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Suppose that the date of birth of a person is Tuesday 10 March, 2015. Is there a term that specifically refers to the number '10'?

I'm making a form with a field for the respondent to only fill, say, '10' in but not 'Tuesday'.

  • Use the JavaScript convention for that, which is date, as in the getDate (and its various manifestations) method of the Date object. They mean the day of the month, not the week, for that. – Robusto Mar 10 '15 at 14:45
  • @Robusto Why JavaScript and not, say, Java's Calendar.DAY_OF_MONTH convention? – Kevin Workman Mar 10 '15 at 14:49
  • 'Day of the month' is a good one (and perhaps best so far). Will 'Day of the month of birth' sound weird? – Taiki Mar 10 '15 at 14:50
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    @Taiki I'd say something like Birthday (day of month): – Nick2253 Mar 10 '15 at 15:01
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    If you're worried about it being awkward or the user being confused, I guess the question is: why bother with this field at all? Why not have them enter the entire date (preferably from a date picker) and then do the parsing yourself? That advice is a bit off topic here, but I think that's the actual solution to your problem. – Kevin Workman Mar 10 '15 at 15:18
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The direct answer to your language question is the day of month of birth. As this is a mouthful, you're best off with a different way of posing it.

You're talking about a web form, so you can use formatting and JavaScript to unobtrusively indicate context.

Have it say "Birthday" on the left and then have fields on the same line that contain gray text indicating what they are asking for. Use JavaScript to remove the gray text when focused or clicked. Something like this:

Birthday: DD MMM YYYY

or perhaps more spelled out:

Birthday: Day Month Year

though this is less explicit on your formatting expectations. A little JavaScript magic and it doesn't matter, you can correct it.

You can also auto-fill the day of week of birth, but I think it'd be a bit superfluous. Do not ask for it, as most people don't even know their own birth day of week, though many parents do know the answer for their children.


Edit: Turns out this is a paper form, so unless you're a lot cooler than me, JavaScript is out of the question.

In this case, I would use the same general format, with either a much lighter gray that the user can write over or else a smaller font below the blank, possibly with examples in gray:

Birthday: __________ _____________ ___________
          Day   (07) Month   (Jan) Year (2004)
  • I'm creating a paper form though. – Taiki Mar 10 '15 at 23:31
  • @Taiki: I have added a section for paper forms using the same premise. – Adam Katz Mar 11 '15 at 0:15

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