Dates are hard

Wall calendar displaying November 2

In the country where I live we had a time change, an event when 10 million humans decide to change their watches just because someone very long time ago said it saves energy. But let’s not debate if it is good or bad. It just is, let’s talk about dates instead.

Visual representation of dates is not easy by any chance. In one culture it’s customary to write dates in a certain way which may not be transferable to a different culture. In my parents’ culture dates are usually1 written as dd. mm. yyyy or dd. mm. yy format. The latter was used mainly before the year 2000 because it was easier, the former is in use right now. Because of my TCK2-ness I assimilated mm/dd/yy when I lived in US. What happens when someone from my parents’ culture writes 1/2/18?

Chaos in my head before January 2018 and confusion before February 2018.

Which date format to use? If I’ll go with US convention I’ll confuse rest of the world and if I’ll go with my parents’ culture’s convention it may be usable in Europe and possibly elsewhere. Until now I’ve been using on this blog convention yyyy-mm-dd because it helped me to avoid both previous date formats. But after some thinking the month first and the day second format makes some sense.

It makes sense because it helps regular visitor to see very quickly if the author/owner published something this month, in case a person stops by only once a month. But even if the other human visits more often they can notice at the beginning of the month that nothing new has appeared on the blog and they can return later.

That’s why I am going back to semi-American version of date formatting, the name of the month, the date and the year. To me it feels visually pleasing3 and it makes sense logically at the moment. If I haven’t published anything new in 12 or more months in a row I would consider switching to year first format because then it would make more sense.

  1. ‘Usually’ means that most legal documents do it this way
  2. Third Culture Kid
  3. This is my blog and kind of a diary so I can use this argument. On client’s web site I’d look at the demographic and then chose according to its customs