Tuesday, June 18, 2019

And the date is?

I recently came across a couple of interesting maps. The first I found on a Twitter thread by Michael Donohoe in which he says "Comprehensive map of countries which use the date format (in red) MM DD YYYY". Areas in white use DD MM YYYY or YYYY MM DD.


As you can see from the map, it is only one country that uses the MM DD YYYY and even then I believe the military use the DD MM YYYY (That could be dangerous with #45 in charge of the buttons). Does in matter? Oh yes, it certainly does. 09/10/2019 to most of the world is the ninth of October. To the US it is tenth of September.

More than once when booking holidays I have become alarmed when the date format was different and thought I had made a grave error.

If the US doesn't want to fall into step with the rest of the world it could at least use YYYY MM DD, which is used in some parts of the world. There is no confusion here because as soon as you see the year first, you known that is followed by the month and date.

One tweeter said it is map of countries using the right date format. A follow up tongue in cheek reply was, Can't believe how the world could be so wrong and so stubborn about it.

As another wit in the Twitter thread said, it also is comprehensive map of countries that put a man on the moon.

Another said it is a comprehensive map of countries that use zip codes, rather than postal codes.

I'll save the other pillory the US map for another day. You might guess what it is about though. Sorry you US people, I know you can't individually change what you are very used to.

Later: I have since learnt that it is terrible mess in Canada, with both formats being used. I am sure a Canadian will explain.

32 comments:

  1. Sigh. I have more than once done a double take at that date anomaly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, the worst of it is that it can sometimes be obvious but other times not.

      Delete
  2. I didn't realise only one country adopted that method.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie, you must have struck problems with the date format at times.

      Delete
  3. I'll admit, I never thought of it. I just normally expect
    YYYY MM DD or DDMM YYYY make sense to me.
    Canadian passports actually spell out the month, but it's still between the day and year.
    YYYY/MM/DD Ontario driver's licenses and health cards.

    I hate seeing MM DD YYYY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, if there is to be a standard I think YYYY/MM/DD is the way to go.

      Delete
  4. Seeing as I live in the offending country, what can I say? I understand all the different ways, as much of Jack's correspondence is used with military date and time. Otherwise I would write June 17, 2019 It's prettier that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right about it being prettier Maribeth.

      Delete
  5. Oh the times I/we've had to double check - for us it's just automatic to write dd/mm/yyyy.
    Time also can be 12hr clock or 24hr clock - we understand both.
    Now ask me how far a mile is and I would have to admit I've forgotten.....hangs head in shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, yes, if you travel you have to be careful. While I know the 24 hour clock well, one of R's relatives didn't and turned up in Paris for 13.30 flight at 3pm. I haven't really forgotten the a mile is 1.6km. But I am sure you can still go an extra mile, walk a mile in someone's shoes and think something is miles aways.

      Delete
  6. Yes, Canadians use both methods. We inherited systems from the UK, the US, and France. The format is not uniform even for forms; you have to be careful to look at the instructions to see which part of the date goes in which box. I still use month/day/year for general personal use; it's how we did it in school and I didn't realize until your post how out of date I am!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, once you learn a certain way it is hard to change. I guess you have to adjust to the circumstances, but the two basic formats can be very confusing.

      Delete
  7. I had a comment here and my laptop turned itself off, which has been happening a lot lately. Does this mean I need a new one? Yikes! Luckily, when I turn it back on, it comes right back to whatever page I was on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, but the comment was gone :( I think your lappy is pretty old now.

      Delete
    2. It turned off before I could click on publish, happened twice more yesterday, I was p***ed off for sure.

      Delete
  8. One of the most important dates in recent history, 9/11, is of course really 11/9; but try to get an American to understand that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, made worse by me confusing 9/11 with 711 stores. I think 9/11 was when I noticed the difference, some many years ago now.

      Delete
  9. There are 193 countries in the world and 192 put the date correctly! 190 countries in the world use metric, not Imperial (Liberia, Myanmar and the United States of America)! Imagine a plane flying outside its own borders and not understanding control orders from the ground :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice work Hels. You guessed what will come in the next map post. The first two are rubbish countries and not important. The latter is.

      Delete
  10. It really is a right proper mess to a lot of people, more so those dealing with the USA, and for some reason so many people adopt this dating system - I don't, I use ours in the white area of the map.
    Would certainly be a delima for many when booking flights or whatever...pity the red area didn't conform to the rest of the world - but pigs might fly on that one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret, I think you are right about pigs might fly. But at least if officialdom in the US who work in the international area uses YYYYMMDD, that will be ok. We don't want to inflict our culture on the people of the US!

      Delete
    2. And why not? They're trying hard enough to inflict theirs on us. It started with KFC and Macca's, then super-sizing and just look how many specialty BBQ sauces etc are in some shops. I'd take my camera to Woolies, but the manager might toss me out on my ear...

      Delete
  11. It can be confusing, I use the day month year system and that's the way it will stay, bit of a drag when others can't get it right 😁😁

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, can't get it right, haha.

      Delete
  12. The Philippines also uses the month/day/year, probably because the States occupied their country for many years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sami, along with American accents.

      Delete
  13. I had no idea. On behalf of my countrymen I apologize for causing so much confusion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirk, there is nothing anyone can do personally. I suppose it would have to come from business and government.

      Delete
  14. I must confess to using both formats. I use day , month, year on all my cat records but month, day, year where required. Flexibility requires some common sense, however, to be sure your date is correct when you really need to know the date accurately. Most of the time, I like to be in the dark about what day or month or year it really is. Old age will do that to a person. Freedom from!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer, you make my head hurt with your dual usage. Kind of nice though to not know the date.

      Delete
  15. I never know what day it is!!!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee, I'm sure you do. Maybe not the date though.

      Delete