[tz] Ambiguous abbreviations for Australian timezones when daylight savings is in affect [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Peter Stagg P.Stagg at bom.gov.au
Mon Apr 8 00:38:10 UTC 2013

So I see the patronising attitude of the TZ database coordinators rages on :-)

It has been said that their are inconsistencies in both Australian Federal & State legislation and common usage. This point can be conceded even though it is based on an assessment far removed from the actual situation.  It has also been stated that the aim is to use labels and abbreviations for timezones that are most commonly used and understood. A good point as the intention is to make sure they are widely understood (FYI irony). However the basis for the decision to use the ambiguous terms and abbreviations 'Eastern Standard Time'; 'EST' and 'Eastern Summer Time'; 'EST' is a highly unscientific internet search and the paternalistic opinions of the coordinators.

As there appears to be a fondness for search engine results in decision making why not try this one:

australia EDT site:http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/

Take a look at the number of times that, mostly Australians, have asked for the terms and abbreviations used for Australian time zones (esp. *D*aylight Saving Time) to be disambiguated.

You might also look at the amount of frustration and acrimony the one-eyed, condescending responses of the coordinators and mostly non-Australian list members cause and consider how often this stops people from bothering to voice opinions and endeavouring to resolve issues.


On a lighter note and at the risk of hindering my own argument I'm surprised none of you jokers from out-of-town have pointed out 'ESST'; 'Eastern Standard Summer Time'.

"Eastern Standard Summer Time" "ESST" site:.au

about 1,810 results

An interesting video from the 1970's Four Corners program on the ABC (Australia's national broadcaster, ICYDK) on the introduction of "Daylight Saving" in Tasmania. Note the consistent  use of that term "Daylight Saving", "Summer Time" is never mentioned (FYI It's a predominantly British term) and take a look at the flight attendant's bonnet!


Peter Stagg 

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