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I was trying to do something with Coletto Calendar, but it just did not let me continue to use it. Some time later, I received a notification from Yahoo:

To our valued customers...some reasons why Coletto Calendar did not work... Therefore, the Coletto Calendar application will no longer be offered by the end of 2016, January.

Is it a formal way to write the date this way? But it made me think I could continue to use it until the end of 2016 in the first place.

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    Perhaps it was not written by a native speaker. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 28 '16 at 12:35
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    Can you edit your answer to include a link to the source? – Alan Carmack Mar 28 '16 at 14:52
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A possible reason why the date was phrased that way is because it was either written or paraphrased by a technical person.

When dealing with dates, e.g. on computers, the largest time interval appears first in order

year
month
date

The reason is for sortability.

My take on this is take it was just being "geeky". One would normally expect the date as

January, 2016

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American:

A common way to write the date in America, is to write the month, the day, the year.

January 25 2016 (1/25/16)

European:

In Europe, the date is often written as day, month, year.

25 January 2016 (25/1/16)

Big Endian:

In Hungary and many Asian countries, the date can be written as year, month, day.

2016 January 25 (16/1/25)

In formal writing, make sure not to use any abbreviations- whichever way you write it, it will probably be understood. Also consider to whom you are writing, and try to use the form that they will be familiar with.

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The International Organization for Standardization has a document ISO-8601:2004 (or the easier-to-digest Wikipedia page on it) that covers a standardized date notation system. To reduce ambiguity, it spells out specific ways that dates should be listed.

Specifically, they recommend you should always put the largest time interval first, and get progressively smaller from there. Another part of the specification is that you always pad with zeros.

In other words...

  • "2016" is as you see it, "2016".
  • "March 2016" is "2016-03", never "03/16". Without context, you can't know if it means means "March of 2016" or "March 16th".
  • "March 16th, 2016" is "2016-03-16".

There are rules the cover what punctuation to use (and what it means) or not use, how to express time zones, and so forth. One of the biggest rules of the ISO-8601:2004 is that you never use words, because the name of a month potentially changes in different languages.

Of course... most people aren't aware of ISO-8601:2004 and don't know or understand why it recommends what it does, so they don't use it...

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