Laurence Andrews

Introducing ISO 8601

I’m a little bit in shock. Somebody just phoned me up to verify my date of birth which I had written on a form for a significant and very well respected UK organisation. The odd thing was after verifying my date of birth (which they had incidentally managed to interpret correctly) the civil servant went on to lecture me into writing the date “in the normal way” in future!

Just so we’re clear: The “normal way” of representing a date of the Gregorian Calendar is that defined by the International Standards Organisation under document 8601:2004 (correct at the time of writing).

The general principles of the format are (extract from Wikipedia):

This is the standard to which I follow. However, I would have been happy to represent the date in a format which was preferred by the organisation, but since they did not define one I’m at a loss to understand how this is my failing.

iso  standards  rant