Talk:Calendar date/Archive 1

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Archive 1

Proper writing of dates

When one writes a date, superscript should normally be used, e.g. 21st of July, 2008. People only write 21st of July, 2008 when the device used, eg. typewriter, cannot perform superscript, or out of (bad) habit. (talk) 00:58, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Practical Advantages of the Format YYYY-MM-DD

The date format, YYYY-MM-DD, is not merely a format. It has significant practical advantages. Use leading zeros if necessary to make the Year 4-digit, and Month and Date 2-digit. Examples: 0023-10-25, 1987-02-09, 2007-01-23. If only year and month are relevant, use YYYY-MM. Examples: 1989-06, 2007-01.

  • 1.) This format can be written and understood by anybody regardless of the languages he/she knows and uses (You can still orally present it anyway you prefer).
  • 2.) The Year-Month-Day order is more logical than other formats in most cases, as one usually identifies a specific date in that order.
  • 3.) This is very important. In this digital age, many people routinely deal with computer files by displaying their filenames on the screen or process them in chronological order. When you organize files of data, which could be numbers or images, time (year and/or month and/or date) could be a factor that either naturally shows up in your file names, or you could put it in your file names purposely to your advantages.
i.) Thus if you create your data, your blog or diary for instance, on a daily basis, you can simply assign the date to the file names, e.g., 2006-05-06, 2006-07-23. If you organize your data on a monthly basis, use names like 1987-03, 1993-05, etc.. When you display them on your screen, they show up in natural chronological order. If you use codes, such as FORTRAN codes, to process these files one by one in natural order, it makes your coding much easier.
ii.) If the time alone in a file name does not give you enough information to remind you what is in the file, you could add different suffices, to the file names, which will not disturb the chronological order of the files. If beginning a file name by a number makes you feel uncomfortable, you can add an identical prefix before the year. Thus, you could have file names like y2006-01-01-party, y2006-01-02-shopping, y2006-01-03-piano-lesson, etc.. If you don't like the dash, "-", you can use the underline, "_", in place of it. Or you can eliminate the dash all togher.
iii.) Never use 2-digit years, 1-digit months and dates in file names in any order other than the above suggested format; never use non-digital month names, such as jan, january, feb, or february in file names, which will cause you lots of inconveniences for later archival or processing purposes.
  • 4.) This format is consistent with ISO 8601 which has more information about formats of time. --Roland 08:45, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

US Bias

I would like to point out that there is some major bias towards the US in this article. It clearly covers many different date format for throughout the world, however, it uses many examples of how the date is formally written or spoken, that are very rarely used in many countries other than the United States.

For Example:

  • In the Uk, Australia and New Zealand the majority of people say: The 5th of March, 2006. It is very rare to hear somone say 5 February 2006, as the later does not make any sense, it implies that there are 5 seperate Februarys. This also is the same for February 5, implying there was a February 4 and a February 3, etc, but this makes no sense either as there has been millions of Februarys since the begining of the Georgian callendar and there is no use in counting them all.
  • The use of these other formats make no sense, are inapropriate to use to determine a date in time, and are somthing that is used primarily in the US. The majority of the English speaking world can speak English properly, so thats the way it should be in the English Wikipedia, the correct way. 02:11, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
    • This is a moronic argument, it makes sense, it is understandable to anyone when the date is spelled out. I dont do it this way and you dont do it this way, hundreds of millions do and it works quite well. As for your argument about there having been millions of Februarys since the introduction of the georgian callendar...... this means it has been millions of years since its introduction. Are you taking the piss?
  • The American way is odd. When you want to know what the date is, you most likely want to know what day it is as that changes more than a month or year does! You're most likely to forget what day it is than what month or year it is.
    • We're aware it's messed up. I don't understand why it's like that and I'm an American. I don't ever use that format here unless I'm signing a document or trying to not confuse someone else. As for the bias part, I see no obvious bias; although I have no idea how old this talk section is and I'm not from an objective viewpoint. I'm sure any bias is unintentional, so if anyone does note any bias please go ahead and fix it. (And we can't stress strongly enough to please sign your posts.)Bradkoch2007 19:54, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

British Dates

The British consider words and locutions that originated in England and died out in England "Americanisms". So it is with date formats. Traditionally, the English used m/d/y (see any reasonably old book written in England). Recently (100 years or less) they have begun importing the d/m/y format from the Continent, and so of course they call their own traditional m/d/y format the "American" date format. 23:45 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Can you justify this? Could you give an example of an English text where the m/d/y format is used for a date? Phantomsteve 12:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, page 113, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has this paragraph:
"The latter arrived on March the 10th, 1883. His death was seven weeks later, upon the night of the 2nd of May."
This edition was published in London in 1892, and the link goes to a scan image; about as authentic as I can manage without finding a real secondary source. Here we see two different non-numeric date formats in use on the same page. But I was unable to find any purely numeric date formats in nineteenth century writing. (talk) 09:22, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Here again we have a book printed in London in 1902, using the month-day-year format with month as a word. "Only recently, indeed (May 30, 1901), the Chancellor of the Exchequer..." (talk) 09:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Opinion about Date Format

I believe that YYYY/MM/DD makes the most sense chronologically. For example we write the time as HH,mm,SS. Combined with a date this format becomes YYYY/MM/DD/HH/mm/SS. This definately makes the most sense, although in my ideal world the system would be the other way around, with the thing that changes least, the year, last. I don't need to read the date everyday to know what month and year it is, so it should be last chronologically, to save time when reading the time.

I would argue that to a degree the date/time system we use here in the UK is developed around that idea. For most people when they look at the time, they want to know what hour it is, so that is first then minutes. Seconds really make little difference, hence why most clocks eliminate them and we use HH/mm. Then for the date, the same is true. I don't need to know the year we are in on a daily basis, as I know that already, but I could have forgotten what the month is and I'm always forgetting what the day number is. Hence DD/MM/YYYY.

I think this makes sense... what do you guys think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

My office has been using ISO 8601 for the last six months. It does take a little getting used to, but after the first few months, my eyes began looking past the year to focus more on the month and/or day. So whether I gloss over the year that is shown at the front or at the end, I still, like you and most others, tend to focus on the month and day in most date representations.

In my opinion, too, the DD/MM/YY format is more readable in this respect. Like all ISO standards, however, there are trade-offs with 8601. For me, the unambiguous date representation is worth the loss in quicker acquisition and comprehension of the day and month. Coming from the United States, though, I found the ISO format a little easier to adapt to since the sequence of the month, followed by the day, is preserved. --Richardrw 2007-10-17 13:46+04

Proposed style change

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/proposed revision 1) proposes "BC" and "AD" (in contrast with "BCE" and "CE") as standard for Wikipedia, 2) apparently encourages linking of years, and 3) encourages linking of units of measurement, among other changes. It also reverses the style of many of the dates used within the guide (such as "February 12" to "12 February"). See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) for discussion. Maurreen 01:46, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Date systems

moved from Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

Why does the American date system follow a MM/DD/YYYY pattern as opposed to DD/MM/YYYY. It seems counter intuitive (there is no order to it) but presumably there must be some logic behind it. smurrayinchester(User), (Talk) 16:55, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

It's possibly a shortening of the spoken form - "When's your birthday?" "April seventeenth"? Shimgray | talk | 16:58, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes but that doesn't really give any more information; the European format would be a shortening of "the seventeenth of April" but the question is, why is there a difference in order in the first place? I'm curious about this as well. —David Wahler (talk) 22:57, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Hey, it's just the way of our people! You gotta problem wit dat? alteripse 00:00, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

That would make our work here quite easy. Just answer to every question "well, that's just the way it is". :)
But about the question, the Calendar date article mentions the phenomenon, but doesn't give a reason. It mentions only in passing that this is a matter of endianness (which I will amend in a moment). The European format is little endian (it starts with the smallest order of magnitude). The US format is middle endian, which is as odd as the term. But the most logical (well, consistent anyway) method is big endian because that's how our numbering system works. Take a number, say 2005. That starts with the highest order magnitude, the thousands, and then the hundreds, tens and 'singles' (what do you call that?). So it would make sense to extend that to the date format.
Note that I haven't answered the question either, but at least I've made an effort. :) DirkvdM 12:50, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me that its natural in English to use a noun as an adjective (as in "New York style") rather than to use a genitive ("the style of New York") when both options are available. So "November 16" rolls off the tongue easier than "the 16th of November." But a year can't act as an adjective, so you have to say "November 16, 2005." The M/D/Y order comes from the way we speak. -- Mwalcoff 07:46, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Again you're forgeting the differences between English and the American dialect of English. Current English use is to use prepositions to signify ownership, so, in English, "16th of November" would be correct. We would also say "16th of November, 2005". -- 22:07, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
That explanation coincides nicely with the habit of saying '16th of November' in stead of '16 November'. I've always found the former a bit odd (in the Netherlands it is occasionally, though rarely, used, and feels a bit archaic). But if you regard the day as a property of the month it makes sense. Then again, one might just as well call the month a property of the day since any month has a day 16. But to me it's all a series of numbers used to pinpoint a day and there's no order other than the order of magnitude. I suppose it's more than anything a matter of standardisation. Which method is used doesn't matter much as long as everyone uses the same one. Which is developing into a problem in this internationalised world. So someone is going to have to adapt. And since that will create a grudge on the part of the minority (the M/D/Y users) a neutral third international standard might make sense, namely Y/M/D. Which incidentally gives the M/D/Y users their way where the year is left out. I've already started using it. DirkvdM 08:49, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Surely saying 'the 16th of November' carries the implication of '16th day of November? It is also linked to the way one would could say "the first flower of spring", "the second snowfall of the month", "the third month of the war", "the fourth member of the group" etc. Similarly "the day is the 16th of November", "that flower is the first of spring". (talk) 13:26, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I hear rumors that an early FIPS standard recommended doing it that way (m/d/y, with a 2-digit year), and briefly mentioned that in the article. I suspect there isn't any good reason for doing it this way, and I hope it's not too late to switch to a superior system. --DavidCary 21:58, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

RFC-2822 date style

this style is commonly used in computering: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:03 +0000

AzaToth talk 16:10, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Norway (yyyy-mm-dd) ? 18:57, 20 August 2006 (UTC) Daniel (unregistered)

I am a Norwegian and I have never heard, or seen, that we use year-month-day. I myself only use dd/mm yyyy or, and I beleive most offical use too (see Please give me a source that confirms that Norway officially uses yyyy-mm-dd and not

I have a similar issue regarding the fact that Austria was placed under the yyyy-mm-dd list. I have lived in Austria all my life and haven't ever consciously seen this used. It would also not agree with the German language, as one says 12te Mai (12th May) and it is literally impossible to say Mai 12. Also, the main Autrian television broadcaster has on its teletext, Sa, 9.09.2006, so i believe this is actually the proper form.

Germany (dd/mm/yy)? No! It's "d. month yy"

I am German and I have never heard or seen that we use Slashes ('/') in a date. Slashes means for me that I have to watch out carefully and expect a US ("middle endian") mm/dd/yy (or even worse mm/yy) format. In Germany we write (with or without leading zeros, some people are lazy and write yy instead of yyyy. See also

I really prefer the ISO 8601 way (yyyy-mm-dd) because xxxx-xx-xx has to be yyyy-mm-dd because I've never seen someone using yyyy-dd-mm. But it will take ages to change the mind of the people (remember metric system is international since the 70's). --Knarf

There was definitely someone trying a bit of POV and convincing others of something that is not the case. Reading newspapers and watching television, there is really no one using dashes at all, and the year comes last as well. --FlammingoParliament 14:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
That's not entirely correct. According to DIN 5008 (THE official reference defining rules for writing and formating in word processing for germany), the official format is yyyy-mm-dd. The format is admissible with restrictions. Also Duden (The definitive book for orthography in germany) names both formats. In daily practice - according to my knowledge and partly supported by Duden - both formats are taught at scool, wherein the vast majority in business life uses, and some use yyyy-mm-dd. Thus, correctly, germany should be named as a country using both formats. --GlaMax (talk) 17:46, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

right. metric is international, but I am from Canada, and have always used the yyyy/mm/dd. This is the most logical means of dating. Largest to smallest, and that is how metric system works too Largest unit to smallest.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Eaglegordon (talkcontribs)

Germany, not Canada --FlammingoParliament 20:23, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi, I've often problems to read those different calender dates! The only solution can be the ISO 8601. In Germany we are still often using the form but this is changing to the newer yy-mm-dd or yyyy-mm-dd version. In IT-Logging also the shorter version yymmdd is and will be used [1] --MeMe 2007-11-21_10:59:30 (UTC).

Historical Background?

It would be interesting to know the historical background behind why various countries chose various formats. Some it is by chance, to be sure, but there must have been a very specific reason why the UK suddenly reverted to day month year around 1900, whereas the USA did not. Any insights there which could be integrated into the article?

What makes anybody think that happened, or that that is the "original" form? Is there anything written in English before the 19th century that uses that allegedly "original" form? Michael Hardy 23:18, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


why does usa use month day year, if they are a product of britain, and britain uses d/m/y

- I do not know why we use m/d/y but we split from Britain 225 years ago. (Which is why we put appointments on our calendar and they put it on their diary.) I would love for US to move to a more international standard but which one - y/m/d or d/m/y?

- The U.S. isn't a product of the UK, that is why we split off from England and their tyrannical rule. Though, it doesn't explain why we still use the English measuring system.

The waffle about the US being a product of the UK is irrelevant. What is interesting is why the US use this date format. Any research on this would be useful. Could it be that they used it so that other countries didn't know attack dates (e.g. we'll attack on 11/12/2007 in US would be November 12th 2007, whereas anywhere else it would be December 11th 2007). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Pedantic point: we tyrannical English call a calendar that you hang on a wall or notice board a "calendar". A small book with dates in is a "diary". --Joowwww (talk) 15:09, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I know that the reason Americans chose to drive on the right hand side of the road was an act of rebellion to piss of the British Empire. Once America did it other countries followed suit in an act of rebellion fuelled by mutual hatred (jealousy). Perhaps this is why the USA cut off their own nose to spite their face by choosing a completely illogical date format. (talk) 09:41, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
In the culture I participate in, a small book that serves similar purposes as a calendar, marking upcoming dates with appointments and plans is called a "planner". A "diary" is a private log book containing prose entries, often retrospective. A "journal" is a more public version of a diary. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:12, 14 March 2010 (UTC).

Today's date is...

Can you please remove the one-line "current date" paragraph? If not, please justify it here and clean it up. It is very ugly and doesn't belong in an introduction to an encyclopedic article. (It's also wrong - today is the 16th, not the 15th.) 03:03, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I've rephrased it slightly to reflect a redirection to the current date. Bobo. 03:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know we now have a red link to an article which should not exist (we don't have articles for individual days). And it points to a new article name every day. I wonder how many of these wrongly-named articles have been created by innocent newbies ... -- Chuq 23:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Day and Year Only

"The Julian date format is also used by many computer programs (especially those for mainframe systems). Using a three-digit Julian day number saves one byte of computer storage over a two-digit month plus two-digit day, e.g. "January 17" is 017 in Julian versus 0117 in month-day format."

Could we get a source for this? The internal representation (number of bytes in memory) for both systems is 2 bytes: one byte can represent integers 0-255 therefore only one is needed for month and day, while keeping a number such as 330 would require two bytes as well.

While it may very well be the case that Julian numbers are used widely in mainframe systems, it seems unlikely to me that this is the reason behind it.

Motoma 12:57, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm deeply suspicious of this "Julian" date format section too. I do see the utility of it for logistic purposes, but since I've worked hand-in-glove (or more often, elbow-clashing-with-elbow) with oilfield logistics people for over a decade now and never even heard mention of it until now, I suspect that it's a parochialism unique to the army mentioned. But worse, the use of "Julian" to describe this dating system has high potential to further confuse an already deeply confused field as there is already a "Julian" dating system whose use precedes the coining of this usage (it also predates the coining of the country to which that army belongs by over a millennium) and produces considerably different numbers for the same day. This is the ["astronomical" "Julian Day"] system. I'll modify the main article to refer to this competing use of the term. 17:43, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I started work as a software engineer in the early 90s and, as a software user, only came across Julian dates on the IBM mainframe, which would arbitrarily display them to the screen. It usually appeared in log files, which could be written to 7 days a week rather than the 5 normal working days for which week numbers were more suitable. In any event, as programming languages of that era typically didn't have a versatile set of built in date functions, writers of such functions needed to calculate the Julian date anyway, in order to work out week numbers. A VAX application of 1980s vintage, which I had the unforgettable pleasure of maintaining, did this. Fortunately the application never displayed dates to the users in this form. It was bad enough having to change the offset every January in order to keep the week numbers correct. Rugxulo (talk) 21:13, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

General Clean-Up

While the content is generally strong, there are a number of confusions in the overall structure of this article. So, for example, when the various country lists are presented, there are also various other topics that get discussed in the middle of these. Also, it is important for some style revision so that non-expert types (and people whose head spins at seeing too many YYYMMMDDDDs) can get the most meaning possible of of this article. I need to print this out to see how each section relates to the other, but I'll work on this over the next few days. Cyg-nifier 22:23, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Could you be alil more preccise asa to "style revision" ...

Does all the structure need to be redone in your opinion? J. D. Redding 17:03, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

South Africa 'commonly' uses American format? I don't think so

South Africa is on the list of countries that apparently use the yyyy-mm-dd format.
However next to it on the list it says
South Africa (American "m/d/yy" is a common alternative)

I disagree. I've never seen it in the American way in South Africa. I don't think it was ever taught that way and it certainly isn't prolific now.
Rfwoolf 09:02, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I've nerver seen an American-style date format in South Africa. I've seen dd/mm/yyyy, dd/mm/yy and yyyy-mm-dd (the latter more often in official use) but never m/d/yy. (talk) 13:32, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Chilean Coup::Minor Edit Explanation

"For example, '9/11' can refer to both 'The fall of the Berlin Wall' on 9 November 1989 and to the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in the USA. '9/11' may also refer to the Chilean coup of 1973. In the United States, dates are rarely written in purely numerical forms in formal writing. In the United Kingdom, while it is regarded as acceptable, but rare, to write monthname day, year (as well as day monthname year), this order is unacceptable when written numerically."

I have removed the reference to the Chilean coup. It's extraneous information; we already named an event that happened on September 11 and the world trade center attacks are much more widely known. I added this talk section in case someone really wants to contest this, although I can't see a valid reason why.Bradkoch2007 20:13, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I've never heard of it being acceptable to anyone in the UK. I'm not from the UK but I did live there for four years and usually there once a year, and never heard of mm/dd/yy being acceptable. Allot of the time you don't realise that a date is in that format untill it is above the first 12 days in the month, or you'd think taht there was a mistake.
Limbo-Messiah (talk) 12:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Expressing Dates in Spoken English

I have moved this section further down the page; it made more sense to explain the different date formats before we explain how they are read. Also, we need to expand it or kill it since it's way too short. Bradkoch2007 20:26, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I have undone a movement of this section back to the top; I think it makes more sense to discuss the format of dates before going into detail on how they are spoken, as I noted above. I would like to see similar logic showing why this 2 sentence section would make sense to be there before a change is made. Bradkoch2007 21:19, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, as the next section here indicates, this article has a lot of detail about various formats. If someone just wants some human-readable information, it would be nice if it were at the beginning. As for the length, I don't know what else there is to say! Eric Kvaalen (talk) 18:01, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

The strong focus on syntax in this article

All but the introduction of this fairy long article focuses on syntax issues. Isn't that a bit odd? What about things like different calendars; the history of dates (what civilizations invented it? when did common people become aware of dates?) ... and so on? It seems to me that the way you write a date is a very minor aspect of the date concept.

(I also have to wonder if you can borrow a programming term like endianness into this area. I have never seen it used this way before.) JöG (talk) 07:46, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Format clarification: dd - d?

Can someone please clarify to me the difference between dd-mm-yyyy and d-m-yyyy? I'm not sure the article is very clear. --Dan LeveilleTALK 22:11, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

dd means that the day must always have two digits and so has leading 0 if less than 10, whereas d allows just one digit to be used, likewise with mm and m. Also yyyy requires a 4-digit year while yy indicates a two-digit year. This is not explained in the article. Either it could be explained in the article or a link be provided to an article that explains it. Karl (talk) 08:46, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Julian Date

Hi i came to this page because i was looking how to know the actual julian date for searching in google with the "daterange" option where you have to specify the date with julian calender, theyre help page says: "The Julian date is calculated by the number of days since January 1, 4713 BC. For example, the Julian date for August 1, 2001 is 2452122." not as writen in this article.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

They mean Julian day, not Julian date! Eric Kvaalen (talk) 18:01, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Lack of citations

I don't know whether to believe all of the information presented in the article about which format is used in which country. It really matters at the moment, at MOSNUM. Can someone enlighten me as to where it was all drawn from? Tony (talk) 09:52, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, Dl2000, for adding the IBM citations. However, we should keep in mind that this is only partial data. Canada, for example, is listed as little-endian, though all three formats are used. In general, in each country for each language one format is chosen by IBM for their own standardization purposes, and this does not necessarily reflect reality on the ground. The Arab countries, for example, are now filled in blue on the map, even though the article states that big-endian is used in the Mid East. Perhaps some of them should be aqua? The IBM refs are enough to show that a particular format is used, but not enough to show that other formats are not used. kwami (talk) 05:07, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Also, this ref from IBM has all sorts of odd default locales, such as mm-dd-yyyy in Japan. It makes me doubt the reliability of your IBM ref as well. kwami (talk) 05:58, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Agree that that previous IBM external link was unreliable; that page was documentation specific to the IBM DB2 product and likely reflects a particular editorial or software bug. The new references were based on IBM's general globalization resources which should be more reliable - the Japan format seems correct. We should also add locale references from other major sources such as Microsoft, perhaps Apple.
Regarding the Middle East and big-endian, I took out the reference to Middle East yyyy-mm-dd as there was no supporting source for that, and this region would not likely have a common standard (although ISO 8601 is sure to appear in some cases). The format should be identified on a nation-by-nation basis anyway, unless a sources can support a regional standard such as Europe.
Also note that not only were IBM citations added recently, but also government references. Those citations - most reliably based on the national language(s) - would tend to indicate official usage. Dl2000 (talk) 15:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed the Mideast big-endian comment was ambiguous. I read it as big-endian occurring in the Mideast, somewhere, not a Pan-Arabic standard. The gov. refs are good—IMO the computer locales are at best a stop-gap until we can get gov. refs for those countries. It may turn out that some Arab countries also use big-endian in some capacities, or that it's a common alternate. Any country using more than one format will be obscured by using computer locale refs. kwami (talk) 20:27, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

At the talk page of the map on Commons, it was said Spanish Basque and Pakistan may be big-endian. It also said Kenya and TZ may be US format, but that appears to not be the case. kwami (talk) 02:20, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

-- To list Canada as country which has the MM-DD-YY standard is not correct. Especially in the Quebec part this is definitely not true. This might be why the French version is more adequate concerning Canada:

-- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Serbia and Montenegro mistake

I'd like to point out a mistake - It says in the article that in Serbia and Montenegro, the yyyy-mm-dd was used. This is false; I've lived there for the few years it existed (Born in SFRY, lived through SRY, Serbia and Montenegro, and now Serbia. We do change names a lot :) ), and we were never taught this in schools (only the regular dd-mm-yyyy format), it was never used on TV, in the newspapers, public clocks... So please, could someone remove this from the article, and fix the map accordingly. Thanks, (talk) 21:22, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Just to clarify, are you saying that today's date is written "14-11-08", or "14-11-2008", never "2008-11-14"? kwami (talk) 21:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Exactly. (talk) 16:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Just added the MS NLS refs - these support d.m.yyyy for both Cyrillic and Latin locales. A closer look at the IBM page shows the "%d-%m-%y" in the POSIX format, which contradicts the yyyy-mm-dd format shown there. With the government format, it's probably safe to remove Serbia from yyyy-mm-dd. However, any additional sources to support such as industry, government or educational standards would be helpful here. Dl2000 (talk) 03:44, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The fatal problem with computer locales is that if more than one system is in use, they choose one of them. Therefore we cannot use them to decide if a country should be blue or green on the map. Our anonymous contributor is probably a more reliable source than either MS or IBM. kwami (talk) 08:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm anonymous only because I can't bother logging in. I'll take that as a compliment :) But it's true - we never use(d) the yyyy-mm-dd (or and other variations). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


Where does (linked as reference) say that is the official date format in Mongolia? I see that the site happens to use it, but that could just as well be a random decision by the webmaster who installed the CMS software. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Mongolia has had much closer relations to Russia (and since 1992 to Europe) than to China, so that dd-mm-yyyy seems a lot more likely. I'll try if I can dig up an official specification, although such a thing may not even exist... --Latebird (talk) 13:20, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

In spoken language, it is usually mm.dd (not sure about year), though. So at least this part seems to make sense. What does mongolian wikipedia use? Yaan (talk) 14:22, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
In mnwiki, birthdates etc. are given as yyyy mm dd, but in grammatically verbose form (eg "1944 оны 12-р сарын 26-н"). It's actually quite rare to see dates given as figures alone, and often (as likely on the president's site) only because some software doesn't support the verbose form. Maybe the editors over there know about something more authorative. If we find nothing, then the safest bet would be to replace "" by "yyyy оны mm-р сарын yy-н" (in analogy to eg. Hong Kong). --Latebird (talk) 17:37, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Map Colors

There's an error in the map of what countries use what date ordering. The shades of green (or greenish yellow) on the map are different from the ones in the key. Sergeirichard (talk) 21:01, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

There seem to be quite a few differences between the map and the text. Mystylplx (talk) 18:34, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

using roman numerals for months

The main article states that roman numerals for months are mainly used in handwriting and is never used in print. So how do you explain their use on stamps issued by the USSR? One commemorates Luna 3, the space probe which took pictures of the far side of the moon on the 7th of October, 1959. The date on the stamp is given as "7.X.1959". Here's the link: [2]. Another honors Salvado Allende, who died on the 11th of September, 1973 [3] and the date is given as 11.IX.1973. I'd call that being used in print. Also the wikipedia article Roman_numerals states:

In Italy, Poland, Russia, Central Europe, and in Portuguese, Romanian and Serbian languages, mixed Roman and Arabic numerals are used to record dates (usually on tombstones, but also elsewhere, such as in formal letters and official documents). Just as an old clock recorded the hour by Roman numerals while the minutes were measured in Arabic numerals, the month is written in Roman numerals while the day is in Arabic numerals: 14-VI-1789 is 14 June 1789. This is how dates are inscribed on the walls of the Kremlin, for example. This method has the advantage that days and months are not confused in rapid note-taking, and that any range of days or months can be expressed without confusion. For instance, V-VIII is May to August, while 1-V-31-VIII is May 1 to August 31.

So, it would appear that these two articles do not agree with each other. (talk) 16:23, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


Why is that my Irish teacher always uses the US order? (mm/dd/yyyy) Is it just him? Ferike333 (talk) 10:24, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

He is obviously insane. Or perhaps he is one of those Americans who claims to be Irish because his great-great grandfather once visited County Donegal. Bazonka (talk) 18:25, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
He was unusual, but wouldn't really say insane :p In fact, he still lives in Cork, Ireland. But it could have been something we might have asked him in American order, and he answered in that as well. I just thought they use it differently, too. Ferike333 (talk) 19:54, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Redundant section?

The section called "localized date pattern" seemed out of place and redundant. Could someone explain its existance prior to removal?--Huaiwei (talk) 14:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Expressing dates in spoken English

"12/12/09 is sometimes pronounced 12 December 9 and other times 12 December 9."

As a non-native speaker, I cannot tell the difference between 12 December 9 and 12 December 9. Maybe someone in the know could elaborate. (talk) 07:21, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Good catch! That looks like a mistake. It should probably read "12/12/09 is sometimes pronounced twelve December 9 and other times twelfth December 9." But we really need an Australian to clear it up for sure! For example, do they really just say "nine" for the year, when us Yanks pronounce it "oh nine" or "two thousand nine"? I've no idea. Indeterminate (talk) 10:52, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

As an Australian (who has travelled around the country quite a bit) I have yet to ever hear or see in any sort of speech or publication "12 December 9." I have no idea where this comes from. We would tend to speak of dates in the same manner as the UK, i.e. in formal prose write "the twelfth of December, 2009" (which is equally how it would be said) and casually write 12/12/2009 or 12/12/09. In casual speech, Australians would say "the twelfth of December, oh nine." quintavalle (talk) 18:50, 29 September 2009 (UTC)quintavalle

A note should be added that in the UK, in spoken English, it is common to drop the century, so we'd say "12 December 1997" as "twelve of December ninety-seven". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

As a native British-English speaker, I'd challenge the notion that it's typically British to write "7 December 2009". We're just as likely to write "7th December 2009". I think dropping the "th" came in with Microsoft Word, so presumably that's an American influence. In any case, we'd be very unlikely to say "twelve December"; "the twelfth of December" is much more British. As I say, I don't have citations for any of this, but as a native speaker, the text as it stands doesn't strike me as very well researched. Dominic Cronin (talk) 17:10, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Kenya uses both?

Does anyone have a citation for that? Neither citation given supports this idea, plus it seems rather absurd. No one would know what any date meant. Would 8/7/09 be Aug. 7th? Or July 8th? Mystylplx (talk) 02:26, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Been looking and can't find a single reference to Kenya using middle endian other than this wikipedia page. The citation given on the page leads to a Microsoft page, which doesn't say anything about date formats, and wouldn't count as an authoritative source even if it did. All the examples on Kenyan sites I could find use little endian. This point will be getting some controversy since the latest Kenyan BC for Obama uses middle endian dates, and as I said, this wikipedia page seems to be the sole source on the internet claiming Kenya uses that format. Just a heads up. Mystylplx (talk) 05:03, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

There looks to have been an error on the map, as Kenya is listed within the article as using DD/MM/YYYY and YY/MM/DD but the map suggests that they use DD/MM/YYYY and MM/DD/YYYY. The error appears to have been introduced on the 28th October by Kwamikagami (possibly before other citations were introduced).--Koncorde (talk) 23:30, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
They had been listed as using mm/dd/yyyy previously, but not yyyy/mm/dd. I looked for citations of them using mm/dd/yyyy, but was unable to find any, however during the search I did find a citation for them using yyyy/mm/dd, so I added that and removed the mm/dd/yyyy one. The map is just generally a mess. Lots of the color coding (not just Kenya) doesn't match the text. Mystylplx (talk) 01:37, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Kenya has used (and continues to use) both Little Endian and Middle Endian date formats. You can easily verify this by going to an official Kenyan government website. There are numerous announcements and reports there where both Little Endian and Middle Endian are used. Mystylplx is also known to run around and shill for Obama - so this is why Mystylyplx has been so insistent on changing the Wikipedia entry.
Let's let the court system decide the authenticity of the Kenyan Birth Certificate - and let's try to stop making political edits to Wikipedia in an effort to advance your version of a story, mmmmmkay Mystylplx? FuPeg (talk) 05:47, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Wow, do we have an actual birther in our midst? And I didn't think such people would be literate. But it makes sense that you'd appear as a sockpuppet. kwami (talk) 06:10, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Wow. I posted this on the talk page, got no response for a week before I took it out of the mm/dd/yy column. I suppose that's being "insistent" according to some standards... And now you've changed it in the dd/mm/yy section, but didn't add it back to the mm/dd/yy section. Go figure. Mystylplx (talk) 07:10, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
If believing our President should release his college transcripts (and in this case a simple long form birth certificate) and other relevant records rather than hide them away from the public makes me a 'birther' - then yes I am a 'birther'. This refusal to release any documentation at all is unprecedented - and if it doesn't raise at least a bit of curiosity on your part then I feel sorry for you. You have lost the ability to think objectively.
I guess if I edited Wikipedia routinely for political purposes that WOULDN'T make me a sock puppet. Signing up to simply correct a political edit by a proven partisan shill obviously means I am a sock puppet, apparently.FuPeg (talk) 09:25, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Assuming Kenya can be verified as using little & big, but not middle, what other errors are there on the map? If you can list them here, I'll be happy to fix the map. (Many of our refs, however, are MS standards sites. IMO such countries should be left blank.) kwami (talk) 06:13, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

My guess is most every country probably uses any and all at least some of the time, except for the short numerical formats mm/dd/yy and dd/mm/yy which have to be standardized or no one would know what a date would mean. Unfortunately the article seems to use those, at least some of the time, as a shorthand for for any short, middle or little endian formats. I.e, it looks like the article equates dd/mm/yy as little endian in general rather than just little endian short numerical format. It also seems to me the article should more correctly be titled 'Date Formats' rather than 'Calender Date' since that's what it's almost entirely about. In short, I'm thinking the article has bigger problems than just fixing the map would solve. At the least I'd say the map needs to better specify exactly what is meant--are we saying these are the short numerical formats in use (as it seems to indicate)? Or does it apply to long formats as well? Mystylplx (talk) 07:10, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Well 'your guess' is not a valid reason to make a change to Wikipedia. You have made a change based on no evidence and no source. Your initial claim of 'Been looking and can't find a single reference to Kenya using middle endian other than this wikipedia page' is ridiculous. shows several speeches where middle endian dating is used (eg: Nairobi, September 08, 2009 President Kibaki effects changes in the Public Service). We have MONTH DATE, YEAR. That is middle endian.
Your claim is false.
...and Kwamikagami - Mystylplx isn't interested in any other errors. Mystylplx is a known Obama shill who uses the internet to spread 0bot propaganda and edit Wikipedia simply because Mystylplx is afraid that Kenya using middle endian date formats somehow validates a Kenyan Birth Certificate he desperately hopes is a forgery. Mystylplyx is currently harrassing a plaintiff in an Obama eligibility case (has been doing so for about a month now) - and this editing of Kenya's Calender Date format is an effort to that end.FuPeg (talk) 09:25, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Why so personal? If anything we now have evidence of obvious bias from both sides, if that is your assertion.--Koncorde (talk) 22:42, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Both sides? There's still no citation for Kenya using middle endian numerical short format AND little endian numerical at the same time. For obvious reasons that is not possible. And the majority of citations for all the countries are from computer programming sites. Also, computer generated dates from a website (such as are automatically generated following "Posted On:") are not an authoritative citation of what real people use.
As for his accusations--the guy's a nutjob. I debated him off and on for a week on youtube and it becomes "harassment" for "about a month now." Check my contribs and you'll see it's hardly true that all I do are political articles. Not even close. Mystylplx (talk) 23:38, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Nutcases aside,
(and since when would being born in Kenya make any difference anyway? McCain was born in Panama for Christ's sake, and the same nonsense arose during the campaign among the left wingnuts, but the Democratic party was a bit more mature about it than our poor excuse for a Republican party has been. No, Obama must be one o' them thar fernerz, cuz he don't look lahk us--racism pure and simple)
yes, this article is about numerical formats, not every order that a verbal date may take. The US is almost exclusively middle-endian (not counting a few technical specifications), regardless of the fact that all sorts of orders are used when dates are spelled out. kwami (talk) 00:52, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
This is why I think it should be renamed. Perhaps numerical date formats or something similar. And there has to be a more authoritative source than programming sites and examples of computer generated dates on web pages. I note that, in the case of Kenya, Microsoft does seem to think they use mm/dd/yy, at least for Swahili. If you set your Windows computers internationalization settings to Swahili that's how it formats dates. Out of curiosity I emailed the Office of Communications in Kenya and asked them. Their answer was that they use "British style" (their wording). I know that counts as original research, but it shows that Microsoft is not an authoritative source and also may explain why some computer generated dates from Kenyan websites use mm/dd/yyyy. I'm guessing Kenya is not the only one they either got wrong or incomplete.
The problem is I haven't been able to find an authoritative reference on this topic. The rest of the web seems to be using this wikipedia page as an authoritative reference. Mystylplx (talk) 20:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Programing sites as citations?

It looks like most of the citations are from computer programming sites. I don't think those count as an authoritative reference for anything other than, well, computer programming. Mystylplx (talk) 06:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Correct. It would seem that they chose one format as representative, regardless of what's done on the ground. kwami (talk) 01:49, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
If this refers to the Microsoft and IBM sites, these represent the collected i18n/L10n wisdom of two worldwide giants. For Microsoft, this represents Windows defaults for national users and does not merely represent "computer programming". Microsoft's information on this should be considered fairly mature after all these years and worldwide sales of Windows. Same goes for IBM which has been doing i18n/L10n much longer. As such, these would seem reasonable secondary sources which give a reasonable assessment of common formats in each nation. Of course, references should be added from government usage and style guides where these can be found. Dl2000 (talk) 02:50, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
But there are cases where they're clearly wrong. Generally, if a country uses more than one system, MS and IBM will pick one and ignore the other. They aren't interested in documenting what is used, but in standardisation. kwami (talk) 06:15, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
A company the size of Microsoft is bigger than a lot of countries. If they get it wrong it's just as likely a small country would simply use whatever format Microsoft thinks they use, for computer purposes, and continue using whatever they are accustomed to for everything else. People are pretty flexible in that way, and Microsoft has a reputation of being pretty inflexible. It's not as if a small country has a lot of bargaining power, and once MS has coded it one way it's a lot of work to change it (including backwards compatibility, etc.) In either case a computer programming site isn't an authoritative citation for what date formats are commonly used in other countries. Mystylplx (talk) 23:45, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

UNIX time

I suggest the original author shows the standard UNIX time stamp i.e. Sat, 08 Nov 2003 19:00:00 -0500

This disambiguates for the concurrent GMT. The UNIX reference is especially appropriate as the term "endian" is used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jerrywickey (talkcontribs) 02:37, 28 September 2011 (UTC)


This sentence doesn't make sense:

For instance, 12/12/09 is sometimes pronounced 12 December 9 and other times 12 December 9.

Both pronunciation guides are identical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Elderly ways of using dates

I would like to know about older ways of writing dates. I have a book e.g. that says "19 III a. 13/14" and understand nothing, that kind of information on this page would be useful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Pearl Harbor reference

Could something less politically charged than the Pearl Harbor attack be referenced in the introduction? Another alternative that I can directly think of involve e.g. the birth of a great scientist. If not that, some other worldly event of global importance, preferably with positive connotations. (talk) 14:03, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Month and year

I miss a section about dates that leave out the day, e.g. "12/2010" vs. "2010-12". This should be included into this article. (talk) 08:07, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Binary Representation (computer) - what about all the other OS?

I'm slightly bemused by the sole entry in this section referring exlusively to iOS. Are all other OS dead already? (talk) 09:41, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


Currently there are several articles almost entirely composed of various date notations -- various ways to say or write or otherwise specify some particular day.

I suggest we merge together -- into one or two articles -- some or all of: "calendar date", "date and time notation", "date (metadata)", "date format by country", and "ISO 8601 usage". --DavidCary (talk) 17:01, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Popularity of formats

In the article, I stated:

"The most popular format is YYYY-MM-DD (e.g., 1999-05-31), which is the international standard, followed roughly by DD/MM/YYYY. However, the class of middle-endian formats (day, then month, then year; including D/M/YYYY, DD.MM.YYYY, etc.) is a lot more popular than the class of all other formats (including YYYY-MM-DD, MM/DD/YYYY, etc.)."

An editor thought that this statement is contradictory (in addition to not being directly sourced).

Here I give an explanation for this statement, and give some references.

On the popularity of various date formats, I calculated rough statistics based on the list of countries by population and date format by country articles and various other country-articles and external sources for which the date format by country article is incomplete (for some countries, the article tells the endianness of the country's format, but not the full format itself). I ended up with:

1. YYYY-MM-DD — >1.6 billion users (the greatest contributor to this statistic is China)
2. DD/MM/YYYY — <1.5 billion users
3. DD-MM-YYYY — <1.5 billion users (the greatest contributor to this statistic is India)

Others formats are even less popular. (Note: DD/MM/YYYY is slightly more popular than DD-MM-YYYY.)

However, if we combine all little-endian date formats (DD/MM/YYYY, DD-MM-YYYY, DD.MM.YYYY, D/M/YY and so on), then that gives a format class that has a popularity of >4 billion. Since there are only 7 billion people, by necessity, any other format class, that does not include any little-endian format, must have a popularity of <3 billion. So this is true even for the class of all non-little-endian formats.

Unfortunately, I could not find a raw statement that "the 2nd most popular format is DD/MM/YYYY"; but a source that is already referenced, contains:

"[The YYYY-MM-DD format] is identical to the Chinese date notation, so the largest cultural group (>25%) on this planet is already familiar with it.",[1]

which we can translate to "the YYYY-MM-DD is the most popular format (or at least was in 2004)". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:58, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

The Microsoft source that supports the claim for China in the "Date format by country" article indicates several different formats, which makes one wonder about the Kuhn source. I'm inclined to think the Chinese tend to use numerical dates and the order year, month, day, but I'm not persuaded about the form with the dash as the separator being most popular.
In many English speaking countries, there is mixed use of a numeral for the month or a word for the month; I'm not sure what the balance is between words and numerals in other countries. But this fact prevents you from simply assuming that, for example, mm/dd/yyyy is the favorite format of 300 million Americans. Perhaps 50 million prefer month dd, yyyy and 20 million prefer dd month yyyy. Unless someone has done a poll, we don't know. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:00, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I think the problem with our IP editor's comments lie in the words "... I calculated rough statistics..." That is synthesis, and hence not acceptable here. As Jc3s%h points out, creating such "rough statistics" involves making a lot of assumptions. I could make a whole different bunch of assumptions and come up with very different numbers. There really is no point trying to include this content. HiLo48 (talk) 01:08, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps Kuhn is a root source.
Perhaps "all-numeric" should have been added for clarity, to exclude long and intermediate formats.
By rough statistics, I mean that I first considered the countries with the most population (for China, I assumed YYYY-MM-DD, for India, I assumed DD-MM-YYYY, and for Brazil, I assumed DD/MM/YYYY), and added into consideration smaller countries, until it was apparent that the YYYY-MM-DD format's popularity-lead would not be broken, even if the non-considered countries all used the DD/MM/YYYY format. I stopped counting at about 1.7 billion for YYYY-MM-DD, 1.4 billion for DD/MM/YYYY, 1.3 billion for DD-MM-YYYY, less for various other formats, and much less for "the non-considered class of formats". However, if "some" people in China modify the format slightly, then we can also say the same regarding the other most significant contributors: India and Brazil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 15 June 2013 (UTC)