When is midnight? Nomenclature question
eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Sun Apr 23 07:14:36 UTC 2006
"Dave Cantor" <Dave at Cantor.mv.com> writes:
> ... "midnight Tuesday". Midnight _used_to_be_ a synonym for 2400
> hrs., the end of the day.
Yes, that's the usual meaning in English even now, I think.
> But we pretty much don't use 2400 hrs. any more, and "midnight"
> has become a synonym, in some contexts, for 0000 hrs., the start
> of the day.
Hmm, which contexts are these? Do you have some quotes?
I ask because there is a lot of confusion around on this subject.
For example, <http://www.physics.nist.gov/News/Releases/questions.html>
says that railroads and airlines get around the 12:00 ambiguity by never
scheduling departures for either noon or midnight, but I once had a
printed airline ticket that said I left LAX at "1200N", meaning noon.
> Is anyone else concerned? What should be done? Who should do it?
It's a centuries-old problem, and I'm not sure we can do much about
it. For more on this subject please see
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12-hour_clock> (not that it is
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