Countries that use the MM-DD-YY date format.

Image credit: @LordManley

At least since I was in middle school, I’ve written dates in what I thought was an idiosyncratic YYYY-MM-DD format because I just couldn’t see the logic behind either the U.S. MM-DD-YY format, which seemed entirely out of order to me, or the slightly more consistent but still “backward” DD-MM-YY European standard. I’ve proselytized the use of YYYY-MM-DD wherever I’ve worked (including it in policies I’ve written for organizing file shares) because, of course, computers sort filenames alphabetically & only YYYY-MM-DD ensures proper sort order in file listings.

Today, while perusing Language Log (one of my Google Reader RSS feeds), I came across an analysis that neatly articulates my intuitive reasons for preferring YYYY-MM-DD as well as a reference to ISO8601 which legitimizes it as an international standard!

While I know that being able to point to an ISO standard to justify the use of my preferred date format only makes me more of a nerd than just using it, I’m still feeling pretty vindicated and slightly less eccentric.