why is it 22/6/02 in the uK and 6/22/02 in the USA?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    In other words, does anyone know why the UK and USA differ in expressing the date in numerical form? With respect to our American cousins, the UK system of d/m/y does seem more logical in that it gives the figures in ascending order of size of unit.
     
  2. isobel meldar

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    i'm not sure how it is across the pond, but in the states i assume it has to do with the way we give dates verbally. if i were to ask someone what the date is today, the response would be June 22nd, 2002, which corresponds with the numerical 6/22/02. .
     
  3. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    I think Isobel hit the nail on the head. [​IMG]
     
  4. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    well, in the U.S. military and in communications, we use the U.K. style -- today is 22JUN02.
     
  5. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    It's also cool how they give the time in England. Example: See you at half seven (vs seven thirty).
     
  6. andrew markworthy

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  7. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    That is like saying why British and American spellings are different, which had to deal with the fact that spellings were standardized in England in the mid-18th century. The first English dictionary was published during that century. Anyways, it would be strange if an American said 11th September for September 11th.
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Don't forget, we like being different [​IMG]
    Though you Brits wouldn't think of ordering a half liter would you? [​IMG]
     
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    And in Sweden dates are normally given as year-month-day (descending order), that is today is 02-06-22. I agree that ascending or descending order makes more sense than the US system.

    /Mike
     
  10. Rob_J

    Rob_J Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure, but isn't there a date standard or something?
    ...and no, I'm not talking about metric time[​IMG]
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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    In answer to a couple of the above responses - I know you guys like being different, and though it galls a patriotic Brit to say it, in many cases you end up with a better, or at least more pragmatic solution than us Brits. However, this is one case which is so (dare I say it) un-American in its illogicality that I wondered why you do it. What I guess I'm trying to say is that you'd expect the Brits to have the US system (because of some edict by Hereward the Wake or some such ancient personage) and the Americans the Brit system (probably created about the same time you decided you'd have dollars instead of pounds, shillings and pence).
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I do a lot of international patent filing through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). www.wipo.int/pct/en/index.html You really have to be careful about date formats there or risk legal malpractice. It is mandatory to use the day/month/year format, either written as 22/6/02 or as 22 June 2002. It's usually safer to use the format with the month spelled out in the middle.
    Even American teachers of English prefer the "month in the middle" format. See for example Strunk & White "The Elements of Style."
    This format is also very useful in dating computer files, because no delimiters are required, e.g. 22jun02. This uses the minimum of characters, the alpha characters serving as their own delimiter.
     
  13. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Day-month-year is most common all over Europe. In my language one would say (the equivalent of): "it's 22 June 2002 today" - and we write it accordingly.
    The metric system is another case, IMO. I think it was standardized in most parts of Europe by Napoleon Bonaparte (like driving on the right side of the road was) - and England and Sweden weren't under Napolean rule by then. BTW: people used to travel on the left side of the road before, because that would keep your sword-arm (most people are right-handed) to the open side. Napoleon wanted to be "different".
    I agree that the Americans, having to decide some standards later, had an opportunity to make a better choice and took that chance in a lot of cases. Why they differ from the UK now and then may also have been influenced by other country's descendants being involved (like the Dutch, for instance [​IMG] ).
    Cees
     
  14. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

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    Rob:

    There are many standards for the date. For example, Japan does a year-month-day setting, while the US and England have their own standards.

    John.
     
  15. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    It's obvious what the date is when you use 22/6/02 or 6/22/02.

    It is not quite so clear when you use 6/7/02 or 7/6/02. Whenever I am dealing with anyone outside the US I always spell out the full date (in business letters, etc.)
     
  16. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Andrew, the only answer I have for you there is one I used several years back in a discussion about why we spell Brasil with a Z
     
  17. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    To ask a reason why we Americans want to be different, is like asking why teenagers want to be different as well. If we have the same ideas, same culture, etc. the world would be a very dull and unoriginal place.

    Diversity is the spice of life.
     
  18. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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