[tz] Unfortunate time zone names in the United States

Chris Walton crj.walton at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 21:31:08 UTC 2022

On Thu, Mar 17, 2022 at 4:51 PM Clive D.W. Feather via tz <tz at iana.org>

> John Levine via tz said:
> > The bill passed by the Senate deletes 260a, and updates 261 to change
> > each of the numbers by an hour, 4 changes to 3, 5 to 4, and so forth
> > 11 changes to 10 and the final 10 changes to 11.
> >
> > But it does *not* change section 263.  This means that the official
> > US names of the time zones change, which is really stupid.  Since
> > Hawaii, Samoa, and Guam do not use daylight time, Hawaii will now be in
> > Alaska standard time, Samoa in Hawaii-Aleutian standard time,
> > and Guam in a time zone with no name.
> Not necessarily. Hawaii-Aleutian standard time will become UTC-9. I don't
> know what legislation says what time is used in Hawaii, but if it uses that
> name then time in Hawaii will jump forward one hour on the date the law
> comes into effect.

Section 2.b.2 of the act seems to imply that Hawaii can continue to operate
on UTC-10 if it wishes.  The zone would be called Samoa which is clearly an
The reality is that most of the world's time zone legislation is either
ambiguous or full of conflicting statements.
This is why I believe it is up to the members of this list to:
1. Figure out the intent of legislation as it pertains to the actual
setting of clocks.
2. Seek clarification from the politicians if it is not clear on how the
clocks are to be set.
3. Ignore everything else uttered by the politicians.
4. Come up with appropriate naming standards even though those standards
may conflict with government legislation.
As I stated yesterday, the naming standards should apply across national,
state, provincial and territorial borders.

I believe that the US government did the correct thing by advertising this
change as permanent Daylight Saving Time, and then attempting to redefine
Standard Time.
If you want the public to understand the intent of this change, you cannot
use the term "Standard Time" without confusing 90% of the population.
If you simply tell the public that Daylight Saving will be permanent, there
is absolutely no ambiguity about what you are trying to accomplish.
FYI. Yukon recently did the same thing.  The Yukon government asked the
public if they wanted "year-round Daylight Saving Time (UTC-7)" or
"year-round Standard Time (UTC-8)".  The public chose the first option, but
when the legislation was drawn up, all references to the term "Daylight
Saving" were removed.
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