[tz] Terminology: “Central European Summer Time” vs “Europe/Berlin”

Guy Harris gharris at sonic.net
Tue Apr 13 18:49:59 UTC 2021

On Apr 13, 2021, at 6:54 AM, Michael[tm] Smith via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:

> In the time zone taxonomy, if the term for “Europe/Berlin” is clearly “time zone”,

Perhaps that's what's currently used, but I'm not convinced it *should* be used.

I tend to refer to them as "tzdb regions", as they don't correspond to what I suspect most people think of as "time zones".

A tzdb region may well be in different "time zones" in the sense of a given standard time offset from UTC (I think there are examples of that in the tzdb), and there may be more than one tzdb region with the same standard time offset from UTC, so they're in the same "time zone", but with different DST rules or with different histories of DST rules (for example, in the US some regions within a given "time zone" may not do DST while other regions within the same "time zone" do).

> and “GMT+2” is precisely a “timezone offset”, is there a term (other than “time
> zone”) for what “Central European Summer Time” is — either an authoritative/
> normative term, or else at least a best-practice term that’s commonly used?

"Central European Summer Time" isn't a "time zone", either.  I have the impression that "Central European Time" is what the general public would cal a "time zone"; "Central European Summer Time" is "time, in the Central European Time zone, when summer time is in effect"; I'm not sure whether there's an English-language term used by the general public for items such as "Central European Summer Time", and don't know whether any other languages have a term for it.

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