Re: Date format query

Subject: Re: Date format query
From: "Eric L. Dunn" <edunn -at- TRANSPORT -dot- BOMBARDIER -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:50:21 -0400

When I originally answered this thread, I was talking from my perspective
as an English Montrealer and not as someone from England. So sorry, but I
was not incorrect.
Throughout high school I had to juggle different date formats to suit my
teachers. More often, I spelt them out fully. As a Canadian/ex-patriot Scot
living in a a commonwealth country I have been exposed to both Scottish,
British, Canadian, and American English (and in that order and importance)
as well as Quebecois French (how many English speakers out there use
Depanneur in their regular speech? Not asking you Geoff ;-) .).
I find it amazing the number of people who are so uptight about which
English I was referring to () without looking at either what the thread was
originally about or without looking at what my conclusion was. Heaven
forbid I mix British with American, it's almost as bad as the OLF (if you
don't know, don't ask). If people paid attention, and a couple did, I came
out against both the MM-DD-YY and DD-MM-YY formats, they both depend on
whether you are in the habit of saying "the 2nd of March" or "March 2nd" or
even "le 2 mars". Our role as technical writers is not to tell others what
PROPER English is but to find the best way to communicate with the largest
required audience. So could we stop the discussion about which English is
right or which side of the pond gets things wrong? Both sides are perfectly
right (Even if one does drive on the wrong side of the road..... <g>).
This thread has missed the boat as concerns the original question, which
was whether there were any internationally recognised standards and what
they were. The best standard is YY-MM-DD (or YYYY) as it meets ISO norms
(and your company MUST use it if you want to remain ISO compliant) and it
sorts in proper chronological order. I believe the initial problem was that
the company in question was international and wanted to settle the issue of
which format to use.

Eric L. Dunn

P.S.: This wasn't the first I received saying I was wrong, so if no ill was
intended, none was taken. It was just the straw that broke the camels back.

>>You are incorrect. English (not American) puts the date the 2 March
>>2000 as 02-03-01.
>> To us here and in the UK and other British Commonwealth countries it
>>seems logical to go from the specific to the general instead of
>>mixing it up as Americans do.

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