Wednesday 9 November 2011

What’s the time Mr Wolf?

A lot of Americans get emotional or agitated at the mention of ‘9/11’ for understandable reasons. I get agitated when British newsreaders and media types use that same term. This side of the Atlantic it isn’t ‘9/11’ it’s ‘11/9’

It is true that I am irritated by Americanisms in general. It’s their inaccuracies and cack-handed ways with language that irritate me the most. And, dates are a great source of that irritation. Whilst I can almost accept that much of their spelling despite being arrived at by laziness or ignorance offers a certain brutish efficiency, there is absolutely no way that their misuse of the date can be defended. Logic would dictate that as a date is made up of various units of measure you would arrange those units in a uniform way; smallest to largest or largest to smallest. Wouldn’t you? Surely that’s the most logical thing to do. That way people know where they are. Virtually everyone in the world does it ascending or descending. But not so the awkward Americans. They clearly adopted the approach of throwing the individual units up in the air and seeing which way they landed, “Oh Prairie-shit, month day year it is then”.

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