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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Richard MacCutchan13-Jun-18 4:57
mveRichard MacCutchan13-Jun-18 4:57 
GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Richard MacCutchan13-Jun-18 4:58
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Slow Eddie13-Jun-18 9:19
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Member 798912213-Jun-18 2:45
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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
W Balboos, GHB13-Jun-18 2:54
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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Member 798912213-Jun-18 4:05
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GeneralSo this reply was accepted by CP after all... Pin
Member 798912213-Jun-18 5:04
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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Member 798912213-Jun-18 4:58
MemberMember 798912213-Jun-18 4:58 
Europeans carry lots of legacy. Norway went metric 143 years ago; still carpenters may refer to a two-by-four. But they know that it is not two by four inches, but 48 by 98 mm. Their yardstick (or inchstick, in Norwegian lore) lost the inch markings a generation ago, but the name of the tool remains. You introduce yourself as "John Doe", knowing that in formal registers you are listed as "Doe, John". You say "Meet me around seven", well knowing that in your calender, you write the appointment as 19:00. When asked about your birthdate, you may answer "seventeenth of May, 1976", but when filling in a registration form, 1976-05-17 is usually the expected format.

Old traditions survive in informal context, some times for generations after new forms have completely taken over in formal contexts. I am old enough to see the last remains of Imperial units disappearing, 24h clock time becoming more dominant, and: A rapid growth in the use of ISO 8601 formats.

The important thing is not that people use a variety of old formats in informal speech and text, but the general acceptance of both metric units, 24h clock and ISO 8601 formats in formal contexts. Noone rises an eyebrow at any of these: They are logical, unambiguous, standard. They are welcomed.

That is definitely not my impression of, say, the US civil population. The armed forces have accepted 24h clock, and to some degree metric units, but civil USAnians tend to kick and scream to the slightest hint about abolishing Imperial units, am/pm or the June 13, 2018 format. It is a repeat of the old "The customer can get the T-Ford in any color he wants, if he wants it in black". A standard date format would be welcomed by most Americans, provided it conincides with the format they have always used. If there is any movement towards ISO 8601 in the USA, or the metric system, or 24h clock (which is implied by ISO 8601), it certainly hasn't reached the news.

Obviously, old forms will be used informally in the USA if ISO 8601, metric units etc. are introduced in all formal contexts, just like in Europe. I very rarely, if ever, meet USAnians who say "That's fine with me", but I have met quite a few giving me a stream of arguments why changing anything at all would be a very, very bad idea, even in formal contexts. Europe wants it, USA does not want it, even if "allowed" to use the old formats in informal speech and texts.

If you think that the civil society in the USA is ready to embrace ISO 8601 and its 24h clock, and maybe metric units as well, I am curious to see clear evidence of this.

(You are of course right that yyyy/mm/dd is not used in the USA, but mm/dd/yy or mm/dd/yyyy certainly is - Date and time notation in the United States. Some other countries using slashes put the units in another order; you must know the origin of the date to interpret it.)
GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Greg Lovekamp13-Jun-18 6:19
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Greg Lovekamp19-Jun-18 9:27
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Member 798912219-Jun-18 23:12
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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Greg Lovekamp20-Jun-18 4:13
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Alan Burkhart14-Jun-18 10:26
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GeneralRe: Why not an UN resolution for.. Pin
Richard MacCutchan14-Jun-18 22:29
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Jon McKee11-Jun-18 22:41
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