Jaco du Plessis

How To Make The World A Better Place

world self-help

There are two simple things that you, yes YOU, can do to make the world objectively a better place.

1. Write all your date and times in the following format:

YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm

Example: The current date is 2020-05-20 and the time is 09:00.

Note the 24-hour time format. Please apply to both digital and analog (pen and paper) formats.

2. Use points, and not commas, as decimal separators.

Example: I am 1.83 meters tall.

Bonus points if you can start speaking properly. Say it along with me:

I AM ONE POINT EIGHT THREE METERS TALL FULL STOP

Obviously our South African department of education has many problems, but since I'm not in school anymore I mostly don't care — apart from the fact that every year a new group of people is released into the public that will enter numbers and dates into software, then ask me why it doesn't work.

Please, Angie, fix this in your curriculum, and I might reconsider my stance that you are one of the worst things to happen in this country since the existence of natural life.

Just by the way, these are not personal preferences, there is an ISO standard (8601) that outlines the correct way to write dates.

Using commas in numbers, however, is simply wrong.

We all like making fun of Americans still using imperial units, but if we can't get dates, times and numbers right, we're no better than them.

Have a comment? Email me at jaco@jacoduplessis.co.za.