Is the use of '1991-9' annoying/confusing?


As a native, do you understand what '1991-9' means? Do you find it annoying or confusing?

Maybe, '1991-99' would be better? '1991-1999' contains too many symbols, I would like to shorten it a bit.

Sergey Zolotarev

Posted 2019-11-21T15:46:40.083

Reputation: 1 427

I find it perfectly understandable, but, being about numerals, this is not really an English language question! – Kate Bunting – 2019-11-21T15:53:49.763

Numerals are part of any, I assume, language – Sergey Zolotarev – 2019-11-21T15:59:18.483

The way dates are written is not specific to English. – Kate Bunting – 2019-11-21T16:07:08.707

1@KateBunting Sure it is. Moreover it's specific to regional conventions. Americans write MM/DD/YY while Brits write DD/MM/YY. Germans are more likely to use periods than slashes. This is a perfectly on-topic subject. – TypeIA – 2019-11-21T16:16:02.757

1It is specific to English. What I write 2019-11-21 would typically be written 2019年11月21日 in Japanese, for example. – snailplane – 2019-11-21T16:44:40.220

Not enough context. Numbers can refer to many different things. – Lambie – 2019-11-21T21:00:35.513

Date 11 more to go... – Sergey Zolotarev – 2019-11-21T21:05:57.597

What does it have to do with Japanese? In Japanese, we don't use such a spelling 1991-9. It is very confusing. – Kentaro – 2019-11-21T21:14:46.273



The pattern 1991-9 should be familiar to most English speakers because this format is sometimes used when referencing page numbers. For example, "pp. 23-5" means pages 23 through 25. But I don't recall seeing this form used for years. 1991-99 looks much more normal. Even more normal (and shorter) in casual writing is '91-'99 if it is not necessary to specify the century.


Posted 2019-11-21T15:46:40.083

Reputation: 8 079

But! An this is important: you would still advise against writing, for example, 1910-2, right?, because you wouldn't say 'nineteen ten, two', you'd say 'nineteen ten, twelve' (if not 'nineteen ten, nineteen twelve') and you can't say 'twelve' unless there's '1' written, am I right? – Sergey Zolotarev – 2019-11-27T05:44:39.577

Honestly I'd advise against writing years this way at all, regardless of spoken form. 1910-12 is clearer. – TypeIA – 2019-11-27T06:13:11.920