First use of the term "9/11"

OK, Straight Dope Message Board, font of all knowledge in the near-to-totally useless categories, along with some interesting cooking tips and advice on how to keep the aphids off of your pot plants: When was the first use of the now-ubiquitous term “9/11” to refer to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? Who coined it?

I’m guessing it happened on September 11 itself. I do seem to remember someone pointing out it was “911” as in “dial in case of emergency” pretty quickly after the events in question, but I don’t remember the first time I saw “9/11” and instantly knew what it meant. When and where was the first occurrance?

I don’t know, but I’d like to claim to be the first person to think of it. Shortly after the 2nd plane hit, and it became readily apparent that this was not an accident, I started to think about how we would refer to this day/this event. Once the place hit the Pentagon, I decided the “2nd World Trade Center Attack” was out of the question. Having read a spy novel (can’t remember the title) in which a terrorist group called themselves “January 30th”, I decided that Our Media would quickly label these the September 11th attacks. I remember laughing cynically to myself, thinking that with the typical American attention span, people would probably usually refer to it as “9/11”. Had a good cry in a beer when it actually happened.

The New York Times used the headline “America’s Emergency Line: 9/11” for an op-ed piece on the morning of September 12, 2001.

I can definitely remember hearing the term “9/11 Attacks” within a few days of the event. It makes sense, too. If you call it “The World Trade Center Attacks,” then you’re ignoring the attack on the Pentagon, and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

The term 911 was all over the internet within hours of the event due to a vaguely worded propecy that had been posted several days earlier. The original message was given the title 911, it was followed by a message “wait seven days” on September 4th.

Lots of speculation followed. Some people suggesting that the original poster may have been involved in the attacks, others pointing out that his ravings could mean anything: 911 = emergency phone no, 911= 9/1/1 = 1st September 2001, and so on.

The guy sounds like a complete nutcase to me.

Randi fans please note : I am not in any way supporting his prophesy at all. I just submit that the widespread discussion of this message was the first use of 9/11 in relation to the attacks.

As an aside, here in the UK we express the date the other way round: day first, then the month. So when I see “9/11” I (and probably many others) immediately think 9th of November. Did anything momentous ever happen on that date?


Peter Morris, the timecode on the post from jha admin was 7:21 a.m., before the attacks occurred. Is that Pacific time? I poked around, but I couldn’t find anything indicating what timezone they use, or if the timecode is determined by the posters computer. That would be 10:21 a.m. Eastern, seven minutes before the collapse of the WTC north tower.

Did it spread from there, (I assume a whole lot of people looked at that thread that day at the rate rumours were flying) or did a whole lot of people come up with the same (rather obvious) construction simultaneously?

If someone built a coffin size microwave and put a live person in it, how long would it take to kill it? And incinerate the body?

I’m writting a story, folks.

[OOPS. Wrong window. Mods, delete this please
I’m writting a story, folks

Can’t really help you there, I only found out about this prediction after someone posted a link on a different newsgroup. My own regular haunts do not usually include alt.prophesies.nostradamus.

I noticed the time code too. My WAG is that someone’s clock is off.

I was starting a day tour that day, writing the morning roll call and other reports.

I had a silly habit of associating the date with possible ominous overtones, ie. our ten code for a working structure fire was a 10-29., so if I was working on October 29, I would mention to the guys that todays date was 10-29, somethings going to happen today.

The guys would laugh.

At 0830, on September 11, I repeated my habit of ominous association.

The guys laughed.

And later, we cried.