Abbreviating dates and typing out time spans

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Senior Member
I'm familiar with how to type out dates (and am aware of the various modes of doing so), but I'm having trouble with time spans, used in sentences:

"The event will take place between 1 January and 2 February, 2009."
"The event will take place 1 January - 2 February, 2009."
or even
"The event will take place 1 Jan - 2 Feb, 2009"

Are the latter two formally acceptable?

What about list-like settings, where you must be as succinct as possible:

Trumpet Music Festival, 1 Jan-5 Jan
Flugelhorn Music Festival, 12 Jun-5 Jul

En-dashes or em-dashes, spaces around dashes or no?

If you could link me to a page that covers these sort of things, I'd be most grateful too. Most pages and guides seem to overlook this aspect of typing out dates.

  • JoanTaber

    Senior Member
    English Northeast USA

    There are so many house styles, you should check with a publisher regarding style. However, your first sentence is absolutely fine (perhaps without the comma). Generally, an en-dash is used between dates. I use a space between en-dashes simply because it seems neater that way.

    The second two sentences are acceptable, but they’re not as clear. You could say, “The event will take place from 1 Jan. until 2 Feb. 2009.

    For the list, I suggest using a colon, as follows:
    Trumpet Music Festival: 1 Jan. – 5 Jan.
    Flugelhorn Music Festival: 12 Jun 5 July

    I hope this helps.
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