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I'm a translator and at one translation bureau where I work one of the editors changes the preposition "of" or the word "dated" in time-related constructions to "dd", in this way:

"Document Version 4.0 dd 21-April-2020" (instead of "of 21-April-2020")

I have a twopartite question:

Would this be readily understood by the native speaker?

If not, how can I persuade them that the standard way is to write of or dated?

I came across this statement on Proz.com: "d.d. (or dd) is a pretty standard English business acronym meaning "dated" but I personally have never come across this acronym in my life before I started working at this translation bureau.

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    I have never seen "dd" used in that manner. I usually see "dd" in instructions on how to enter a date on a form, e.g. "Date of birth __________ (dd / mm /yyyy.)" This tells the reader to write, for example, 14/08/1998
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 9:18
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    I have just found en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD - in a huge list of examples, there is no entry for "dated".
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 9:30
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    d.d. (or dd) is a pretty standard English business acronym meaning "dated). But I don't believe it's remotely "standard" - so far as I'm concerned it has little to no currency. Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 11:30
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    Even if this is (or was) common practice in certain business settings, it could still be unknown to most speakers of English.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 14:20
  • If not, how can I persuade them that the standard way is to write of or dated? This belongs on Workplace SE or Interpersonal Skills SE, not here.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 30 at 16:53

2 Answers 2

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Acronym Finder, lists 'dated' as 14th in its list of (215) expansions for the abbreviation dd. (It does not list normally upper-cased and normally lower-cased exemplars separately.)

While 'two-digit day' is the first related expansion, 'due date', 'delivered', and 'delivery date' also rank higher than the desired interpretation, while 'digital data' is another nearby potentially confusible expansion.

Admittedly, the expansion 'dated' is in the 'most frequent' Likert-style classification (A-F), but the Gricean maxim of manner (here, 'avoid ambiguity') might be invoked if there is a better candidate here.

'Of' is, in common with almost all prepositions, highly polysemous (here: written, rubber-stamped, dated or even filed on the date given?), but 'dated' is an unmistakable form of 'dated' (and not much longer). Mind you, compression acceptability depends on context. If your regular audience understands 'CI-1010', only use '1H-imidazole-1-ethanol,alpha-[[(2-bromoethyl)amino]methyl]-2-nitro-,mono-hydrobromide' with outsiders. You can use MS (judiciously) if you're a Master of Science teaching Management Studies in Mississippi, even with a nasty ailment, and you might even have discovered an old piece of writing in the library, but medical workers shouldn't use MS for morphine sulphate according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

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  • Thank you, Edwin! I will try using dated based on the Gricean maxims. Did you ever come across this use of dd in real documents before, or was it new to you? Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 11:10
  • I think I remember dtd (this was before the DTD's appeared); d was always 'died'. Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 13:40
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"dd" is the abbreviation of the Latin "de die", meaning "of the day", i.e. "dated".

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