Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The President speaks - at Noon or Midnight?

Like many of you,  I received an e-mail with an invitation from the D&AD President to join with his asking a question in as many different languages as possible, as follows:

Dear Creative Person. I have a question for you.
In fact, I have a question for every single purveyor of original thought in the world. On 03.11.10 at 12.00pm GMT I will attempt to ask this question in as many languages as humanly possible.
Join me and please accept my invitation at the bottom of this email.
The President of D&AD

Date: Wednesday 3 November 2010
Time: 12:00PM GMT

Now, I thought this was quite interesting but I also wondered whether it should be 12:00PM or not?  To me it just looked wrong. So I thought I'd have a quick look into it and it seems that there is no definite answer. Because the abbreviations a.m. stands for ante-meridiem (before the Sun has crossed the line) and p.m. for post-meridiem (after the Sun has crossed the line) it causes a problem because at 12 noon, the Sun is at its highest point in the sky and directly over the meridian. It is therefore neither 'ante-' nor 'post-' and it does cause some uncertainty!

Concensus on the web is that to avoid confusion, the correct designation for 12 o'clock is 12 noon or 12 midnight.

Now you know that, get on to YouTube ( 12 noon) and find out what the message is! 
Posted by Justin Hobson 03.11.2010

1 comment:

  1. I would always say 'midday' or '12 noon', but when we're labouring under BST rather than GMT, 12AM would actually be correct as the sun would not reach its meridian until the clocks said 13:00.


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