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With the advice given earlier, I have found several methods that do what I
need to get done with no problems. My previous lack of knowledge was easily
corrected and I am confident in my ability to adapt the input to conform to
the requirements of its intended function.

Quote: [With US loale setting and "detect special numbers" any of the above
input strings yield cell value 41274 preformatted to show 41274 as
"12/31/12" which is obviously and unambiguously the correct value. This
value can be formatted at will and sorted by its numeric value.]

You are correct in that 12/31/12 is not ambiguous, but that is a special
case. When each element is unique and without knowing the source preference,
there are six different dates that may be generated from "10/11/12":

This is why, when not using ISO8601, I choose to use a four digit year AND a
month name. No matter the order of the elements, there can be no ambiguity.

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