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US-based MEGAN gets confused about our UK dating system for Swirled News uploads, giving us a good chance to explain a common misunderstanding…

I'm confused about the dates on your website - several of your articles are "pre"-dated – ie. your stories ‘First Formation...’ and ‘Proclamation Initiative…’ are dated 6/05/2004, but others are dated for 7/04/2004 and 8/04/2004..? [Megan’s letter was sent to us in May 2004]

I thought maybe the dates indicated when the articles would actually appear, but they seem to already be there... Or have I hit a time warp and I missed June, July, and August of this year????



This is a common international misunderstanding about the English system of writing dates - over here in the UK, the first digit indicates the day of the month, while the SECOND digit indicates the number of the actual month. So 6/5/2004 means 6th May 2004. Some countries do it the other way around. Hence the confusion!

The term ‘9/11 attacks’, for instance, by rights doesn’t make sense in the UK – over here it would be called ‘11/9’, but on this, at least, we have taken the US lead and ‘9/11’ has stuck – Ed.


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