On Always Using Two Digits to State the Day Component of a Date

There’s no end to the surprises. Evidently, I need to get out more.

In the immediately precedent post, the one about DLA Piper’s “Document Factory,” I said the following:

The date I specified as the “effective date” was stated in the output document’s introductory clause as “January 01, 2012,” with the redundant zero. I assume that’s due to a limitation in the technology rather than a drafting decision.

But a reader said in a comment that the date format isn’t a function of the technology. Since that reader was the document-automation expert Bart Earle, I’m happy to assume that he’s correct.

And longtime reader Westmorlandia added that complying with his U.K.-based firm’s official house style would have resulted in the date being stated 01 January 2012.

So some people evidently do add an extra zero in front of the digit in any date stating one of the first nine days of any month. But what’s the freakin’ point?

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.