Why do Americans display their dates as month/day/year?

I was having a debate with my American friend today about how the date should be properly displayed and they couldnt give me a decent answer as to why they display it as month/day/year.

My argument as a brit is that the date is written in ascending order, which is day/month/year. its logical to do it this way.

is there any reason why americans do it in such a backwards way besides trying to be different?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • My European mother does the day and month, while in school (living in America) I had to do it month and day. Either way is fine with me... maybe they wanted to write smaller to bigger? (since there are only 12 months out of the year, 28-31 days each month, then the 4 digit year) so it's in ascending order. I am uncertain.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • who gives a shit? i don't get why brits always feel like complaining over the dumbest shit. why is it called soccer instead of football? why do they spell things with a z? why do they have guns? whatever it may be. does it matter that much?

    but to answer your question directly, i don't know the answer and don't feel like looking it up (which you can do too), but i would imagine because months automatically place a time of year and then segment it into a specific day... and then the year. this is instead of saying the 2nd of march or something like that.

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    • dude, chill out lol. its a harmless question meat for fun. nothing like cementing the stereotypical sensitive American lol

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    • haha, dont worry about it :)

      we've all been there!

    • thanks for understanding dude and sorry again. happy it didn't escalate worse. today you might say i feel like a... sad onion ;)

      i also did try to find the actual answer and nothing was helpful.

What Girls Said 10

  • Because that's how it's said verbally. Today is January 12th. If someone asked what the day was, that's what my response would be. Not 12th January.

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  • I have no idea. It's what you are taught in school and you see it every where.

    I think it's stupid as well and makes more sense doing it d/m/y.

    It's the same thing when it comes to measurements. It's stupid how we haven't changed it but people are to lazy to change it. Since they think people would get confused or some shit like that.

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  • Who really has time to sit around and argue about how to display/record the date? lol

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    • Me and my fellow Brit, that's who.

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    • @Levin this guy knows whats up!

      @Esplorare im avoiding doing work on my dissertation and GAG is the best waste of time i know lol.

    • Oh lol Well, meh, Idc how whoever writes the dates. It's all the same info at the end of the day.

  • Don't know, just how I was raised. Never questioned it.

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  • People are all different.
    America personally, is such a different country from Europe/Africa/Asia-- etc.
    As you know, they also don't use the metric system as many countries do.
    Such has their car handles are on the left instead of the right, haha.
    So it's just personally their own style of writing their years, dates, etc. Every country is different and unique in their own way, and America is definitely unique to many foreign countries/people.

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  • It's just what's normal here, no other reason

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  • Because it's the right way. 👍

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  • I don't know. That's just what we do.

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  • Why not is the real question... why anything

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  • I don't know lol
    I was confused too when I first came here.

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What Guys Said 19

  • I agree with you about putting dates in ascending order. Not doing so always seemed odd to me. Interestingly, the US Military uses the ascending format. Everybody else, not so much.

    The only reason I can arrive at is that the notation commonly used reflects the same order as a spoken or written date.

    Example:

    01/12/2016

    January Twelfth , Two Thousand Sixteen

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  • We're still trying to figure out why you guys drive on the wrong side of the road. Once you start driving on the right you can talk to us about how we do dates. Seriously, though, these are just little quirks. I love the Brits and if they want to keep driving the wrong way I'm alright with it. lol

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  • No idea.. Americans need to do everything different and out of step with the rest of the world just to be stubborn jackasses :D

    I'm a huge fan of science and an engineering major and I prefer the metric system.. ADOPT IT AMERICA!

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  • Why do Brits add extra u's in all their words? Why do they say "zed" instead of "zee"?

    We're different... who cares.

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  • I'm not sure. I'm an American and I don't like the way we do it. It should be either ascending or descending, but not out of order. The best argument I can come up with for how we do it is that it is the order you usually say the date in.

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  • Who cares to be honest I've seen it both ways here I've done it both ways myself, it's just how each country does it *shrugs* does it really matter all that much?

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  • When you ask the question "What's the date?"

    Do people respond "January 12th" or "12th January"?

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    • The brits say 'this, the 12th day of january' while holding their pinkie out. Because they are better.

    • @ArtDent That's unacceptable I re-declare the Revolutionary War as being BACK ON!

  • Honestly, the way you guys have it set up is stupid.. Like 27/4/16 looks mad dumb. I get why other countries wonder why we use feet, inches, and Fahrenheit.

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  • Because it's how you say it out loud. In a sentence it would be "The date is January 12th, 2015" So 1/12/15

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  • I guess it's that they say "June the 4th of 2012" for example.
    But still, americans do all sorts of silly things. Like refusing to admit that "American" describes everyone who lives in the continent of america and not only them.

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  • I imagine it being because it's more convenient to say and doesn't disrupt the flow of conversation.

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  • I see it both ways. But yes, I hate the day/month/year style. It's stupid.

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  • Because long form month comes first I think.
    So Jan. 12, 2016=06/12/16

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  • There is nothing logical about either of them. Americans do it that way because they HAVE to do everything different.

    Most logical for sorting is yyyy/mm/dd.

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  • probably originated about the same time Americans rejected the crown.

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  • Months have the highest chance of being a lower number.

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  • Cause were murica

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  • That is how it is said so why not write it down the same way? Maybe you verbalize it in ascending order but we don't do that here.

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  • Because first we need to know what month we are in. If we know what month that automatically gives us a sense of time in the year. Then we need to know what specific day. Then finally the year.

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