## GM. What’s the Big Deal Anyway?

No, we are not kidding about the gravity of the extraneous zero problem. We must speak out now, before the end of the decade and attention fades.

## 5 Comments »

1. ### notovny said,

November 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Personally, in every situation I’ve been allowed to  set the number of digits in a date, I’ve written all three numbers, including the year date, without leading zeroes, back to 2000, and further.
However, for some reason, writing  ‘9 instead of  ’09 still feels wrong to me, so this is the first time I’ve ever deliberately done that.

2. ### Blaine said,

November 30, 2009 at 5:08 am

The bigger question is what are we going to call next year? Is it “two thousand ten” or is it “twenty ten”?

3. ### Mike said,

August 9, 2010 at 12:02 am

I know I’m way behind on this, I’m just catching up on my Math Factor podcasts, I went through THE ENTIRE DECADE thinking I was alone on this, no leading zeros, not just because it’s sloppy and inconsistent, but for pure aesthetic reasons. Either zero pad all of them or none, couldn’t even convince my wife I was right, so there are the odd incidents of my rebellion in the checkbook and a few other places. These children deserve better than having an ambivalent date representation of their birth.

4. ### strauss said,

August 9, 2010 at 8:05 am

I could not agree with Mike more — and to imagine the world calls US crazy!!

Just think of the children!

5. ### Shawn said,

April 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Maybe it only works for digits that are not significant figures. The significant figures of a number are those digits that carry meaning contributing to its precision. This includes all digits except:

All leading zeros;
Trailing zeros when they are merely placeholders to indicate the scale of the number
Spurious digits introduced, for example, by calculations carried out to greater precision than that of the original data, or measurements reported to a greater precision than the equipment supports.

e.g., For A.D. 2009, all digits are significant, but for May 05, the 0 is not significant.

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