Last week we studied Wikipedia's exception-filled rules on dealing with numbers, and this week we focus on how to write about dates and times.

The Manual of Style contains two tables to help understand the many acceptable ways to write out dates. As elsewhere, U.S. and UK styles are often both acceptable:

  • All OK: 13 October 2016; October 13, 2016; 13 October; October 13; or October 2016

  • Not OK: Pretty much everything else. Only abbreviate months when needed for brevity, and do not use periods. Do not abbreviate years (use 2016, not '16)

When telling time, the numbers should be styled like 10:10 a.m. Use midnight and noon for 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. Using a 24-hour clock does not require a.m. or p.m.

Bonus: Stay away from words like "currently", "recently", and "so far"; they are ambiguous and quickly become outdated.

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