Wednesday, July 03, 2013

It's all in the timing

There is America and then there is the rest of the world and America, a dominant world culture, insists on using an odd to the rest of the world date format. It drives me crazy and it can make it so difficult when trying to work out dates.

Is this the 6th of November?


No, apparently not, it is the 11th of June.


In America it would read 06/11/13.
In Australia and much of the world it would be 11/06/13.

There now seems to be a world standard and it has been embraced by the BBC and our ABC, written like this, 20130611. But for heavens sake America, get with the rest of the world for the less formal time expression. It is in order you know, smallest to largest, dd/mm/yyyy.

And while I am at it, my virus checker did a summer update and was labelled as such, right in the middle of our winter.  Americas cultural imperialism knows no bounds.

But of course I do have an American standard clock and I do have an American virus checker and they were my choice because they suited.

My work operates with a twenty four hour time clock. I have come to learn 24 hour time, in fact I instantly know 24 hour time, especially before noon (insert emoticon with quizzical eyebrows).  It is useful to know and leads to much less confusion than using am and pm.

Using a 24 hour clock removes another issue, 12 noon, which seems to be expressed now as 12 pm, but I just won't wear that at all. It is either 12 noon or 12 midnight. Care to meet for coffee at 14.00 on 06/11? I do like to plan in advance. Of course I would just say two o'clock. I don't do coffee at 2am. In fact I don't do 2am at all.

World matters are troublesome enough. Why do we have time issues?

22 comments:

  1. You are so right, if I lived in America I would never be ready on time maybe not even the right day.
    Merle........

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    1. Very confusing Merle. Wrong day for sure.

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  2. It's a very insular country... our way or no way type of thing. On one hand I admire their sense of patriotism, however misguided sometimes, but they really should align themselves with the rest of the world, especially with the date format - you're quite right!

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    1. Craig, I am not so keen on American patriotism. I rather like the way the English describe their country, gone to the dogs.

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  3. Hi Andrew

    All true but it would be good if there were a universal international emergency telephone number. I'd be for it being 911 - not so easy for a toddler to accidentally dial and memorable for the Mary J Blige/Wyclef Jean song.

    xxx

    Pants

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    1. Pants, naturally I favour 000, but your point about accidentally dialling is valid. I thought you would favour 999, equally easy to for a toddler to misdial. The international standard is 112, but 911 would be ok, as a trade off if the US fixes it date.

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  4. @Merlesworld; if you lived in America you'd be used to that system, so you would be on time and on the right day etc.

    I'm kind of used to it now, I check all dates just to be sure and generally don't make any mistakes. But it is annoying that I have to do this.
    I agree with Pants that there should be a universal emergency number.

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    1. River, I am the kind of person who checks, double checks and then checks again. I wish I wasn't.

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  5. wibbly wobbly timey wimey

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    1. Fen, while I know you don't drink, that does not make sense, but I can do something with it.

      Wibbly wobbly timey wimey.
      Fen is drunk from winey winey.

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    2. I heard that on TV recently and now can't remember what show I was watching. That's going to bug me for days...

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  6. I am with you all the way on this one. I've found it incredibly confusing.

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    1. Fun60, I suppose you have been Stateside. It must be difficult when travelling there, or booking travel at least.

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  7. I agree - we need to get with the program over here :-)

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    1. It would be quite helpful Keith but I doubt it will happen.

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  8. The United States seems to adopt opposite conventions to most of the world almost as a matter of pride. (Or is it principle?)

    In team sporting events almost all the world as far as I am aware records the contest as home team versus away team (e.g. Collingwood v Essendon means Collingwood is the home team and Essendon is the away team).

    Not so in the United States. They record the away team first versus the home team. So, New York Yankees v New York Mets means the Yankees are playing away at the home team, the Mets. It has a certain sporting poetry but why do it differently?

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    1. I am not sure Victor, but much of American language differences seem to hone back to the UK when the big immigration happened. The US kept the language of the time.

      I had not noticed the sporting matter. It seems to go against basic expression.

      Queer folk, for sure.

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  9. Like yourself Andrew the 24 hour clock is super clear...until 12 midday :) I think I may be on the American spell check thing too, but when I use words like harbour and realise and the red line appears underneath there's no way I'm changing them to harbor or realize , that's just wrong :)))

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    1. Grace, Australia is a small country so maybe it is not realistic to expect software companies to cater to us, but there should always be the UK English option, which helps us.

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  10. America will do what America wants (whether that be right or wrong I'm just not sure) and if the rest of the world doesn't like it, America just says tough luck!
    Anyway, I do wish they would use metric in the U.S., though I can see it ever changing, it would be seen as a socialist plot or something like that.

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    1. Ian, because of its size and importance, it can say tough luck. It may not always be that way in the future. Worse than America not changing to metric, we are going backwards with metric because of America.

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