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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.

Remove the "00" from times

  • 2:00 p.m. is just 2 p.m.

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.