There's a New York Times article from November 11, 1911 making the rounds today that reminds us that obsessing over the number of 1's in today's date is, in fact, a timeless obsession. Rarely does the New York Times get away with a headline that merely communicates the date, but in "To-day is 11-11-11: Date Can't Be Written This Way Again For Another Century," written 100 years ago today, they found a way to write an entire story about our place in the calendar year:
Today it is possible to write the date with the repetition six times of a single digit. It is the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, and so one may save time and just put it down 11-11-11. It will be a century before the same thing can be done on Nov. 11, 2011.
We're riveted. This article is nothing if not a reminder that Twitter serves a useful purpose: it allows mankind to make these kind of semi-interesting observations without devoting an entire newspaper article to them. Lest we get too excited about today's date though, the article reminds us:
Eight hundred years ago this was beaten by writing 11-11-1111, on Nov. 11, 1111. But it is not likely that the precise monkish scribes at that time would have allowed so slovenly a method of recording an essential fact.
So then, who's ready to start crafting even more creative jokes in preparation for November 11, 2111? We here at The Atlantic Wire fully plan on being alive and well enough to use them.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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