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Is there a way to substring text shown on a page?

I have a visualforce page which shows a date in a long format, I want to know if there is a way to show part of the text.  I was to show the short date and may in the future want to only show part of a text string.

How can this be done?

The code I use at the moment is:

which displays:
Fri Oct 31 00:00:00 GMT 2008

Any help is appretiated.