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In the lead of the Wikipedia article on the JWST, I notice the following fragment:

It was launched 25 December 2021…

As a Brit, I recognize that as an American form. In the UK, we'd tend to use, "launched on the" (or "launched on" if the order of the month and day was reversed), but I acknowledge that all three forms (as well as several others) are "correct" in their respective locales.

But I wonder if anyone could give a brief analysis of what is going on with the various types; something akin to the excellent answers by John Lawler and Barrie England to a question about a related question entitled To write or to write to?. I was particularly intrigued by John's mention of "Dative Alternation" and wondered if a related mechanism might be at play here?


Note: I'm aware there are a few existing questions on the use/non-use of prepositions prior to dates, but none I could find get into the details I'm looking for.

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  • As to the presence or absence of "the", it's OK to write "on 25 Dec 2021" and read that out loud as "on the twenty-fifth of December twenty twenty-one". The written date in that form with the numerals is a sort of written abbreviation where omission of "the" and "of" is part of the abbreviating. After all, we say George the sixth and write George VI.
    – Rosie F
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 17:06
  • Simply various types of deletion. Preposition deletion is probably more common in the States (It was launched Ø 25 December 2021) and article and 'th' deletion are common. Month / date for date / month is well known. Pronunciation probably usually mirrors choice of orthography. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 17:10

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