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  7. Dates and Times

Dates and Times

Never abbreviate a day of the week (not Wed.) in a full sentence.

Always use a number without a suffix:

  • Sunday, Oct. 1 (not Sunday, Oct. 1st)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3 (not Tuesday, Nov. 3rd)
  • Thursday, Dec. 4 (not Thursday, Dec. 4th)

When a month is used with a specific date write it as:

  • The exhibit opens on Jan. 2, 2001.
  • Months should be written as follows: Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.  

When a month is used alone or with a year only, write it out.

  • It has been a snowy January so far.
  • The Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776.

When a month is used with a date only, write it as follows:

  • On March 3, the Emerson String Quartet will perform in Memorial Chapel.
  • On Dec. 9, an opening reception will be held for the Mandeville Gallery’s faculty exhibition.

Times should be punctuated with periods: “p.m.” and “a.m.”

  • The concert begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at 1:30 p.m.
  • Note that 12 o’clock is neither a.m. nor p.m. It is noon or midnight.

When referring to decades, spell them out in words, use numerals preceded by an apostrophe, or use the full numeral.

  • For them, the sixties were momentous.
  • For them, the ’60s were momentous (no apostrophe after the zero).
  • The 1980s were a quiet time on campus.

When decades refer to people’s ages rather than calendar years, always use the words:

  • People in their twenties are seeking meaningful global travel experiences.

To list a range of dates or times, use either “from” and “to,” or “between” and “and,” or a hyphen.

  • This fall, registration will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Practice for the Union College break dance club, U Break, will be held between noon and 3 p.m., from April 26 through June 2.
  • The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3-8 p.m.

When using a hyphen to indicate a range of years, don’t repeat the “19” or “20.”

  • His presidency, 2001-03, came after his service as secretary during 1987-97.

In ranges of figures with the same measurement, include the measurement term only once, at the end of the range.

  • Test scores dropped 10-20 percent; my own decreased from 1,030 to 910 points.