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    #1

    Am and British style in writing dates

    Dear Sir

    What is the difference between Am and British style in writing dates?


    Thanks

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    American: April 15, 2012 4/15/2012
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    The major difference is in the order of the numbers when we only use numbers for the date. Barb's example above (4/15/2012) reads April 15th 2012 to her. To me, it's an impossible date because the middle number should be the month and there are not 15 months.

    April 15th 2012 for me = 15/4/2012. It doesn't matter whether I say "April the fifteenth" or "The fifteenth of April", it's always 15/4.

    As far as I know, the only date which is regularly used in the American construction in the UK (and I imagine in most of the world) is 9/11, just because that is how we have become used to hearing and seeing it for over ten years. However, if you showed that date written down to someone in the UK who had never heard of the World Trade Center disaster, they would tell you that something happened on the 9th of November.

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    #4

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    American: April 15, 2012 4/15/2012
    Or even "4/15/12"

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Or even "4/15/12"
    Good point. Same for BrE too. There are a variety of ways of showing, for example, April 7th 2012:

    7/4/12
    7/04/12 (this is very unlikely. If we put "07" for the day, we are likely to put "04" for the month.)
    07/04/12

    7/4/2012
    07/4/2012 (same comment as above)
    07/04/2012

    When you're filling in an official form, it is likely to give you a good clue as to how they would like it completed. It will say something like:
    Date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY), in which case you know they want 2 digits for the day, 2 digits for the month and all 4 for the year.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    This is why I like the East Asian convention: large/smaller/smallest: 2012/09/27. I think the reverse is part of the Metric system, based on French practice: 27/9/2012 (le 27 septembre 2012), which is also nice and rational. The other mixed forms, I have no idea why people still use them.

  5. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    2012 04 16 is also the Bill Gates convention. It came as an option in the first version of MS Word.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    This is why I like the East Asian convention: large/smaller/smallest: 2012/09/27. I think the reverse is part of the Metric system, based on French practice: 27/9/2012 (le 27 septembre 2012), which is also nice and rational. The other mixed forms, I have no idea why people still use them.
    I can't quite fathom how 2012/09/27 fits into large/smaller/smallest. 27 is certainly not the smallest number of those three.

  7. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    Y M D.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I can't quite fathom how 2012/09/27 fits into large/smaller/smallest. 27 is certainly not the smallest number of those three.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Am and British style in writing dates

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Y M D.
    So longest, shorter, shortest then.

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