RIP, once again. Oh and apologies, Americans. I simply refuse to write dates in your backwards format. (As a consolation I used your power outlets in the previous comic!)
The reason the Americans use that format is because of ISO 8601, which recommends the format YYYY-MM-DD, as in 2016-09-18, which sorts time from largest to smallest. I adopted it and have never looked back (although thanks to working in Security for years, I actually adopted a much better mixed alphanumeric standard, YYYY-MMM-DD, as in 2016-SEP-18 — which prevents any possibility of confusion ever). Of course, the only time a format even becomes relevant in day to day life is when you have to follow a specific format on a written form.
The mixed MM-DD-YY/MM-DD-YYYY standard that the U.S. uses is mostly a misapplication of their own standard, which is of course because of the population’s colloquialism and lack of an enforced standard on the mainstream population (it’s also why the U.S. military and science community is fully metricated and the public is not… and why certain spacecraft have been catastrophically lost).
I do think the American standard (as in the ISO standard, not the colloquialism) is actually more useful than the European form: as a species we are far more interested in the passage of time than the exact numeral of the date, and so it makes more sense to specify the month first on the basis that we can find a general reference prior to finding the exact day if it even matters. The year is mainly an afterthought, as our day-to-day business is not normally conducted in years, but it makes sense to relegate it to the primal role for sake of organisation.
The alphanumeric variant, of course, remains perfection itself. =)
Now if only we could convince the world to write addresses in the proper order, too: makes far more sense to write an address in the form of “Canada/V0K 1W0/Coquitlam, British Columbia/123 Fake St.” than our current opposite. Although if I start barking up that tree, I should start favoring a right-to-left reading order, too, since our eyes are dominant in that way… but some things are a little too foreign to Western traditions, and current events with RTL-writing-order-countries would certainly bias people against it. ;-)
The reason why the American use to put the month in front of the day predates the ISO standard by a long shot, and is believed to be due to commerce and the expiration/import/selling dates on creates of goods. Those marks could be easily sorted, while the year was left out because they almost never meant a long time span. We’re actually not certain, though.
The main reason because YYYY-MM-DD was adopted by the ISO is because it could be easily sorted, which is a rather good point although people don’t speak that way. If you write 2016-SEP-19 you’re defeating that purpose.
*English-speaking* people don’t speak that way. My native language happens to use YYYY-MM-DD :) Not that this would affect ISO in any way, just saying.
(Let’s see if my comment is let through this time…)
First off, The One True Date Format (ISO 8601) has nothing to do with why American dates are written as an arbitrary rollercoaster.
Second, as a developer, if I EVER catch you using hyphens as a date separator for anything other than ISO 8601, I will cut you.
You’re allowed to use whatever date format you want… as long as you’re using it with slashes, periods or similar. But if you’re using hyphens, then it’s ISO 8601 and only ISO 8601. The unambiguity of hyphens is why they are used in that standard in the first place. And I am not responsible for my actions around people who try to destroy that unambiguity.
Iso format (2016-09-19)
From big to small
Can be sorted
Absolutely no confusion over month and day
Iso format is the way to go.
Sorry I didn’t see the top post.
YYYY/MM/DD good for history and archives where the year matters more.
DD/MM/YYYY good for everyday where most of the time you care more about the day and almost never what year you are in.
MM/DD/YYYY good for what?
MM/DD/YY or MM/DD/YYYY is very useful where I work, where most of the reagents we use have an expiration of 3-4 months or thereabouts, thus making the month the first topic of investigation when examining a bottle.
That said, my personal preference is for the U.S. military standard; e.g. 09SEP2016. It’s in the order that is useful for everyday use, and since the month is presented as letters rather than numbers, it’s both impossible to confuse with the day, and easy to pick out quickly.
Also, in American spoken usage, we normally say dates month-first, that is, “September 19th, 2016″, sometimes omitting the year.
Just adding my own grain of salt. French canadian here so plagued with having to live surrounded by a mix of the american system, the english canadian system, the french canadian system and the french system. I find any NN-NN-NNNN (or even worse, NN-NN-NN) formats to be extremely confusing. if you have 04-12-08 it is impossible to know if it’s december 8th, 2004, december 4th 2008, or april 12th 2008, or who knows what. at least when it’s NNNN-NN-NN you can safely assume that the second number refers to the month. Anything else would be confusing, except if the month is written as letters.
So, just to contradict Kristian, sorry but your DD-MM-YYYY format is the one that is backwards, while the american MM-DD-YYYY format is mixed up. YYYY-MM-DD is the way to go.
> I simply refuse to write dates in your backwards format.
So do you say “Eleven Nine” instead of “Nine Eleven”? If so, then the terrorists have won.
PS – Too soon?
> I simply refuse to write dates in your backwards format
Let me guess; you Europeans also write the time in the form of minute:hour. And you probably use metric time, too.
I was like “Damn, this guy commented a lot” and then I realized that is the new “default avatar” and these are all different people (probably) :D
It’s a bit “in your face” to be honest, they could have gone with some more washed out colors.
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