NEW FEATURE: VOTE & EARN NEATOPOINTS!
Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


In Canada, You Can Just Write the Date Whichever Way You Want

How you write the date depends on where you live. Most of the countries of the world write it day first, then month, then year, or dd/mm/yyyy. A few places put the year first, which is what computer programmers would prefer, and please don’t abbreviate the year. The U.S. is, once again, contrary in that we write the month first.

But even more than the U.S., there is one country whose date-keeping stands out: Canada. Canada accepts all types of date formats. From Prince Edward Island to Vancouver—you can pretty much write the date however you like. No holds barred. This obviously raises questions: how does this make sense? Do people really have no standard way of noting the days? Is this even legal?

Canada is trying to to standardize the date format, but it will take time. Read about dates and how they are written at Atlas Obscura.


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I don't think ANYONE actually uses either "mm" or "dd" at all, unless forced to do so. mm/dd implies you add a leading zero for single-digit months/days, which I've never seen anyone do on real-life paperwork. It makes sense on computers, but that's about it. Similarly, most people abbreviate the year to two-digits. Was anyone here really taught to write the date as 09/09/1999?

Instead, m/d/yy is commonly used in the USA. Though I often prefer to write the 3-letter month to avoid any possible confusion... Eg. Jan/7/2025. And across the world, on computers, anyone sane only EVER uses YYYY-MM-DD, since nothing else will sort correctly.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What I wonder is why and when US citizen started using mm/dd/yyyy. It doesn't make much sense and is really confusing, specially within the first 12 days of a month.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I use YYY/MM/DD on all the computers and phones in the house, but I can't persuade anyone (including myself) to write it that way. Writing by hand...almost universally DD/MM/YY in the UK.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Okay, I'm a Canuck. Have never seen yyyy-mm-dd used in real life. The only time I've ever seen it is as a timestamp in a database. MySQL (and I think most others) store dates as YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS. Which, actually does make the most sense when looked at as a whole.

The other two make sense. We first adopted the popular UK date format, but widely see and use the US one. As for yyyy-mm-dd... maybe we're just getting prepared for the Chinese takeover?

Granted, because of the potential for confusion over mm-dd and dd-mm here, whenever I have the chance I write the date non-numeric. Jun 09, 2015.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I used to write filenames for document drafts as YYMMDDxx, where the xx indicates version number from 00 to 99. This gave me eight characters, which was the limit for DOS. (I'm old)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.




Email This Post to a Friend
"In Canada, You Can Just Write the Date Whichever Way You Want"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
 
Learn More