While writing dates, we all follow different formats even when we belong to the same country. But, little do we know that there is, in fact, an international date format. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) manages this date format system as different date formats being used worldwide might lead to confusion. Let’s discuss the difference in date format UK vs US.
1. Definition of International Date Format
The standard format of date helps eliminate inexactness. Different countries have different ways to write the dates, months, and years. ISO 8601 is applicable for the representation of the date, time, and year intervals. It is maintained by International Organization for Standardization in Geneva and was first published in 1988. It gives numerical representations of date and time to avoid confusion that can be accepted worldwide. The international standard date format is in the order, Year/Month/Date i.e. YYYY/MM/DD.
For example, India got independence on 1947/08/15. It means 15th August 1947. This date format is followed by the military calendar in most countries, like the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Turkey, and many more. (Also read How Many Number of Days in a Month?)
2. Advantages of ISO 8601 Date Format
Different languages do not restrict the ISO date format because the Gregorian calendar is followed in most regions of the world.It offers the following advantages:
- Most software programs understand it because of its easy readability.
- It is short in length, so keyboard data entry can be done easily.
- Since the year is represented in four digits, it makes it less prone to confusion.
It thereby increases the probability rate of computer interface and helps in better communication. (See What is A.M. and P.M. in Time?)
3. Different Formats of Writing Date
Before discussing the date format UK vs US differences, all other prevalent formats should be studied as well. These include:
- YYYY-DD-MM, and
where MM, DD, and YYYY represent the month, date, and year, respectively.
- Date format can be written in many ways, with either an oblique, hyphen, or point. This means DD–MM–YYYY can be written as DD/MM/YYYY or DD.MM.YYYY as well.
- The month is written in Roman numerals in some European countries. (Also read Why Do We Have Different Time Zones?)
4. Date Format UK vs US Implementation
The United States of America uses a date format that is different and unique from the format usually followed by other countries. They write it in the order of month-day-year. The Americans prefer to give more importance to the month and so it comes first in their format. But with the advancement of the modern era and technologies, the US date format changed to a numerical one i.e. MM-DD-YYYY.
British followed the date format in the order, month-day-year. Thereafter, they started using the European date format, written in day-month-year style i.e. DD-MM-YYYY. (See Why is Sunday the First Day of the Week?)
5. Date Format UK vs US History
Earlier during their colonial reign, the British used the date format in the order, month-day-year. Since America was one of the colonies of the United Kingdom, they inherited the same from the British Empire. Later, after claiming their independence in 1776, they retained the format. Later on, they changed it to a numerical one.
Whereas at the beginning of the 20th century, the British stopped using the date format of the European system. This led to the date format UK vs US difference that exists even today. (See How many months is 90 days?)
Today we learned date format UK vs US and the difference between them. We also explained the international date format issued according to ISO 8601. (Also read Phase vs Faze)