[tz] Why is `Etc/UCT` not an alias of `Etc/UTC`?

Isiah Meadows contact at isiahmeadows.com
Wed Mar 6 00:13:19 UTC 2019

I came up with a somewhat more permissive set of queries that seem to
show a similar disparity in usage:

- '"Universal Coordinated Time" "UCT"': about 9,620 results in search,
344 in Scholar
- '"Coordinated Universal Time" "UTC"': about 2,580,000 results in
search, 17,900 in Scholar
- '"Universal Coordinated Time" "UCT" -"UTC"': about 4,730 results in
search, 256 in Scholar
- '"Coordinated Universal Time" "UTC" -"UCT"': about 2,250,000 results
in search, 17,600 in Scholar

The first two show just raw mentions of each, while the second two
captures how often people exclusively use one or the other. And it
paints an even starker picture. Doing some statistics:

- It appears about 4,870 search results and 88 Scholar results from a
UCT-based search mentioned both UTC and UCT, and about 330,000 search
results and 300 Scholar results from a UTC-based search mentioned
- If you convert those into percentages, I get about 50.8% of all
search results and 25.6% of all Scholar results mentioning both in a
UCT-based search, but only about 12.8% of all search results and 1.8%
of all Scholar results mentioning both in a UTC-based search.

Initially, I tried '"Universal Coordinated Time" UCT' without quoting
'UCT', and Google's search engine thought I meant to type 'UTC'
instead, assuming some sort of mistake I'm guessing. This itself could
be considered pretty telling. (It's also why I quoted both 'UCT' and
'UTC' in all four searches.) It's also telling that excluding the UTC
acronym from the UCT search results took away literally over half of
the search results.

Note: I excluded the surrounding single quotes in each search.

Just to reiterate, I'm just coming here curious why the two are
distinct names in the database and curious if "fixing" the redundancy
would break much, not necessarily saying it *has* to be changed. I
have very little stake here personally.


Isiah Meadows
contact at isiahmeadows.com

On Tue, Mar 5, 2019 at 6:21 PM Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
> On 3/5/19 3:07 PM, Guy Harris wrote:
> > Is there any information about whether "UTC" or "UCT" is the more commonly used abbreviation in documents in English?
> "UTC" is far more common. For example, for me Google reports about 4,220
> hits for the query "Universal Coordinated Time (UCT)" and about
> 1,080,000 hits for "Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)". For Google
> Scholar the numbers are 210 and 11,800 respectively. For Google Books
> they are 493 and 12,500 respectively. In all cases the double-quote
> characters were in the query.
> My vague impression is that "UCT" was formerly more popular than it is
> now, but it's never been as popular as "UTC".

More information about the tz mailing list