I have a record of transactions that "goes back to 2011", but is there a better way to say that? I'm considering "a record that extends back to 2011", but I find both phrases a bit too colloquial.

  • 1
    Neither is "too colloquial" for my taste, unless perhaps you're applying for a job as manservant to the Queen of England. – Robusto Dec 20 '17 at 15:07
  • Continuing states and regularly repeated events are often said to date from some time in the past. – John Lawler Dec 20 '17 at 16:02

You may use date from or date back

date from: to have existed since a particular time in the past

These masterly cantatas date from different periods in Bach's life.

date back: to have existed for a particular length of time or since a particular time:

This tradition dates back to medieval times.

Please check Cambridge dictionary


I am in agreement with @Robusto that "goes back to" is fine for everyday usage.

However, if more formality is required, how about:

This reverses the direction of time to a forward direction (as opposed to "going back to"), and gives a sense of ongoing continuity of records, although you will likely need to be more exact about the starting date of your transactions - "commencing 2011" is likely to arouse suspicion - a month, and ideally an exact date would be preferable.

However, arguably this does not convey the continuity of records - IMO, originating would be more applicable to a single, specific document.

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