25 May 2011

In which I full-heartedly, 100% agree with Obama on something

The Daily What | Time Traveler of the Day

While signing the guestbook at Westminster Abbey today, President Obama botched the date, writing 2008 instead of, um, ah, 2010. 2012? Anyway, the date is wrong.

People focusing on the flub are overlooking a far worse infraction: The European-style date format. What’s next? The metric system? I’d rather die.

Bullshit. This is a far superior system to the standard M/D/Y arrangement in America, and unlike the metric system, it's trivially easy to adapt to. I've been using it for over ten years and never confused anyone.  Big-endian dates makes sense (actually more sense, if you're going to be sorting), little-endian makes sense (like Obama did here), but this zig zagging month-day-year thing people in this country do has absolutely nothing to recommend it.


  1. There are several things I retain from my USAF ROTC days. Two of the more minor ones: military date format (e.g. 25 May 2011) and the PROPER way to fold a t-shirt.

  2. I never thought of that as a military thing, but now that I think of it it seems like exactly the short of rationalization they would adopt.

    I wonder if they started doing this because they recognize it makes more sense, or to avoid confusion when dealing with NATO allies.

  3. I can confirm I was taught this date format rather rudely by a short-tempered drill sergeant in Air Force boot camp. I've been using it ever since and can never fathom why anybody would use anything else.

    The European date system: used by surrenderhappy frogs, gap-toothed tea-sippers, long-haired metal-fans, and... the U.S. military. Hoo-ra.