Another American Backwards Thing

Just thought of another thing that this country gets consistently wrong in a weird contrarian illogical way: dates.

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OK, it’s just another cultural difference, which I have to get used to. But this one irks me more than some of the others – there’s no logic behind it that I can see (although when explained by an American, they’re adamant that it all makes sense). It’s like a traditional way of thinking causes a need for extra cognitive load and introduces the possibility of error.

WordPress, the software that this site runs on, has an option where you can schedule a post to be published at a later date and time. The options show up as follows:


As you can see, they have to make it clear and say “08-Aug” because they put the month field first.

This stuff was brought into sharp relief in the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 and in London in 2005. New York’s attack was on 9-11; September 11th in local parlance. It was obviously terrible international news, but I know that in many countries, people had to think twice about the date, thinking of it as November 9th.

London was easier. 7th July 2005. 7/7. No getting confused there. Everything was very clear on that day.

Categorized as UK-USA