Happy 'Not Aimee Mann's Birthday' !!!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/09 07:15 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/08/09/693147.aspx


It only comes once a year, the day that is erroneously reported as the birthday of singer/songwriter Aimee Mann. Mann fan and owner of the MannList Jill Weisenfeld muses on the reasons for this anuual mistake:

Yes, Aimee's birthday is September 8th.  I believe the original confusion
arose because of an American new source reading the date in a European
publication.

I don't usually like to pile on and complain about the media's inaccurate coverage of events that fill random column inches which undergo the heavy research involved in, say, a Google search. Newspapers struggle enough with the fact that they are losing their subscription base to the web without having pundits point out the irony of the fact they might be using it for their research so extensively.

But when people mess with locale-specific date formats, they cross a line.

A line that this blog has drawn in the sand (an expression that is not really a proper snowclone in this formation, though perhaps a pragmatic one if you include the context of previous sentences!).

Offenders include: The Seattle PI, The Los Angeles Times,  and The Chicago Tribune. And all due to the extensive research that fine papers such as these do in their own archives or on mega-accurate sites like FamousBirthdays.Net and Rock on the Net's August Birthdays.

Way to go, papers of record in large cities. Try to do better next year, please.

And happy NOT Aimee Mann's Birthday, everyone!

 

This post brought to you by A (U+0041, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A)


# RubenP on 9 Aug 2006 7:56 PM:

Europeans tend to think that the American date format is, well, illogical. The parts are not sorted according to magnitude for instance. If you're used to such ordering, it's pretty weird, I must say. But it's based on the way English dates are written, so it's not illogical at all. Just weird.

But, us Europeans are not always right. There's a reason the ISO looked at the Japanese date format for inspiration. A very good reason. For one thing, it's the only date format that can actually be sorted lexically.

Pity though, that .NET's InvariantCulture is US-based. ISO-inspired dates would have made so much more sense to the rest of the world :-)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 11 Aug 2006 7:19 PM:

More info! Some papers are printing retractions for their mistakes here, e.g.

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/15254443.htm

:-)

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