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So, in an article on a web-page, I want to provide information about the date when the article was published. I am not sure if there should be an "on" after the word "published".

Article title...


Article text...

So, below the article title, should I write:

Published on January 1st 2012


Published January 1st 2012


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use either:

Published on 14th Jan 2012


Published: 14th Jan 2012

as @incognito and @Irene have already highlighted.

But since you are making a web page, I think its better in stick to the convention used by most.

Wordpress uses posted on , as you can see:

Wordpress uses "posted on"

While both Facebook, Blogger and Typepad just mention the date, in a slightly faded font:

Blogger just mentions the date

Overall, I think just mentioning the date in a slightly faded or smaller font is more popular among web-sites, so I think you should adopt this convention.

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I can't help noticing that there are three answers here already, every one of which suggests that the only alternative to the word "on" would be to add a semicolon after the word "Published".

I disagree with this, and here are millions of examples for "Published 1st [some monthname]" showing that you don't need anything at all. In fact, I personally believe that in general the colon looks "geeky" - it's reminiscent of screen-based computer input forms many decades ago.

My position is that whilst there's nothing wrong with using the word "on", there's also nothing wrong with not using it. But there is something a bit flaky about replacing it with a colon.

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OK, got it. English is a flexible language. – Šime Vidas Jan 14 '12 at 19:04
@Šime Vidas: I notice you have a couple of colons on your ELU user profile page. And of course I've just used one there after your user name. But I don't think those examples are really to do with language (be it English, Croatian, or whatever) - they're more about "page layout". Specifically, in a computer/webpage context, where we have all sorts of other features available (type size, font, colour). You should just trust your own instincts about whether the layout is informative and uncluttered - or maybe ask on webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/web-development – FumbleFingers Jan 14 '12 at 20:53
Well, my question is not about semicolon usage. I was just unsure if "on" could be omitted from the expression. So, it seems that both "Published on (date)" and "Published (date)" are fine. That's for instance not true in German and Croatian. (In German, a preposition must be used - "Veröffentlicht am ersten Januar, 2012", and in Croatian a preposition must not be be used - "Objavljeno prvog siječnja, 2012".) So, as I said, English is flexible here... – Šime Vidas Jan 14 '12 at 21:10
Sorry about that - I forgot that the only reason I answered in the first place was because all the other three answers slipped a colon in to replace the word "on". You're quite right - English is indeed flexible on this point, both in speech and writing (even "formal" prose, not just "cut-down webpage grammar"). It's interesting that German and Croatian have more fixed rules, one of each type. – FumbleFingers Jan 14 '12 at 21:34

For the format you require, the best option is:

Published: ...(date)

It is advisable to follow the same format in the other pieces of information you will include, i.e:

Article title: ...

Article text: ...

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You can use either of them.

Published on 14th Jan 2012


Published: 14th Jan 2012

A colon after published will be meaningful and somewhat required, in case you want to use second option.

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