Since the last papal reform, several proposals have been offered to make the Western calendar more useful or BLANK. Very few reforms, such as the rather different decimal French Republican and Soviet calendars, had gained official acceptance but each was put out of use shortly after its introduction.

Options for BLANK:

  • regular
  • uniform

I am unable to understand the difference between uniform and regular in this context.

My Approach

By understanding their meaning and the context of use as adjectives I found these below meanings.

uniform: Unvarying/consistant

regular: Having a constant pattern

And choose uniform because it made sense to me.

  • I don't understand exactly what aspect[s] of "calendar variation" you're interested in here. That French Revolution attempt to impose a new standard with every month consisting of three 10-day weeks was never going to work (any more than the Academie Francaise could stop French people using weekend as a "loanword" from English). But both the vocabulary and the calendar issue are more about the exercise of power than about being "usefully uniform". Which aspect is your context concerned with? The authoritarian imposition of uniformity, or the "simplification" of a measuring system? Nov 12 '20 at 14:31
  • 1
    I would have gone for regular but without even more context this is hard to answer. Is this from some sort of test or is it from a more extensive passage?
    – mdewey
    Nov 12 '20 at 14:55
  • Yes it was from a test I found online and the link I found the full passage was calendars.wikia.org/wiki/Calendar_reform @mdewey Nov 12 '20 at 15:00
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica I am referring this context calendars.wikia.org/wiki/Calendar_reform Nov 12 '20 at 15:02
  • 2
    The current civil calendar does not have a constant pattern. Months have different lengths, years have different lengths which have an irregular pattern., months do not contain integer numbers of weeks and nor do years. So it is irregular.
    – mdewey
    Nov 12 '20 at 15:25

I agree with those comments saying that this is a bad test question because neither “uniform” nor “regular” makes any sense in speaking of a calendar. “Uniform” does not technically admit of degree, but if we mean “uniform” as a synonym for “regular,” every calendar is already regular in both the sense of “having a repeating pattern” and the sense of “being constructed according to rule.” “Regular” in its patterned sense does admit of degree so it is the better of two very bad choices. I point out that the test’s text is not even grammatical (the past perfect has no reference point).

In the context of the article from which the article was drawn, it is relatively clear that “regular” in the sense of “according to rule” is what was meant (and was in fact the word used), but that still makes no sense. The Julian calendar had rules. The fact that those rules created significant error over long periods of time does not obviate the existence of rules. What, given the article as a whole, I think it was ineptly trying to say is

to create a calendar more practically useful or with rules more easily remembered and understood.

We may doubt whether either goal alone, let alone both together, is achievable, but the sentence presenting the goals is comprehensible and grammatical.

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