EPHEMERA: Does ’12 p.m.’ exist?

As the writer of the article “Does ’12pm’ exist? We could argue about it until the end of time” points out, complaints to Australia’s national broadcaster about language tend to fall along well worn paths about the (d)evolution of the English language, grammar, punctuation, pronunciation, and probably elocution as well.

A promotional announcement that something would be available for viewing online from “Monday from 12pm”, however, was a step too far for one person, who wrote to insist that there was a basic error – that no such time exists. Their reasoning? That because ‘p.m.’ stands for ‘post meridiem’, usually understood in English as ‘after midday’, it makes no sense, as ’12:00′ is not after midday.

Click on the link above to read about how the ABC handled this complaint. It involves delving into the ISO 8601, various style guides, and the National Measurements Institute (NMI).

Perhaps we should just all agree to use the 24-hour clock.

Categories: Ephemera, Technical, watches, Watchmaking

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