Dates


Only in the US is September 11 expressed as 9/11. In most other countries it would be 11/9. It would be simpler is the US adopted the worldwide system, but the US refusal to adopt the metric system makes such a change unlikely. This might appear to be a trivial matter, but it is not, I am a law abiding citizen with an "I support my local police" bumper sticker. Yet some time ago am Irish DMV employee who was testing me put down the numbers in the Irish order.  This led to an absurd bureaucratic snafu. I was accused of driving with a suspended licence. I finally succeeded in explaining the confusion, but it was an annoying  waste of time.

It is a serious problem in the case of contracts and leases. Stanford University posts online a form in which the dates covered are simply blanks to be filled in.  Since these firms can be  used anywhere is the world, serious confusions could result concerning the dates covered.  The same problem would arise with a paper form in which there are simply blanks to be filled in.  The solution is simple.  Ass forms should specify in print "month-day-year" or "day.month year".  This should be obligatory on all forms.  There should be relevant legislation.

Regarding the odd American way of entering dates, I said; It is a serious problem in the case of contracts and leases. Stanford University posts online a form in which the dates covered are simply blanks to be filled in.  Since these firms can be  used anywhere is the world, serious confusions could result concerning the dates covered.  The same problem would arise with a paper form in which there are simply blanks to be filled in.  The solution is simple.  Ass forms should specify in print "month-day-year" or "day.month year".  This should be obligatory on all forms.  There should be relevant legislation. From the UK, George Sassoon writes; For this reason I always use numbers for day and year and abbreviated names Jan ... Dec for the months.  Then the order doesn't matter.  This dates from designing software for international use.


Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: February 27, 2005