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Has someone decided that some prepositions and conjunctions are no longer required?

Has someone decided that some prepositions and conjunctions are no longer required, and that dates shall no longer be denoted by using words like first second and third?

Is this just another step toward abbreviating  speech and writing to the level of English used on mobile phone text messages?

Is there something wrong in saying, or writing, the following:-

‘December the third (or 3rd.)’ as opposed to ‘December three (3).’

‘The third (3rd) of December.’ » ‘Three (3) December’

‘I’ll see you on Wednesday’ » ‘ I’ll see you Wednesday’

‘In a conference on Monday..’  »  ‘In a conference Monday...’

‘One hundred and twenty’ » ‘One hundred twenty’

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Hi HS. I think there are a couple (of) different things going on here.

Firstly, days of the week: I think it's common in American English not to use "on", and I don't think there's anything very new here, although some would say it's used more in casual speech. In Huckleberry Finn, 1884, in spoken dialogues (dialect?), "on" is sometimes ommited:

"Well, after dinner Friday we was laying around in the grass at the upper end of the ridge, and got out of tobacco.

"Do you like to comb up Sundays, and all that kind of foolishness?"

although it seems to be used in the main text:

"and on Sundays he wore a blue tail-coat with brass buttons on it."

And from Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, 1898:

' "You'll receive the packet Thursday morning?" I inquired.' (the narrator)

And in Walden, 1854, by Henry Thoreau:

"and is obliged to sprout potatoes in a cellar Sundays, in order to keep awake and keep the Sabbath".

More up to date, these are both from, published in New Jersey:

"The two teams will make up the game Saturday as part of a day-night doubleheader."
" “I will be coaching the game on Saturday,” Rutgers football coach said."

But it has to be said that there are far more Google entries for "the game on Saturday" (4m+), than for "the game Saturday" (c.300,000)

Again, omitting the "and" after hundreds is standard in American English, and English course books point this out when teaching numbers. Most foreign learners of course, much prefer the simpler American way.

Which only really leaves the dates, and I have to confess, I haven't heard them said this way. Although, I would suggest that omitting prepositions, especially "of" is common in writing, and I see no problem with that. For example, the Economist (paper edition) has "October 3rd - 9th 2015". Online, the Guardian has " 8 October 2015", The Times "Thursday, October 8", the Telegraph "Thursday 08 October 2015". But that doesn't mean we say them like that.

Warsaw Will October 8, 2015, 4:30am

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US date format is commonly month_day_year, written as June 6, 1944.

jayles the unwoven October 8, 2015, 11:09am

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"But that doesn't mean we say them like that."
Saying dates like that has become very common here in NZ. Especially on television and radio.

It's been a while since I wore my grumpy old pedant hat, so I felt constrained to find something about which to bitch!


Hairy Scot October 8, 2015, 9:15pm

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@HS - Oh, grump away, we need some decent questions to get our teeth into. An I'm out of the country, I'm not sure of the situation in the UK.

@jayles - Yes, I'm all to well aware of that from my blog stats, etc, but how do they say them? Perhaps an American reader could help us here. Do people in the States say June the sixth or June sixth or June six?

Warsaw Will October 13, 2015, 5:14am

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Here in the antipodes I am sure there will always be some aspect of language use about which I can rant.
Perhaps I should shut off the sound when I watch sport on television.
But perhaps, as TV commentators are wont to say, I may have already alluded to that.


Hairy Scot October 13, 2015, 2:25pm

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