# Dates

Sun 31 Jan, 2010 08:20 pm
Why do Americans generalisation measure their callendar with the month coming before the day but still end with the year?
This is logically wrong, day comes before month.

Fido

Sun 31 Jan, 2010 09:50 pm
@sometime sun,
Moving to the specific from the general is wrong??? Why don't we tell everyone the minute first and the hour second???

jgweed

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 10:52 am
@sometime sun,
It is a matter of preference and tradition, just as is using inches,feet, and yards in preference to centimeters and meters, using AM/PM instead of a 24-hour clock. There is nothing "logically" wrong with different methods, just as there is nothing "logically" wrong with calling a particular object a mesa or a table.

Zetherin

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 10:59 am
@sometime sun,
He meant that it's not logical in the sense that Americans use Month/Day/Year, instead of going from the general to specific (Year/Month/Day), or specific to general (Day/Month/Year). You'd think that it would be logical in this sense. Not that it's wrong, whatever that means.

TickTockMan

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 10:59 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;123962 wrote:
Why do Americans generalisation measure their callendar with the month coming before the day but still end with the year?
This is logically wrong, day comes before month.

Not all of us do. I generally write the date out as 1 Feb. '10, for instance. Unless it's not the first of February, of course. Then I write whatever date it is. Unless I'm confused. Then I don't know what I'll write. Who could?

Pyrrho

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 12:56 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;123962 wrote:
Why do Americans generalisation measure their callendar with the month coming before the day but still end with the year?
This is logically wrong, day comes before month.

Why do you drive on the left side of the road? It is customary. Logic has nothing to do with it.

Zetherin

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 01:12 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;124143 wrote:
Why do you drive on the left side of the road? It is customary. Logic has nothing to do with it.

Of course he wasn't meaning that it has anything to do with formal logic, or the study of inference or syllogism. Sometimes people use the word "logical" synonymously with "reasonable" or "consistent" or "ordered". For instance, people say things like, "The decision to do X was a logical course of action" or "That's not a logical order". In regards to this post, he just means the way Americans write dates is not following an order from a smaller unit to larger, or a larger unit to smaller.

And not every norm is arbitrary, or without reason, as you seem to imply (I got this impression because you use the example of driving on the left side of the road, a norm which, on the surface, doesn't seem to have any good reason for being this way). There are often good reasons for why things are the way they are, and many may even refer to some of these good reasons as being logical.

Jebediah

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:06 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;123962 wrote:
Why do Americans generalisation measure their callendar with the month coming before the day but still end with the year?
This is logically wrong, day comes before month.

Because today is February first. 2/1. We don't usually say "the first of February".

Pepijn Sweep

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:14 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;124168 wrote:
Because today is February first. 2/1. We don't usually say "the first of February".

In Amsterdam we say it's the first, assuming the other knows it's februari:detective:

Zetherin

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:39 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;124168 wrote:
Because today is February first. 2/1. We don't usually say "the first of February".

I think that's a good reason for why things are the way they are in this case - language. I may be mistaken, but I think it is more common for Europeans who use the D/M/Y format to say "the first of February".

Pepijn Sweep wrote:

In Amsterdam we say it's the first, assuming the other knows it's februari:detective:

But in Amsterdam, assuming the person didn't know the month, would you say it's "the first of february"?

Pepijn Sweep

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 03:09 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;124176 wrote:
I think that's a good reason for why things are the way they are in this case - language. I may be mistaken, but I think it is more common for Europeans who use the D/M/Y format to say "the first of February".

But in Amsterdam, assuming the person didn't know the month, would you say it's "the first of february"?

Yes, even to Americans. Or Chinese. We think Gregorian calender.:surrender::surrender:

Zetherin

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 03:17 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep;124189 wrote:
Yes, even to Americans. Or Chinese. We think Gregorian calender.:surrender::surrender:

As I thought.

So it very well might be tied into language. That's really cool to think about.

Pepijn Sweep

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 03:35 pm
@sometime sun,
Like the expression Once in a blue moon we don+t have in Dutch.

TickTockMan

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 04:07 pm
Zetherin;124212 wrote:
Me thinks that has to do with order, as much of military procedure does. And military time even makes more sense, I think, because it eliminates the need to specify a.m. or p.m..

Though I'm way too accustomed to our a.m./p.m. format to ever change!

Yes. The military does like things to be orderly. I have some military-type friends. They can be very . . . hmmm . . . let's say specific about how things are done.

Zetherin

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 04:11 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;124214 wrote:
Yes. The military does like things to be orderly. I have some military-type friends. They can be very . . . hmmm . . . let's say specific about how things are done.

A strong advocation of discipline and precision - nothing wrong with that I suppose!

Pepijn Sweep

Mon 1 Feb, 2010 04:13 pm
:detective:
Zetherin;124212 wrote:
Me thinks that has to do with order, as much of military procedure does. And military time even makes more sense, I think, because it eliminates the need to specify a.m. or p.m..

Though I'm way too accustomed to our a.m./p.m. format to ever change!

HexHammer

Wed 17 Mar, 2010 08:12 am
@sometime sun,
If anything should be logically, it should me YYYY, MM, DD, that allows faster access to things. I'v played Age of Kings a strategy game, and keeping track of 1200+ files is a total mess when it's sorted with DD, MM, YYYY.

Zetherin

Wed 17 Mar, 2010 08:16 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;140555 wrote:
If anything should be logically, it should me YYYY, MM, DD, that allows faster access to things. I'v played Age of Kings a strategy game, and keeping track of 1200+ files is a total mess when it's sorted with DD, MM, YYYY.

You're talking about recorded games, right?

Man, I was a big Conquerors fan.

kennethamy

Wed 17 Mar, 2010 08:21 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;123962 wrote:
Why do Americans generalisation measure their callendar with the month coming before the day but still end with the year?
This is logically wrong, day comes before month.

In German, and in French, people say, "One-and-twenty", rather than "twenty-one" as in English. And in England and Japan, people drive on the left, rather than on the right, as in America and France.

Krumple

Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:20 am
@sometime sun,
Americans just want to do everything different than the rest of the world.

I use the date interchangeably. Sometimes I might say the day first then the month. It depends on the context and how the conversation goes. But typically for all documents both legal and not, it is usually customary to write the month first followed by the day, although there have been some cases where it was switched.

I personally don't care what method is used. Just as long as the meaning can be understood that is all that really matters anyways.