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!