Usage and Grammar

Q. Editor’s update: Last month two questions arrived a few hours apart, from two different people, each asking whether the day of the month is capped when spelled out, and both used the second of January as the example. We hoped to learn whether the writers were acquainted and had written independently to settle a dispute, or whether the nearly identical queries were simply a romantic coincidence on the part of writers unknown to each other.

A. The latter seems to have been the case. We heard from one of the writers, who, after checking to make sure her sister hadn’t written the other query, said she hadn’t discussed the issue with anyone else. She was intrigued—but evidently the other writer wasn’t. (So much for the Q&A as matchmaker.)