My mind, my thoughts, my words

One date. Many options.

Whenever I need to write a date I wonder about the format. May 7. 7 May. 7th May. 7th of May. May 7th. Everything right and nothing wrong? Apparently yes; ordered by the number of google hits in descending order: May 7, 7 May, May 7th, 7th May, 7th of May – this is because ‘of’ and ‘the’ are omitted in all but very formal writing (even word underlines that one!).

Yet, according to wikipedia, the ‘right‘ BrE form is 7(th) May. Turn it around and you’re left with how people in the US write it – though they usually do not include the th.

In general, international date-format-terms, it is more common to start with the day rather than the year. Here some forms you might come across:

  • 7 May 2011
  • 7/5/(20)11 or 7.5.2011
  • 07-May-2011 (many English speaking countries)
  • 2011-05-03 (esp. Asian countries)
  • 2011 May 7

Appendix: Excel’s UK suggestions are 7/5/11, 7 May 2011, 07/(0)5/(20)11, 7.5.11, 2011-05-07. More options for the US: 7/5(/11), 7-May(-11), May-7, May 7, 2011, 7/5/(20)11, 14-May-2011.

Appendix 2: Sorry if this post was somewhat disappointing cos you were expecting a romantic love story or so 😉 At least I will now no longer need to ponder on how to write the date – made my choice: May 7. No, wait. 7 May. No, actually… Can’t decide. Like them all. So be surprised in that next weekly email!



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This entry was posted on 07/05/2011 by in Academia, Linguistic Musings and tagged .
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