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Banks such as CaixaBank, Banco Sabadell and Catalunya Banc, which are based in Catalonia, would face serious problems and could go under if the northeastern region were to declare its independence from Spain, the governor of the Bank of Spain, Luis María Linde, said Monday.

Taken from here: http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/11/25/inenglish/1385403030_514737.html

Would you say this is more formal than "said on Monday?"

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  • I would say that it is more American. Nov 26, 2013 at 20:00
  • Thanks, Peter. I am actually preparing for a British English examination, so I guess I will stick to the "on" option.
    – Maggie
    Nov 26, 2013 at 20:10
  • 5
    Except with "It's your turn to fetch the coconuts, Robinson," said Friday. Nov 26, 2013 at 20:25
  • Huh, I never knew this was considered grammatical in AmE. I'll have to keep it in mind.
    – user867
    Nov 27, 2013 at 0:00
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    Or, "Tomorrow is much more significant than today," said Maundy Thursday. Nov 27, 2013 at 1:08

2 Answers 2

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In the United States, the common omission of "on" from references to days of the week probably reflects the influence of newspaper preferences spelled out in the Associated Press Stylebook (2002):

on Do not use on before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion: The meeting will be held Monday. He will be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Use on to avoid an awkward juxtaposition of a date and a proper name: John met Mary on Monday. He told Reagan on Thursday that the bill was doomed.

Use on also to avoid any suggestion that a date is the object of a transitive verb: The House killed on Tuesday a bid to raise taxes. The Senate postponed on Wednesday its consideration of a bill to reduce import duties.

Associated Press style preferences are especially powerful in the United States because journalism students are taught to use AP style, regardless of whether the periodical they ultimately work for follows AP style or some other style; consequently, stories written in accordance with AP style are constantly before readers' eyes.

In your original example, "said Monday" is certainly not more formal than "said on Monday," but it is immediately recognizable as belonging to a story done in AP style—clipped and reportorial.

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  • Google Ngrams shows "Monday" rather than "on Monday" started being acceptable in AmE ca. 1850. I don't think you can blame AP style books. Nov 28, 2013 at 3:11
  • Right, Peter Shor. U.S. English (and British English, too) shows instances of a dropped "on" before a day of the week, going back to the early 1800s. My answer tries to account for the increased preponderance in recent years of that dropped "on" in U.S. English. I may be off-base here, but I would expect a style preference that dominates the U.S. periodical press (though not the U.S. book press, which tends to follow Chicago instead of AP) to have some influence on overall usage.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 28, 2013 at 3:48
  • The effect that I'm suggesting might help explain the greater separation of the two forms since about 1965 in this Ngram of "said Tuesday" vs. "said on Tuesday": books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 28, 2013 at 3:48
  • I should note that I added the word "common" to the opening sentence of my answer above, in hopes of avoiding the unintended implication that any (that is, every) omission of "on" before a day of the week is attributable to the influence of AP style.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 28, 2013 at 3:54
  • Using "said Tuesday" is a bad Ngram to choose for this question, because you get constructions like "On said Tuesday after the first Monday of November". Nov 28, 2013 at 4:02
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"...,said on Monday." is much more stylistically adequate, particularly in view of its placement in said sentence.

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