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Sandydog's avatar

How do you write the date on the net ( or letters for that matter ) ?

Asked by Sandydog (1263 points ) February 17th, 2010

I’m asking this because it can get very confusing when different countries seem to have different ways of doing this. For instance if its the 3rd of February I would write the date down as 3/2/2010, whereas people in the States would write ⅔/2010. It gets even more confusing when sites outside the States are also adopting the latter method. Most British sites are still putting the day before the month. Will this cause confusion if someone is referencing in the future? Did the US always put the month first?
If my memory serves me correctly this has been a quite recent change? ( I mean over the last few years ).

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25 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I use 17 Feb 2010 to avoid ambiguity and confusion. (Unless it’s some other day.)

MrItty's avatar

I’m a geek, so I use the ISO standard: yyyy-mm-dd. It’s what’s basically required in computer programming, and the habbit has just stuck for non-work-related writing as well.

john65pennington's avatar

2–17-10. easy to understand and easy to remember. we are not in the military.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@MrItty I agree to an extent. I often name different versions of a “work in progress” file as “Work in Progress 2010–02-17.doc” so that the dates sort automatically with the file name. Naming / numbering in any other way wouldn’t work as well.

MrItty's avatar

@john65pennington neither easy to understand nor to remember, if you ever have anything to do with people not from the same country as you.

Sandydog's avatar

Be interesting to see what responses there are from outside America. This site has users from all over as do most web sites. I work within the military here as a civilian, so it’d be interesting to know how different forces communicate when working together.

robmandu's avatar

For alphabetic/numeric order in naming files, I use YYYYMMDD, like 20100217.

For shorthand notation, I use 17FEB2010.

In written missives where abbreviation is not necessary, I write it out as February 17, 2010.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I learned to use the three-letter month abbreviations in the military over 30 years ago and have used those ever since. It’s completely unambiguous. Same thing for recording time in 24 hour format. I suppose it takes a while to get the hang of it, but it’s foolproff once you learn to do it.

Val123's avatar

BUT WHAT IF IT’S NOT FEB 17, 2010???

robmandu's avatar

@Val123, all bets are then off. Watch your back. Your mileage may vary. Consult your doctor before attempting February 17, 2010.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I do exactly what @CyanoticWasp suggests, 17-Feb-2010.

I can’t stand seeing the date displayed as Month-Day-Year, because the day should be first. It’s like having one of these and stacking them in the wrong order.

Dilettante's avatar

Careful now, UK does it “backwards,” 17/2/10. I lived there for 8 years and never got used to it; but then I realized we, in the US do it “backwards.” Their way makes more sense, doesn’t it? Day, Month, Year. I wonder how we in the US ever got started doing it the other way round, which is in fact, not in proper sequence…an act of defiance? I could probably find it on this infernal machine; but then what would the IT specialists have to do with all that time on their hands?
BTW, same thing with driving on the “other side” of the street. The UK way actually makes sense; if one considers the days of carriages…the driver’s whip hand on the right, so that way they wouldn’t accidentally lash pedestrians. Picture it. See? I wonder why they started doing that differently here in the US as well. Defiance again? hmmmm

Val123's avatar

@robmandu Will do! But…surely they have a medicine for that….

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Val123 save all of your correspondence and check-writing for one hellacious day. (And don’t forget, it’s nearly over. Get to work.)

downtide's avatar

Anything formal, like a business letter, I write 17 February 2010. Anything informal, I write 17/2/10. I’m British.

Dilettante's avatar

BTW, I realize I spell realize with a “z” rather than an “s” too (as well). Oh, don’t get me started. We’ll be here all night, “whilst” we discuss this.
Favorite quote: “The US and the UK are two nations separated by a common language.”

Got to love that one. Cheers, tada, byeeee, see yaa, or, a poignant Yorkshire farewell:
Tara, duck. (Pronounced “dook”)

Sandydog's avatar

As an aside British humour is definitely totally different as well. Im hesitant about asking anything as a joke as my Glaswegian humour wouldnt be seen as funny to Americans

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Dilettante I agree that the Brits give the date in the correct order, but they still drive on the wrong side of the road. Most people are right-handed, having the steering wheel on the left places the gearshift lever in your right hand, where it belongs. Same with most of the dashboard controls.

Val123's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Sorry! I’m too busy! Cause…I kinda sorta got a JOB!!!!!!! Start date is 01/3/twothousandten!!

MrItty's avatar

@Val123 01/3/twentyten

HGl3ee's avatar

I’m my own pain-in-the-butt, I have to write everything out completely and have always had trouble with abbreviations. (OCD kicks in..) So, for me, it’s Wednesday, February 17, 2010..

faye's avatar

The hospital where I worked started having us write the abbreviation for the month in letters.Too much confusion with too many people doing it differently, leading to mistakes.

Pseudonym's avatar

I would probably say “Feb 17, 2010”.

Speaking of unusual and confusing US customs, I wonder, as an American, why in the world the US can’t use the metric system.

bea2345's avatar

In the library where I work, the date an item is acquired is always ddmmyy. Up to a few years ago that was the standard; then people began using other formats. Now there is a written policy. I still come across materials where the date is ambiguous: e.g. if there are 20 copies of a book one might be dated 02.10.09 while the others are10.02.09

Val123's avatar

@MrItty No no. That’s WAY too confusing. I think. Maybe 1 / 3/ twozeroonezero would be bestest. Wait….when is my first day of work??

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