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Calendar date item

A calendar date item specifies a day of the year. It is specified differently, depending on whether the month is specified numerically or literally. All these strings specify the same calendar date:

1970-09-17           # ISO 8601.
70-9-17              # This century assumed by default.
70-09-17             # Leading zeros are ignored.
9/17/72              # Common U.S. writing.
24 September 1972
24 Sept 72           # September has a special abbreviation.
24 Sep 72            # Three-letter abbreviations always allowed.
Sep 24, 1972

The year can also be omitted. In this case, the last specified year is used, or the current year if none. For example:

sep 17

Here are the rules.

For numeric months, the ISO 8601 format `year-month-day' is allowed, where year is any positive number, month is a number between 01 and 12, and day is a number between 01 and 31. A leading zero must be present if a number is less than ten. If year is less than 100, then 1900 is added to it to force a date in this century. The construct `month/day/year', popular in the United States, is accepted. Also `month/day', omitting the year.

Literal months may be spelled out in full: `January', `February', `March', `April', `May', `June', `July', `August', `September', `October', `November' or `December'. Literal months may be abbreviated to their first three letters, possibly followed by an abbreviating dot. It is also permitted to write `Sept' instead of `September'.

When months are written literally, the calendar date may be given as any of the following:

day month year
day month
month day year

Or, omitting the year:

month day

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