[tz] "time zone" vs "timezone" in documentation

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Fri Jun 22 19:54:03 UTC 2018

On 06/22/2018 11:52 AM, Robert Elz wrote:
> Whether timezone, timestamp, or filesystem have reached that state yet
> or not isn't clear - personally, I think they have

Yes, I also think they're words in reasonably common use. The question 
is whether they're the preferred spelling, and whether their 
connotations differ from those of the corresponding two-word phrases. In 
my Google-based survey, I found that "timestamp" and "time stamp" are 
within shouting distance in the New York Times (about 164 vs 295 hits 
overall). In contrast, the Times almost invariably uses "time zone": I 
found thousands of instances of "time zone" but just one instance of 
"timezone" (other than in proper names or blogs) and it was originally 
printed "time-" at the end of one line and "zone changes" at the start 
of the next, so it was possibly the old-fashioned "time-zone" or a 
disambiguating hyphen placed between the nouns "time" and "zone", before 
the noun "changes" (for the full context, see 
and look for the scanned image). Of course this is just one newspaper, 
but it's a major one and it's clear that the New York Time style frowns 
on "timezone" whereas it permits either "timestamp" or "time stamp". I 
expect that similar results would be found in other reliable sources.

Overall, my impression is that "time zone" is by far the common spelling 
for the common notion of the regions that you see on maps, whereas 
"timezone" is primarily used in computer-related material, where its 
interpretation is often the one I'm suggesting.

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