19__ is gone, so why not 20__?

Most checks, forms, etc. used to have 19__ to speed up filling out the year. We’ve now been into the new century for over 3 years and I have yet to see 20__ printed on any checks, forms or anything else. I know that lots of printed items became obsolete because they contained the 19__, but surely with 96 years left that shouldn’t be a concern.

Does anyone know why this hasn’t been done or at least some idea?

Well, they want to get the jump on that Y2.1K problem. :smiley:

On a related note, I got a small packet of papers that were my grandfathers’, stuck haphazardly in a 1945 copy of Machinery’s Handbook. One of them was a reciept, dated 1947, for a set of draftsman’s tools from his local supplier.

The interesting part is the date had three digits prefilled: 194_

I get my checks from Checks Unlimited and they have 20__ on them. And I got them in late 2002 or early 2003. (I am not sure how long it has been, I don’t write many checks anymore.)

For that matter, why do we persist with writing “04”, instead of simply “4”? Computer systems aside, few people use two digits to denote which month we are in (unless it’s October, November or December)–or two digits to describe which day of the month it is, unless we’re past the 9th.

10/3/04 (or 3/10/04 for you Americans) seems to be a hangover from the 20th century. Free yourself from the extraneous zero, people! :smiley:

Using two digits for the year is a lot clearer than using just one, IMO.

10/3/4 (or 3/10/4) is just plain confusing, to my eye - it doesn’t even really look like a date, mainly because we have been conditioned to seeing two digits.

I tend always to use 10/3/2004, which is a lot clearer, or, if for international use, 10-Mar-2004. But then, in an ideal world, we’d write 2004-03-10 :wink:

Not much to add, except that my checks do have the ** 20__ ** pre-printed on them, and have for at least a couple of years.

Just wanted to add that my personal checks as well have the 20__ on them.

Like r_k said, only about one in every fourth generation or so gets to really remember an ‘oughties’ decade, and then only for, well, a decade! So 9 times out of 10 years have two significant digits.

If humans lived longer we’d undoubtedly always use 3 or 4 digits!

Mine still have an address from three addresses ago!

I’m still on a batch of cheques that I got in 1999, and they have ___ on them - no 19__, no 20__. I would imagine, though, that the next batch I get will have 20__.

No need to wait for Utopia - if you feel that strongly about it just move to Hungary (or any other country where that particular date format is used.)


You mentioned computer systems, where a leading zero (or zeroes) is essential for sorting of data.
In computer based or hand-written systems a leading 0 is useful for validation. Using 04 prevents the confusion between 4 and 4X where X could be a deleted character (through water damage, or a ripped piece of paper etc.)