Why do Americans do the date differently?

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Vern:
I've thought about this, and I the best answer I came up with is that it's more natural in speech to state the month before the day. For example August twelfth, nineteen ninety eight, as opposed to the twelfth of August, nineteen ninety eight. In that sense I agree with our habit of listing months before days, since in general conversation most people will say the month before the day. It's just a preference, but I think it sounds better in casual speech to say (month) (day) than to say the (day) of (month).

But in Britain for example, we write AND say day/month/year. For us it's more natural to say it how we do. Its just a little thing that makes our nations that bit different, despite our massive similarities.

I think it's possibly because months are more important? Whenever i write an essay (i do history, so im working with dates alot) i usually just refer to the month and year. Unless it's crucial or important.

The same reason we use the AMERCIAN measuring system instead of metric, because a trusted figure of authority told us to and we continue to do so in our faith in them.
TLDR; Because that's how we were first taught.

I actually think we should move the way of china and japan (and they arent being asshats about it either). Whenever I've seen a chinese or japanese date they alwayse have avoided confusion by putting the full year first (yyyy/mm/dd) so when you see that you immediately know how its meant to be read. With the american system you would have to write the date to avoid confusion (may/4/2011).

Jewrean:
You were arguing that there is no clear victor logically (which for the most part I agree with) and now you are shifting bias to what you are used to.

You don't know my preference for writing dates, so please refrain from making assumptions about what I'm "used to." The fact that you perceived some sort of bias towards how I write a date and tried to say it invalidates my argument is evidence that you didn't get my argument, which is you can argue that any way of writing the date is better or "more logical," and can come up with pros and cons of each of these methods. Whatever you choose as the "most logical" will simply depend on the logic you choose.

I never chose a logic (feel free to quote the contrary); I came up with multiple types of logic one may use to determine how to write a date, and offered arguments for some of them. You take that as evidence that betrays my loyalties and invalidates anything I said? For shame.

Also, you seemed to fall for the bias trap, again, in this very response (emphasis mine):

The 'part of the year' thing goes back to your previous post as well hindering it useless information seeming as it depends on ones own personal perception of logic.

To put it simply; day / month / year:

Short amount of time / Medium amount of time / Long amount of time

Makes more sense logically. Any and ALL other arguments are personal opinion or bias except for the one I raised before about ordering the dates on a computer or in a filing cabinet.

Ignoring the fact that you ironically dismiss my argument due to imagined biases hindering my ability to give useful information and then proceed to argue that one way is the "most" logical (not just logical, but more logical than anything else), your definition of "most logical" is more logical because...why?

Why is it "more logical" to organize the parts of the day by how much time they take up (in ascending order)? What logical advantage is there to that, which exceeds any logical advantage to any other method/logic of writing the date? Why not start with the largest amount of time and go down? Why not arrange the elements by the amount of information they yield about the time frame the event took place in? Why aren't these as logical?

Any of these ways can be the most logical, depending on what you think is logical, depending on what you think the function of a date is, and depending on some other philosophical talk we don't need to get into. Point being, one may think it's more logical to go small->big because a date is just a sequence of numbers, and like numbers they ought to go smallest to biggest. Someone else may think it's more logical to go big->small because the bigger number gives the greatest scope of how much time has elapsed (similar to the way we deal with time; hours:minutes:seconds:etc). Someone else may think it's more logical to arrange the parts of the date based on the importance of the parts themselves in relaying information about the date (ex., some may think putting the day first is more logical because the day gives the exact date at which the event occurred; some may think putting the month first is more logical because it allows the person to determine what part of the year the event occurred in, which could be important for things like weather tracking, farming, etc). I could go on. There is a logic to EACH of these, and EACH has its merits, so how do you choose which logic is "most" logical? Other than through bias? And knowing that bias is a factor in determining the "most" logical, does it therefore make any sense to try and argue that any one method is actually more logical than the rest?

Well, we could always go with another calendar, where today's date is 11002. Yes it is a real calendar. New years eve last year was 10365. New years eve next year will be 12366.

Ideally we should all adopt the iso standard YYYY/MM/DD as it makes it easier to parse dates as you don't need to know the user's locale.

vxicepickxv:
Well, we could always go with another calendar, where today's date is 11002. Yes it is a real calendar. New years eve last year was 10365. New years eve next year will be 12366.

care to elaborate which calendar ?

Like someone else said, and for some reason got put on probation:
They like to mess with things to distance themselves from the original.

Vern:
I've thought about this, and I the best answer I came up with is that it's more natural in speech to state the month before the day. For example August twelfth, nineteen ninety eight, as opposed to the twelfth of August, nineteen ninety eight. In that sense I agree with our habit of listing months before days, since in general conversation most people will say the month before the day. It's just a preference, but I think it sounds better in casual speech to say (month) (day) than to say the (day) of (month).

For me, it's more natural to say the day first. I think it's just the way things have always been done, and old habits die hard. It's not that big a deal.

the same reason we dont use the metric system; because shut up.

in all honesty, the only reason we do either of those things is because none of the higher ups feel like going thru the effort to switch everything with a date and measurement to a new system.

so yeah; cultural stagnation, because we dont feel like social progress...its too much of a hassle apparently.

Criquefreak:
Because any other arrangement would make pi day impossible?

and Mole day (10/26, for those that dont know a Mole is anything x 1026)

OT: just cause.

Now I'm honestly curious. Whats with all this hate on America with how it does stuff and wants them to change? Well, maybe not hate, but all these kinds of questions. Is it really bothering anyone if we use a month/day/year format?

Rockchimp69:
Can some American escapists tell me why you guys do the date like this : month/day/year
instead of in order like this: day/month/year?
(I would have just google'd this but its better to get a wider range of answers and I wouldn't know how to phrase the question)

They left England for a reason, perhaps it was due to spite or an attempt to separate themselves from their past oppressors and yada yada.

Palademon:
When they say a date out loud they also happen to say it like that e.g. May 24th, instead of 24th of May

I don't even say may, I just say 'the 24th of the 5th', which wouldn't work the other way around.

SinisterGehe:
Why do some people use the imperial weight system, instead of metric?
Why do some people countries use 12 hours clock system (am/pm), instead of 24 hour (0-23,59) system?

Meh, I think it is just a tradition that got stuck or something... I don't mind how do you write the dates long as they don't start saying my system of D/M/Y is wrong.

ReservoirAngel:
They enjoy making things feel like their own. They do it with language too. Make minor changes so they can feel like they're not just copying a country most of them see as their own personal bitch nation.

Just like the Romans did... They copied everything, including their gods, from other civilisations.

well, i know that we use imperial instead of metric because when the united states were first created, the founders didn't want this country to be anything like the brit's, so they used the imperial system as sorta a 'f u' to Britain and their metric system

Because we can, and we want to, and we have the freedom to.

I don't know. Why is such a pointless topic 9 pages?

IDK, It's what I was taught.

Rockchimp69:
Can some American escapists tell me why you guys do the date like this : month/day/year
instead of in order like this: day/month/year?
(I would have just google'd this but its better to get a wider range of answers and I wouldn't know how to phrase the question)

Because they say it and learn it that way?

minuialear:

You don't know my preference for writing dates, so please refrain from making assumptions about what I'm "used to." The fact that you perceived some sort of bias towards how I write a date and tried to say it invalidates my argument is evidence that you didn't get my argument, which is you can argue that any way of writing the date is better or "more logical," and can come up with pros and cons of each of these methods. Whatever you choose as the "most logical" will simply depend on the logic you choose.

I do know your preference for the way you write dates because you already made it clear which one was more "advantageous" than the other. Are we ignoring that you said that now?

minuialear:

Also, you seemed to fall for the bias trap, again, in this very response (emphasis mine):

I admit to being bias myself. I prefer D/M/Y. I also explained the logic behind it. I was pointing out that you showed bias at the same time as appearing as a neutral party. If you were truly neutral (ie: thought that there couldn't possibly be a clear winner and neither trumps the other) then you wouldn't explain a preference.

minuialear:

Ignoring the fact that you ironically dismiss my argument due to imagined biases hindering my ability to give useful information and then proceed to argue that one way is the "most" logical (not just logical, but more logical than anything else), your definition of "most logical" is more logical because...why?

I already explained why I thought it was more logical. Wasn't your argument that neither system is better than the other? It isn't an imagined bias when you explained which was better than the other from your viewpoint.

minuialear:

Why is it "more logical" to organize the parts of the day by how much time they take up (in ascending order)? What logical advantage is there to that, which exceeds any logical advantage to any other method/logic of writing the date? Why not start with the largest amount of time and go down? Why not arrange the elements by the amount of information they yield about the time frame the event took place in? Why aren't these as logical?

I'm going to grab a view definitions from the dictionary to help me explain.

Logic:
-A method of human thought that involves thinking in a linear, step-by-step manner about how a problem can be solved.
-logical - coherent: marked by an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent relation of parts; "a coherent argument"

Yes both D/M/Y and Y/M/D both satisfy the logical definitions in that they are both orderly and linear. I suppose the amount of information is also logical but remember we are only comparing D/M/Y and M/D/Y. Amount of information is a personal perception as what would you consider as the most important (D, M, or Y). The next form of order would be what the symbols actually stand for, case in point, a measurement of time. So to make sure that they are logical and orderly we could go from smallest to biggest or vice-a-versa. Putting the M on either end would undo the logic.

minuialear:

There is a logic to EACH of these, and EACH has its merits, so how do you choose which logic is "most" logical? Other than through bias? And knowing that bias is a factor in determining the "most" logical, does it therefore make any sense to try and argue that any one method is actually more logical than the rest?

Each need that you explained is a worthwhile reason to express the date a certain way. But for a moment put yourself in the average Americans shoes for a second. If they needed to check what the date was for their dental appointment then they probably wouldn't care about the month first would they? The vast majority of people requiring knowledge of the current date would need it for the DAY before any other piece of pertinent information. If you are in a certain profession (such as the US military which expresses the date as Y/M/D) then it may well be beneficial to keep it that way and various groups of people shouldn't be forced to change the way they see it.

I'M just saying that to me, D/M/Y is more logical. Not only from smallest to biggest (biggest to smallest is also fine as described above) but also for what the majority of the world needs the date for. This of course is for people who read left to right.

I think it's linked back to the original American civil war, but I seriously have no clue.

Now, personally I find the other system used by hispanics, Europe, etc. to be much easier once you get it down.

tthor:

SinisterGehe:
Why do some people use the imperial weight system, instead of metric?
Why do some people countries use 12 hours clock system (am/pm), instead of 24 hour (0-23,59) system?

Meh, I think it is just a tradition that got stuck or something... I don't mind how do you write the dates long as they don't start saying my system of D/M/Y is wrong.

ReservoirAngel:
They enjoy making things feel like their own. They do it with language too. Make minor changes so they can feel like they're not just copying a country most of them see as their own personal bitch nation.

Just like the Romans did... They copied everything, including their gods, from other civilisations.

well, i know that we use imperial instead of metric because when the united states were first created, the founders didn't want this country to be anything like the brit's, so they used the imperial system as sorta a 'f u' to Britain and their metric system

And yet you still spoke english, and you still do. And your government has also accepted metric system to be a a formal measurement system.

I do it yyyy/mm/dd. The only correct way.

I pointed this out the other month to some freinds about the Black Ops realese date which in england came out on 9/11 if you read it the British way.

Akalistos:

Rockchimp69:
Can some American escapists tell me why you guys do the date like this : month/day/year
instead of in order like this: day/month/year?
(I would have just google'd this but its better to get a wider range of answers and I wouldn't know how to phrase the question)

Because they say it and learn it that way?

That's not the reason why the whole of the USA does it like that, that is why individual people do.

Kurokami:

Rockchimp69:
Can some American escapists tell me why you guys do the date like this : month/day/year
instead of in order like this: day/month/year?
(I would have just google'd this but its better to get a wider range of answers and I wouldn't know how to phrase the question)

They left England for a reason, perhaps it was due to spite or an attempt to separate themselves from their past oppressors and yada yada.

That wasn't the question but I think it was too find new lands of wealth and build a brighter future for themselves. Which I guess you can say worked since you're now a superpower.

What I want to know is why they can't htfu and convert to using the metric system already!

<.<
>.>

I suspect its a cultural conversational thing that has somehow translated onto paper. In conversation you would say, "when is your birthday?" to which the other would reply "November 5th". Unless you are talking about historical events, then just tack the year onto the end (11/5/1900). I suspect that is the same way when people speak the date as: "the 5th of November", so the date is again tacked onto the end (5/11/1900).

Both are wrong in written form as the date should always follow the standard that allows things to be sorted properly: year.month.day.

Vern:
I've thought about this, and I the best answer I came up with is that it's more natural in speech to state the month before the day. For example August twelfth, nineteen ninety eight, as opposed to the twelfth of August, nineteen ninety eight. In that sense I agree with our habit of listing months before days, since in general conversation most people will say the month before the day. It's just a preference, but I think it sounds better in casual speech to say (month) (day) than to say the (day) of (month).

I wonder if this in itself is an "americanism" too. I never hear anybody say, for example, "January third" in conversation. Where I live in the UK people would say it's "the third of January", because the other way just seems backwards to me and the people around me. It's be like saying "nine ten" in casual conversation where most people say "ten past nine". This way is actually more convenient and consistent in conversation since when somebody asks the date, I could just say "the third" and saying "of January" is merely a logical, but not always necessary expansion. But nevertheless, it probably does help explain the difference.

If, however, we're talking use of dates for organising, both forms are ineffective (but slightly moreso the American method). In terns of this, the best way would in fact be year/month/day. Imagine instead of 11:30.32 (24-hour time), they wrote it 32:30:11 or, by stateside logic, it'd be 30.32:11. These ways look stupid because they are, and the same could be said of our dating system. I'm sure there'll be somewhere that adopts this method though.

Criquefreak:
Because any other arrangement would make pi day impossible?

give this man the nobel prize (NO SARCASM)

It's really just because they want to rebel, like they spell colour *color* laser *lazer* (i've seen some use the z but i don't think they officially use that), trousers *pants* rubbish *trash/garbage*. Also some people say that they do things differently to defy Europe (France) ..... yet they use the cent (french for 100)

It's never made sense to me to go day/month/year.

When we speak the date, we say "January 3rd, 2011", so it only makes sense to shorten it to 1/3/11. We don't say "The 3rd of Janurary, 2011".

Do other people say it the latter?

SinisterGehe:

Just like the Romans did... They copied everything, including their gods, from other civilisations.

They actually rarely copied the Gods. They would adapt their religion a little bit to make it less intrusive for the newly conquered so they would be less likely to revolt

I prefer the military standard 03JAN11

It's perfect, just writing the month removes confusion as to what manner you are used to, and it is only adding an extra digit in the date as all months have a 3 letter abbreviation. But that is what I am used to, and that really is the only significance to the way people write the date, what they are used to. Getting worked up about it just makes you a jackass.

As to what is 'logical', well, when people bring up logic with something so trivial, its basically their way of saying " I'm insecure if I don't appear correct, so here is a buzzword." Either that, or they are just making a reference to that South Park episode where Cartman ended up far in the future with many groups of Atheists that were waging war over what an organization of Atheists should call itself, each group using 'logic' as an excuse as to why the name they prefered was correct.

Rhymenoceros:

SinisterGehe:

Just like the Romans did... They copied everything, including their gods, from other civilisations.

They actually rarely copied the Gods. They would adapt their religion a little bit to make it less intrusive for the newly conquered so they would be less likely to revolt

Check your history, the Roman religion was a carbon copy of the Greek except for the name changes. Heracles was changed to Hercules, and so forth.

Why doesn't everyone do it logically?!

Year/Month/Day makes the most sense for filing!

vgpclife:
My guess is it probably goes back to when the US was first forming. They decided they wanted to be different than England, so they adopted a lot of different things like driving opposite side of the road, not using the metric system, etc.

We took the British measurement system.

And also, only those silly Englishmen drive on the left side of the road.

Shade184:
For me, it's more natural to say the day first. I think it's just the way things have always been done, and old habits die hard. It's not that big a deal.

It's not more natural, but you are right its an old tradition. It comes from the odd tradition of numbering the reigns of kings and gods, for example in the christian form that lead directly to what we often see now:

"The tenth day of the sixth month of the year of our Lord 1492"

Which way you do it is somehwhat linked to what is more important to you. For farmers season and then month might be most important and thus putting them first might make more sense. The date becoming June 6, 1492 would therefore make more sense in terms of significance. Isn't that why time is usually given as Hour:minue and not minute:hour?

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