Stupid, but accurate

An error message stating "The birth year cannot be earlier than the year 1753".

Source: Lost in the mists of time.

Comment: One of my favourites. The message is simultaneously meaningful (telling me that I’ve mis-entered the year) and stupid (nobody is 270-odd years old).

But what would be a more meaningful message? And what’s a reasonable cut-off year? Most registration forms allow me to specify my age to be around 100, but there’s no standard. I’ve found that to minimise junk mail, it’s good to be very old. On forms that ask for income, it’s good to be very poor.

Wikipedia tells me that 1753 is the “minimum date value for a datetime field in SQL Server (up [to] version 2005) due to it being the first full year after Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar.” So there.

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