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June 8th or June 8?

The other day a client forwarded one of my emails to everyone on his team. 

He changed my original from this:

I look forward to meeting you on June 8.

To this:

I look forward to meeting you on June 8th.

Was my original rendering of the date correct? Or did the client save me the embarrassment of an error?

The original way I had written the date was correct. Even though we say "June 8th," the correct rendering in writing is "June 8."

Another correct option is "the 8th of June."

If you would like to learn a bit more about this number rule on which all my style guides agree, read my ancient blog post from July 4, 2005–no, not July 4th, 2005. The rule has not changed since then.

Happy June 8 (or June 9 if you are in the eastern hemisphere)! 

Syntax Training

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

8 comments on “June 8th or June 8?”

  • Geez, pretty ballsy of that client to change your words…

    And please don’t hate me for using “ballsy”.

  • Hi, Kevin. I was thinking of you when I wrote “eastern hemisphere.” Thanks for commenting! So “9 June” is the way it is done in NZ?

  • Murray, I don’t think of it as ballsy. I think of it as a habit. He is a director, and he probably has been doing things a certain way forever.

    Normally I request that clients ask me before they make changes in my messages. That’s because their “corrections” have made me look silly in the past. I just forgot with this new client.

  • Yes, it would be ‘9 June’ here in Australia too (we always express our dates as DD/MM/YY).

  • That is something new, I have always used 18th June, will remember in future that it is incorrect.
    Here in Ireland we also go with DD/MM/YY.

  • In fact, none of the versions given make any sense at all. Why do Americans insist on writing the units in the order month/day/year or middle/small/big? Do you write time as minutes:seconds:hours? Of course not. There are 2 logical orders, the European day/month/year or the Japanese year/month/day. The US is the only country that is so confused and which causes problems for non-US readers. I am British. When I know that I am writing for the USA, I put 3 May 2010. That is clear to anyone.

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