US vs. European Date Notation
phill at myriad.com
Fri Jun 4 14:25:28 UTC 1999
Markus Kuhn wrote:
> I didn't like the resulting
> article much.
I can't say I liked it much either, but I think your conclusions are
> Mr. Auerbach presented dd.mm.yy as THE international
> standard format and yyyy-mm-dd as something only pushed by "a small but
> influential band of global order-makers" [...]
> In general, the article has a clear tendency
> to make fun of international standardization
I thought it pushes for the older pre-ISO-8601 euro-standard of
I count the following:
15 YESes for dd.mm.[yy]yy, including the opening 2 opinions.
-- a banker at Merril Lynch -- what could be more All-American(TM)?
-- several militarists -- including the DoD itself, and several retired
militarist (can we guess these guys aren't sitting around at a
veteran's hall, but maybe members of the industrial-military complex.
-- a historian -- what could be more American than a historian at
-- and several other business folks,
-- plus an Englishman (we can ignore him :-)
-- and some other computer guy; all backed-up by American usage
This all sounds like a solid bunch of supporters to me.
On the other hand, there were 4 NOs for dd.mm.yy, but yes for the
style. The four were:
1. a principal of a grammer-school (note he didn't use the more neutral
term: elementary school);
2. a proofreader (who either is a famous cartoonist or has the same
name and lives in the same city);
3. the old dictionary entry (but immediately counter by a yeah from the
4. a banker -- but not one at a company worth mentioning.
The 1st group not only out numbers the second in the article, but I
gets much more respect from your average WSJ reader
any day of the week including on the 4th of July (or is
that July the 4th :-) In fact, I'm so sure of who the average reader
respect that I'll bet you a case of Bud, but I'm not sure you'd want to
drink it. I know I wouldn't.
> and it desperately tries to
> mix in good old-fashined All-American [TM] patriotism to generate the
> warm fuzzy national-anthem-singing feeling that Auerbach probably thinks
> the reader seems to hunger for.
Another reading might suggest that a summary could be: American business
military are moving toward the (old) European date standard including
all-american flag waving companies like Budweiser.
> The information on ISO 8601 served only
> as a cheap background contrast in this image ...
I'd have to agree with that, but I'd suggest that this article
is less nationalistic than a typical example of a word oriented person
who is more than willing to go with a little-endian single, smallest on
the left, word-order style, that is more international and replace an
older "quirky" two phrase syntax. At the same time, to the author it
seems hardly worth mentioning a big-endian, smallest on the right,
> Well, it wasn't the first disappointment I had with journalists who
> probably know already what they want to write before they interview you.
Maybe also you already knew what you wanted to read. ;-)
> About the Bud label: Does 02Jan03 now mean 2003-01-02 or 2002-01-03? Who
> cares, I am looking forward to collect Y2K bottles saying 02Jan100
> anyway ... :-)
I bet they don't appear, but I can send you an example if I see one.
By the way, the history of "mmm dd, yyyy" mentioned in the article
like a hokum to me.
Paul A. Hill, Myriad Genetics Laboratories, http://www.myriad.com/
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