Date Formats and a New Blog

Earlier this week a non-American web site article I was reading referred to the date as 12 January, which to me is awkward both to say and to read, although I understand perfectly what date was being referred to.  I got me to wondering why we in the United States practically stand alone in the world in the manner that we format dates.  I’ll have to do some research someday to find out why.

In my mind our method of putting the month before the day is more logical, in that the month surely has greater import than the date.  I contend that if you told me that you scheduled a meeting for 26 January, the number 26 has no meaning at all until it is modified by the month.  Whereas, my saying January 26 imparts meaning immediately with the name of the month, and the number then pinpoints the specific date.  Of course my reasoning is influenced by the fact that in my lifetime I have heard it and read it thus, probably 99.99% of the time.

But as long as the month is expressed as a word there is really no failure in communication, even though the one method is not illogical!  😀

Where we have problems is when a date is shortened to a numerical format.  There are only 12 days in the year when Americans and the rest of the world display the date exactly the same: 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 etc.  And since there are but twelve months in the year any date from the 13th to the end of each month can be understood by all in either format.  Thus we all recognize the same date, regardless of format, for an additional 211 days. (212 in leap years).  1/26 means the same as 26/1, or 26.1 as written in Germany.

The problem is with the remaining 132 days of the year where one cannot  be certain of the date without knowing the nationality of the person giving the date.  And even then one must ascertain if the initiator is using his format or is using yours as an accommodation.  If a Frenchman writes that he will arrive on 12/4 he will surely have a long wait for me to pick him up at the airport!

Naturally, the answer is for us all to do it the same way. And I suppose it would make sense for Americans to conform to the way the rest of the world does it.

Don’t hold your breath until that happens!   😆


I’ve been curious about Blogger.  It seems that most people use it, and I’ve read that it is easier and has many more features than WordPress, which is what I use.  So, I decided to try Blogger out.  I don’t think there is any way I can transfer all my stuff over, so I intend to keep this blog going as is.

For fun, to see what it is like, and to compare the two blog worlds, I’ve started a Blogger blog in which I’m just going to post videos and photos that I find on the Net that I think are neat.  I call it “Ya Hafta See This!”.  There’s a link in the Blogroll at the right.  I made my first post today and already have 4 hits!  That is about 4 more than I would have expected.   Woot! Woot!



Filed under Personal Views

4 responses to “Date Formats and a New Blog

  1. Ah yes – the many and various ways in which America is different from Europe.

    If you lot give in and start using our obviously superior method of noting a date, will you start using English next?

    • Ed

      Heehee…. How dare you say we don’t speak English!

      Why just this morning I went out to my CAR, opened the HOOD to check the oil, put some things in the TRUNK and drove away from the CURB, first to the GAS station for a fill up; then off for an appointment with my LAWYER. Traffic was horrendous – so many TRUCKS on the road! And when I arrived I found that the ELEVATOR was out of order and I had to use that stairs.

      Of course we don’t speak English. You may recall that there was a bit of a spat between us around 235 years ago and we parted ways linguistically as well as politically. I don’t expect that there would be much interest here in reverting to the Mother Tongue. – – However, we would love to regain the accent. We have a national inferiority complex in that regard! We recognize that our accents (all of them) create an impression of vulgarity, or at least a lack of refinement.

  2. naturgesetz

    One thing about Blogger I prefer is that when I want to see further comments, all I have to do is click on a box on the comments form, and it’s done. With WordPress, that’s only the first of three steps. I next get an e-mail, to which I must respond by clicking on a hyperlink (second step). That takes me to a page where I must click on a box to “subscribe” to comments (third step). A ;ot of unnecessary and faintly annoying rigmarole IMO, but I do it because I want to be aware of responses to my comments.

    • Ed

      I’ve had one day of experience with Blogger, compared to ten months with WordPress, so I’m not capable of making an intelligent comparison. I imagine it will be some time before I will decide whether I have a preference.

      My first impression, though, is that WordPress was designed for the less computer literate – it is so easy to use. One can be up and running very quickly. In fact, I felt like a veteran blogger the very first day! It took me some time to realize that I had to enter my Blogger site via the Dashboard in order to do anything other than read my posts. There was much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands before the “light” came on. I was spoiled by WordPress. When I open my blog WordPress recognizes me and provides menus for whatever I want to do whilst still displaying the blog as others will see it. And WordPress does not count my visits to the site in Stats, whereas I had to tell Blogger not to. Minor distinctions, I know – just takes some time to get used to.

      I imagine that I will eventually work with only one. I’ve discovered in just one day that switching back and forth between Blogger and WordPress is confusing.

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