Dates / dates or d.a.t.e.s?

People often write dates in their documents in lots of different styles, but which style is correct?

There isn’t a straightforward answer I’m afraid, as it will depend on the type of document you are writing and how formal you want your writing to be, but consistency throughout your text is key!

This blog by Phil Williams gives you some great little tips, such as:

  1. The use of / . or – to separate abbreviated dates.
  2. Is it acceptable to drop the ‘the’ and ‘of’ within date text? Yes it is! In the Ministry of Defence, for example, all use of ‘the’ and ‘of’ before a date is removed so that ‘the 3rd of March 2018’ becomes ‘3 March 2018’.
  3. The use of a comma after the name of the day so that it reads Saturday, 3rd March 2018 (unless you are using the ‘the’ and ‘of’ style when it should read Saturday the 3rd of March, 2018).

One thing he doesn’t cover is should ‘th’ be in superscript? MS Word does like to do this automatically, but most publishers do not like a superscripted ‘th’. However, if you like the appeal of this style for your documentation, keep it in, but just be consistent in its use throughout your text.

Hope this helps a little in your daily scribblings, but please drop me a line if you have any questions.