Scott Hanselman

The tragedy of November 9th

September 10, '03 Comments [4] Posted in Web Services | Internationalization
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So, two people commented (one email, one blog comment) with some confusion over the 11/9.  Here's the explanation:

It was an internationalization joke (and a good one I thought) When we say 9/11 (formatted mmddyy) most people in the STATES assume we mean September 11.  In the last two years the word 'nineeleven' means more than just a date.  But it's use and newly attached deep meaning underscores how alone we are as a nation (not just politically) in things like date formatting and the measuring systems.   The rest of the planet uses ddmmyy, so they would say "11/9". 

The joke is, when we say "oh, ya, 9/11 was a horrible day," a non-american might say, "November 9th? What happened?"  Of course, nothing happened on 11/9, we just assume that 9/11 or 4/3 or 8/12 means the same thing to us as it does to them...

P.S. There was a local news report a while back that the local news had pulled off the AP NewsWire.  Some fellow came in on a Tourist Visa and transferred to a Student Visa.  At some point, he was arrested for some thing or the other and the local news lady, thinking this fellow had gotten away with some clever chicanery commented slyly that his identity was called into question when the news station "discovered" that his drivers license said he was born on 4/3 but his birth certificate listed his DOB as 3/4.  Oh, those wacky terrorists trying to pull one over on us.  If I had a nickel for every time an international friend reversed a date on a form...

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:50:24 PM UTC
"we just assume that 9/11 or 3/3 or 8/12 means the same thing to us as it does to them..."

Pete
Thursday, September 11, 2003 12:26:22 AM UTC
That's not the only tragedy; it's the day I turn 30. Help me!
Thursday, September 11, 2003 1:00:22 AM UTC
Crap...I meant 4/3 ;)
Thursday, September 11, 2003 5:09:19 PM UTC
By the way, november the 9th is also a special day - at least in the german history:

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.