Date Formats – The Need For Standardization

This page was first published on the 18th of March, 2014 and last updated on the 23rd of March, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

How confusing it can be, when you’re going through your receipts and other important documents, and you can’t figure out exactly what date is written on your them. That’s because Americans do it one way, and the rest of the world do it the other way around.

While I respect your rights as a sovereign nation under God, that doesn’t give anyone the right to leave the world in a state of confusion. I asked my friend, Patrick Van de Velde, what is the right way to write the following date using only numbers: 10th of January, 2014.

Is it:

a) 10-01-2014


b) 01-10-2014


He explained to me that Europeans and Canadians would use the first format and the Americans would use the the second.

While we respect your right to remain stubborn, the world must understand that a condition like this would make it difficult to decide whether either of the formats means 10th of January, or 1st of October because there are two acceptable formats to express the same thing.

It is our hope that the world is moving closer and closer to the perfect civilization everyday, and if we can’t solve a simple problem like this, what can we do?

Certainly, the entire universe will not stand still while we confuse ourselves with such frivolities. Our sun is getting older and older by the day and one day it may not be able to produce enough energy to sustain life on earth.

By that time, hopefully, we will be able build spacecrafts capable of migrating us in style and comfort to other planets. And hopefully, by then, we will be able solve simple problems such as date formats so we do not infect the lifeforms on the other planets with our own backwardness.

In a worse-case scenario, some mass confusion might be caused because of some misunderstanding based on ambiguous codes, causing all the spacecrafts to explode after take-off. Then all humans would be wiped out of the face of the universe simply because they couldn’t agree upon a proper way of doing things.

How truly sad that would be for humans, to be faced with the real Armageddeon because of sovereign stupidity. But if we’re lucky, some humans may still remain because most likely the mistake might be confined to American standards and only affect American spacecrafts.

On a more serious note, it is time to get together, hold a convention and teach all students from kindergarten up to start writing dates in the proper format, regardless of their religion, race, class, creed, color or nationality. The most understandable way, according to commonsense, would be: day (smallest entity), followed by month (second entity), and then year (biggest entity).

In closing then, the correct way of writing 10th of January, 2014 should be 10/01/2014 for all humans.

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