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Why do we often refer to the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks by the date they happened in shortened form?

PTR 444

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This Saturday will mark 20 years since America’s darkest day, when the country came under attack by a series of terrorists who hijacked four planes and used them as missiles to target some of the country’s most important landmarks. This tragic day, otherwise known as September 11th 2001, would become synonymous with the events and aftermath of that day, but it has often been shortened to 9/11. In a similar fashion, the London bombings of July 2005 became known as 7/7.

But what is so special about these two specific tragic events that they have earnt the moniker of the short date in which they happened? It’s not as if we refer to the Westminster Bridge attack of 2017 as the 3/22 attack, or the London Bridge one from the same year as 6/4. I’m just curious to know as to why those that got referred to by the short date did so in the first place.
 
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SteveM70

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No idea. Presumably 9/11 started being used in America and then we tagged along when 7/7 happened? At least with 7/7 there was no confusion over whether it’s month or day first
 

PTR 444

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On another note, I do remember 11/9 being used briefly to commemorate the day president Trump was elected, with several memes of that day making comparisons to 9/11 in terms of general mood.
 

Ianno87

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Just simple media shorthand that has caught on.

9/11 in particular was such a seismic event, that it doesn't need any more description.
 

edwin_m

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The reason it stuck initially may be because dialling 911 is the American equivalent of 999. 7/7 clearly came along on its coat tails.
 

61653 HTAFC

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The reason it stuck initially may be because dialling 911 is the American equivalent of 999. 7/7 clearly came along on its coat tails.
I remember Americans referring to the 3rd March 2004 Madrid train bombings as "3/11" at the time, though obviously those attacks haven't stayed in the US public consciousness in the same way as 9/11.

Nor in the British public consciousness, as I only just learned that the Spanish shorthand for the attacks is "3M".

I can't think of any event prior to 11/09/2001 that gained such a widely-used shorthand, but the adoption of that tag certainly started a trend. Don't know if the "4/20" meme (in the drug sense, not the Nazi one!) was widespread prior to the attacks.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
Another 9/11 that is not mentioned in the mainstream media is the one that happened in 1973 in Chile, when the democratically elected president Salvadore Allende was overthrown and subsequently assassinated by the CIA.

General Augusto Pinochet was then installed as the "president" of Chile, with a lot of subsequent bloodshed during his reign.

In 1998/99, the former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had allowed Pinochet to return to Chile, rather than being extradited to Madrid, Spain to face charges of war crimes due to his cardiac problems at the time, meaning Pinochet was unable to fly to Spain. Now forgive me here, but when I first looked at an atlas in geography lessons at primary school many years ago, Santiago (Chile) is a far damned sight further than Madrid (Spain).
 

LOL The Irony

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September 11th Terrorist Attacks
July 7th London Bombings

9/11
7/7

Which one's easier to say and type?
 

Ediswan

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I think another reason is the multi-centre nature of both attacks.
Maybe a winner ? Humans/media like to label/name things. At first it could have been "Twin Towers". Then other locations were added. No well known obvious 'likely suspect'. The only known consistent feature was the date.
 

westv

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I saw a programme on tv yesterday about the attack on the WTC. It used video recorded by people at the time.
20 years later the images captured are as powerful now as they were then.
 

birchesgreen

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The reason its called 911 is because someone in the media outlets started doing it, others copied it and it just stuck. This kind of thing happens with a lot of stuff, the Spaghetti Junction for example.
 

DarloRich

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These events are known as 9/11 because it is became the accepted way to refer to day. It is a convenient shorthand which everyone, everywhere, understands.
This Saturday will mark 20 years since America’s darkest day

Pearl Harbour might have something to say about that.
 

Grecian 1998

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Worth pointing out that as the American format is MM/DD and the European format is DD/MM, most such short forms wouldn't be consistent on both sides of the Atlantic. 9/11 works because of the US emergency services number which just about anyone who's ever watched an American TV show will recognise, 7/7 works because it's the same either way.

Normally however the discrepancy in dates would sound odd over here or over there depending on which one was used.
 

GB

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I don't believe "9/11" caught on because of the emergency number..as someone said above the emergency number is not pronounced like that anyway. It works because it is short hand and rolls off the tongue. Its also very close to their convenience store 7-Eleven/7-11 which they are used to saying.
 

TheEdge

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Pearl Harbour might have something to say about that.

See there's interesting debate to be had there. Which was "darker"?

9/11 was a (simplified) out of the blue terror attack on a civilian populous whereas Pearl Harbor was a military attack on a military target. But then that is muddied by the debate as to if Pearl was an legitimate act of war intended to happen after a legal declaration of war or an out and out war crime.
 

Ralph Ayres

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7/7 works because it's the same either way.

Normally however the discrepancy in dates would sound odd over here or over there depending on which one was used.
...and I've often wondered if the London attacks were deliberately carried out then for that very reason.
 

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