Diadem wrote: Area Man wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:it should just be DD/MM/YYYY. Makes the most sense.
No! Would you seriously write time as ss:mm:hh? or mm:ss:hh? No. The date is just an extension of that. L-R is big to small (more precision further right, like normal numbers).
Actually writing dates as DD/MM/YYYY and times as HH/MM/SS makes perfect sense.
It's just starting with the most important bit of information. If you ask for a date, you're generally interested in the day above all. "Do you have time the 26th" is a perfectly normal question, and people will generally know what month you are referring too. Only for dates further out do you need to specify the month, and only for dates even further out do you need to specify the year. So you write day - month - year in order of importance.
For times it's the other way around. You're generally interested in the hour first. Only when you know the hour do you start caring about minutes, and seconds you generally do not care about at all. In fact the seconds (like the years) are often left out entirely.
So this way of writing dates and times actually makes a lot of sense. It just sucks that it doesn't sort well alphabetically.
I registered just to reply to this.
I think your reasoning has one major flawed assumption: you assume that the event in question which date you ask for is close in time. If that is the case, then yes, the day would be the most important bit of information. If you are the 4th of a given month and ask the date of your dentist appointment, and the reply is the 14th, then you assume it is the same month and year, whereas if one told you the year of the month, that would be redundant (as long as they are what you expect). That's all fine and good...
Except that your assumption is not universal at all. If you have to verify an old report or an old file, then the data with the most important bit of information is the year, not the month nor the date. If you found an old report which only had the day of the month written on it, that information would be completely meaningless. In this case, the ISO standard, by the same reasoning you offer (the most important bit of information should be first), is valid, because you don't know the month nor the year, you are more interested in them than in the day. In fact, the only reason why the day would be the most important bit of information is because you assume that you know both the month and the year. It doesn't mean that their information is less important, it just means that you think you already know the information they carry.
Now ask yourself: in what circumstances are the ISO standards most likely to be used? In bureaucracy and record-keeping. Which are EXACTLY the situations where the ISO standard is appropriate by your very own criterion. Thus, when writing documents that others may have to verify later on, the ISO standard makes all the sense in the world.
Plus, the YYYY-MM-DD system will be much easier to sort than DD-MM-YYYY on computers if you use the precaution of writing the date at the start of every one of your folders (which we do at my workplace). That's my reasoning for supporting that standard.
Of course, if you're talking with someone and not writing a mail, a letter or any sort of document, then your assumption is generally valid. People generally talk about dates that are close, but I don't think ISO cares about how you describe a date when talking to your coworker or your mother, it only cares about how you write it down in official documents.