Day, Month, Year

Why do Americans not write a date the obvious way namely in ascending order of day, month, year rather than the absurd month, day, year they use.
Even this bloody site uses dates the wong way around.

Well, considering that this site is based in the U.S., that’s to be expected, no?

Zev Steinhardt

I feel for you but this seems like more of a rant.
Those go in the Pit.
Later Days,

I accept your point about where the site is based but I was just using this to illustrate the fact that the order of dates goes against common logic. The rest of the western world gives time in ascending order… seconds, minutes, hours…day, month,year.
To someone that doesn’t live in the US I actually find it hard to imagine why common sense didn’t prevail when first these periods of time were being committed to paper.

Well, the US Government actually uses the DD/MM/YY format, sort of. It’s actually DD/MONTH/YY, a form I’ve used since my military days, and comes in handy when I need to contact our European customers. I don’t have to adjust. I’ve no idea why though.

Defender, I think you may be slightly confused - no place in the world writes time as seconds/minutes/hours.

However, I do agree with the OP. I’ve been in the States for over six months, and I still haven’t gotten used to the American style of writing dates. Not only do I often write “6/24/2000” as “24/6/2000” (which I find much more logical), but I also tend to say “twenty-fourth of June” insted of “June twenty-fourth”. Confuses the hell out of people, especially considering the fact that my American accent is impeccable.

Well, why don’t you write it year-month-day so that it always sorts in the correct order?

Don’t forget, this is the same United States whose Congress formally adopted the Metric System in 1898. We’re not too quick in changing over the way we do things.

When you want to consider something in terms of dates, you want the information in order of importance. Let’s say, Defender, that you and I want to meet for tea next month on the 5th. If you say “the 5th” before you say “March,” the information, though it may seem specific, is actually too general. There are twelve “5ths” over the year, but only one “MARCH 5th.”

To my (American born and bred) mind, saying “the 5th of March” separates “the 5th” and “March” into two separate ideas. But saying “March 5th” forms one unit, the one and only March 5th that will occur this year. Despite the fact that “the 5th” is technically a more specific time period than “March,” in terms of mental organization it is actually very broad.

Does this make any sense? I’m not sure it does, myself, but I feel like I’m on to something.

Or perhaps it was a rhetorical question to begin with?

I’m not attempting to prove the American system of dates as MORE logical, necessarily…I’m just trying to point out that there IS a logic there.


I’ve gotten used to the way dates are written (though I personally always write “5 March” or “7 June” except when instructed to do otherwise, as on a form.) What bugs me is why calendars go Sunday-Saturday instead of Monday-Sunday.

Well, chaps, if these Yanks have to have their own way with dates as they do with their version of the Mother Tongue, there’s not much we can do about it, is there, eh what?

'Cept keep the conversion tables handy.

We adopted it when?!? Sheesh! I wish people would tell me these things sooner! :slight_smile:


[Moderator Hat: ON]

Well, I can’t figure out if Defender was looking for a real answer or just wanting to rant about this one. In neither case is this a Great Debate.

So I’m locking the thread. If he wants a real answer, he can post in GQ. If he wants to rant about it, he can post in the Pit. Or he can just forget about the whole silly thing.

David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

[Moderator Hat: OFF]