitions you found show. The headline is just poorly written.

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