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Discussion » Questions » Random Knowledge » Why do Americans write the date in reverse?

Why do Americans write the date in reverse?

Not only is it confusing in general, it makes it look as if my birthday is February 10th when it's really October 2nd.

Posted - Wed at 2:02 PM

Responses


  • 29302
    Not all of us do. I still write the month abbreviation.

    Mar 25, 2020.
      March 25, 2020 2:59 PM MDT
    4

  • 13566
    Day / month / year, Papa....get your sums rite please....:) 
      March 25, 2020 3:22 PM MDT
    1

  • 29302
      March 25, 2020 6:59 PM MDT
    3

  • 29199

      I do the same thing; it’s one of the methods of writing dates that was reinforced in the military, a background you and I share, and to this day, it is the primary way I wrote or say dates. 
      Dealing with people from various parts of the country and from various parts of the world, many aspects of everyday life are viewed with a wide range of perspectives. By having a way to do something that is simple and forthright alleviates a lot of confusion. If all English-speaking people follow the three-letter abbreviations for the months, then there is absolutely no way one has to guess whether or not it’s month-day-year or day-year-month. 

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

      Regardless of day-month or month-day, it’s practically fool-proof.

    Mar 25, 2020
    25 Mar 2020
    2020Mar25
     

      It’s also the reason that military time, or the 13-hour clock, is more straightforward than civilian time. 0015 0550 0630 1122 1427 1900 2359 etc. 

      My specific duty in the military was Communications, Field Radio Operator, which required a uniform way to combine the written date, the time, and the time zone. It’s known as the Date Time Group, or DTG. I’ve done a cut-and-paste from Wikipedia as a demonstration:

    A form of DTG is used in the US military message-writing in and other communications (e.g., on maps showing troop movements) the format is DD HHMMZ MON YY. Although occasionally seen with spaces, it can also be written as a single string of characters.

    Example 1: 09 1630Z JUL 11represents (Jul) 09 16:30 Jul 2011 (UTC).

    Example 2: 13 0612Z MAR 20represents (Mar) 13 06:12, Mar 2020 (UTC).

    At a glance in a brief space, a lot of information is conveyed in a way that can be easily taught, shared, and understood.



    ~  





      March 25, 2020 9:33 PM MDT
    2

  • 13566
    How on earth can you have a thirteen hour clock...?  What is DGT ...I think I'd get thrown out of the army on the first day ....sounds like nonsense to me ...People need to write in real English so it's all completly understandable...
      March 26, 2020 4:13 AM MDT
    0

  • 29302
    We also used UT in the Navy. I still remember the phonetic alphabet.
      March 26, 2020 8:05 AM MDT
    1

  • 18
    I meant 10/02/1989 as opposed to 02/10/1989.
      March 26, 2020 1:26 PM MDT
    0

  • 29199

      I know what you meant. 
    __
      March 26, 2020 11:23 PM MDT
    1

  • 13566
    Confucius says ....it's all to confusing...come too Blighty....we rite proper hove'r ear....


    yore Birthday would be 10th Febuary 2020 or 19/02/20     Forget the rest.....just choose the best...
      March 25, 2020 3:21 PM MDT
    1

  • 528
    Have you ever considered that it is you who is backwards?  It's the only logical explanation. 
      March 25, 2020 4:55 PM MDT
    5

  • 19470
    As you said your birthday is Oct (10)  2nd (2) so why would you reverse the them and say 2/10
    If wanting to put the day first it should be  2of10. 
      March 25, 2020 6:34 PM MDT
    2

  • 29302
    Huh?
      March 25, 2020 7:01 PM MDT
    4

  • 19470
    Questioner says their birthday is Oct 2nd. But we Americans make it look like Feb 10.   We are not the ones switching the order.  Order is Month/Day. (10/2)

    If you say the day first....it is said the 2nd of Oct. (So should be 2o10 or 2of10) 
      March 25, 2020 7:06 PM MDT
    2

  • 29302
    If we use the month abbreviation, there is no confusion. I don't use the number method.
      March 25, 2020 7:09 PM MDT
    3

  • 19470
    I use month most of the time. But on many forms they require numbers for date.
      March 25, 2020 8:31 PM MDT
    2

  • 528
    IKR! xD
      March 25, 2020 7:21 PM MDT
    2

  • 29302
    That is one of the gas law half equations.
      March 25, 2020 7:25 PM MDT
    1

  • 5597
    Who are you to judge Americans or anyone else?
      March 25, 2020 8:47 PM MDT
    3

  • 29302
    It doesn't sound like a judgement to me.
      March 26, 2020 8:07 AM MDT
    1

  • 528
    "You go to hell!"  That is judgment.  Many confuse judgment and discernment.

    And again, no, I did not tell anyone to go to hell, it's for educational purposes.
      March 26, 2020 8:50 AM MDT
    2

  • 29302
    Gosh darn you.
      March 26, 2020 8:55 AM MDT
    2

  • 18
    I wasn't judging, I was just asking a question.
      March 26, 2020 1:27 PM MDT
    1

  • 2896
    Day/month/year does seem to make a lot more sense than month/day/year, but actually the International Organization for Standardization says day/month/year is really the backwards way of doing things (month/day/year is just out of order), so if you want to get picky about it, the correct international date format is 2020-03-26.
      March 26, 2020 12:32 AM MDT
    2

  • 9459
    Agreed. I wonder what towers got knocked over in a terrorist attack on 9th November when I hear Americans talk about 9/11.
      March 26, 2020 11:29 PM MDT
    1