Puzzled by “ONDJFMAMJJASO” on Your Bill? Here’s What it Means

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And you can quote me: "If you have received a utility bill - such as an Excel Energy bill - or some other statement of account, and are puzzled by a graph which tells you your "ONDJFMAMJJASO" usage, don't feel alone. And don't feel foolish when we tell you what ONDJFMAMJJASO stands for. Depending on when you read it (and this is a clue), it could also instead say NDJFMAMJJASON, DJFMAMJJASOND, JFMAMJJASONDJ, FMAMJJASONDJF, MAMJJASONDJFM, AMJJASONDJFMA, MJJASONDJFMAM, JJASONDJFMAMJ, JASONDJFMAMJJ, ASONDJFMAMJJA, or SONDJFMAMJJAS."

Posted in Bad Writing, October 9th, 2013


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If you have received a utility bill – such as an Excel Energy bill – or some other statement of account, and are puzzled by a graph which tells you your “ONDJFMAMJJASO” usage, don’t feel alone. And don’t feel foolish when we tell you what ONDJFMAMJJASO stands for. Depending on when you read it (and this is a clue), it could also instead say NDJFMAMJJASON, DJFMAMJJASOND, JFMAMJJASONDJ, FMAMJJASONDJF, MAMJJASONDJFM, AMJJASONDJFMA, MJJASONDJFMAM, JJASONDJFMAMJ, JASONDJFMAMJJ, ASONDJFMAMJJA, or SONDJFMAMJJAS.

Yes, each of those letters stands for a month of the year, in order, and the group of letters together stands for your month-to-month usage or charges or whatever it’s revealing about your account.

But often it isn’t clear! Take, for example, an Excel Energy statement. What it should say is something like “This is a month-by-month comparison for the past year.” Instead it says “Your monthly electricity usage.” It would not be unreasonable for you to think this means your usage for the month, and try to make ONDJFMAMJJASO somehow fit “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday….”, which of course it doesn’t.

If you are reading this, it’s likely because you Googled (or Binged or Yahooed) that odd set of letters, which also means that it’s likely that the company that sent you the statement also did not make it clear just what it was you were looking at. Take heart in knowing that the vast majority of others who have read this article arrived at it the exact same way, for the exact same reason.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks

    Comment by Randall Howard Just — March 5, 2017 @ 2:43 am

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