How and when did the practice of writing the date with the month shown before the day originate (5/13/05 instead of 13/5/05) and why?
It seems to be more common in the USA than other countries but as with most things American it is now spreading.
Vic, great minds have pondered such questions:
I checked a few other sites, all of them said it's what the United States DOES but no real clue as to when it started.
One explanation was that Americans tend to SAY March 13th as opposed to the 13th of March but that could be circular reasoning (we say it because thats how it's written)
I have a receipt for a barrel of flour from Baltimore MD and the date is 22 May 1809
However, the Declaration of Independence clearly states July 4 1776, but we all say the 4th of July
Post Edited (05-12-05 23:17)
Interesting that the MLA, Modern Language Associates, considered the bible for scholarly research articles, uses the day, month, year. See samples here:
Here's a variant on the question.....when did the practice of NOT writing the month-name start?
when did it become all numbers? the computer age?
by the way, not in Portuguese . . .
today, for instance, is 13/05/2005
“Meet me 11/12 at the top of the Empire State Building”
I was there on eleven December—
The date I worked hard to remember.
But my English amour
Didn’t show up. Wherefore?
He had been there the twelfth of November!
"Every girl in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul"
Words by Jimmy Kennedy
Music by Nat Simon
as recorded by They Might Be Giants
Well it seems that the practice of putting the month before the day is not totally accepted, even in America.
I must admit I find it rather awkwardly pretentious, sort of like the gimmicky sayings, expressions and practices that used to (and seem to even more these days) spring up in the armed services.
I think, though I am not sure, that substituting a number for the written month was always acceptable as an abbreviation though not something that would be done in formal correspondence.
Whatever happened to ultimo and instant?
Vic, as with many things here in America, practical concerns win out.
File clerks determine policy. When filing information, from periodicals especially, the logical way to file them is by year/month/day. Listing the month followed by the day is a boon to anyone searching for information or filing information.
Hence, the article I referenced above, many who deal with international policy such as internet standards long for uniformity. My guess is the month/day/year will win as a standard on the internet for no other reason than this sort of recording (31/12/05) takes longer for researchers and filers of information to retreive.
"substituting a number for the written month was always acceptable"
I have no conscious memory of when I switched over to using this......I can't locate any documents where this is used prior to the 1980s
Please! Illuminate for me the use of "ultimo" and "instant."
I've seen them used in British writing but never quite understood what they mean.
Would love to know!
ultimo (ult) = in the previous month
instant (inst) = the present month
proximo (prox) = next month
It's old fashioned formal business speak ( well , letter write)
Wow, great, i never knew that !
So, when are the ides of ultimo, the nones of instant and the kalends of proximo? Just curious you understand.
The fault, dear Bluto, lies not in in our dates but in ourselves