You Haven’t Even Started Blogging and You Already Have a Typo

There are a number of blogs out there which list dates incorrectly. It doesn't help that many of the templates built for popular blogging platforms like WordPress, display the dates incorrectly be default. If you maintain a blog, develop templates, or have ever typed out the date; please stop writing them as October 3rd, 2011.


With how often dates are displayed in this way, it should be said that the "rd" part of the date is grammatically incorrect. If you don't believe me since…well I'm a web developer—not a grammarian; check out Writing Dates by Grammar Girl. According to the article:

"There are two kinds of numbers you can use to talk about a specific day: an ordinal number and a cardinal number. Cardinal numbers represent amounts like one, two, and three. Ordinal numbers represent a place in a series like first, second, and third."

The "rd" part may seem necessary to include. After all, we read the date as "October third, two thousand eleven." But going back to the Grammar Girl article, she says:

"When you're writing out a date like January 1, 2008 (in the American style), the day is a cardinal number. So you should never write January 1st, 2008."

So now that you know the error of your ways, you're probably wondering how to fix that WordPress template.

Correcting a WordPress Template

For those using WordPress and are able to edit the template, you can

  1. Log into the admin panel
  2. Click Appearance
  3. Click Editor
  4. Locate the files which contain the incorrect code for formatting the date
  5. Fix the code
  6. Click Update File

For example, the template file for a "Single Post" will likely contain a date reference. We just need to open single.php and look for code like:

<?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?>

and remove the "S":

<?php the_time('F j, Y') ?>

Note that you should backup the template files before editing any code. That way if something breaks, you can go back to the previous working version. Also, I'm still learning the ins and outs of WordPress, so there's probably a better way to make changes to templates. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

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