A New Perspective of Time

Dear Fellow Loungers,


I have just today been informed that for my whole life, I have been mis-informed about how to tell the time!

Apparently, what I normally would have known as 12.00 noon, is actually 12.00am, and not 12.00pm as I have been told all my life!

And similarly, 12.00 midnight is NOT 12.00am, but should be 12.00pm!

Because of the way we count, the telling of time does not become 1pm until after 12.59am (that is, 59 minutes AFTER noon). LIkewise, we should say 1am only after 12.50pm (or 59 minutes after midnight)...confusing?

After doing a bit of home work, and looking at how the Romans used a "12" at the top of their sundial, and not a "0" (because they hadn't discovered ta zero yet), and nothing has ever changed since... it seems that I need to have a new perspective in how to tell the time!


How many Loungers are like me?  And how many Loungers were already aware of this issue?


Should we get a special edition Hour Lounge watch with this face?



Look forward to hearing your thoughts,



12 and 24 Hour Time
05/25/2015 - 19:07

In my professional life we always worked with the 24 hour clock, which doesn't conform to your model.  Midnight was 00:00 and noon 12:00.  I have my digital watch set to 24H so it reads in this manner.

In the 12H clock, ante and post meridium refer to the midday, so semantically I suggest it would follow 11:59 am, 12 midday, and 12:01 pm.  Midnight should be 11:59 pm, 12 midnight, and 12:01 am.  What do you think?

Re: 12 and 24 Hour Time
05/26/2015 - 01:32

Hi Dean,

Agreed that 24hr clock leaves no mistakes.

The 12hr clock, and the am/pm problem lies in where you start counting from.   Here is an interesting link whch explains the issue:


Best wishes




no issues on my side as I'm on a 24h scale and not AM/PM :-) I also use the
05/26/2015 - 10:02

metric system cheeky

An interesting topic
05/26/2015 - 14:04

So, this is somewhat related, but put it up to horological rumination, not so much contrinution to the matter at hand.

I think that language and often dictates the way we think of things (certainly George Orwell agrees).  For example, when I learned German, I was quite fascinated by the fact that they refer to half-hours by the hour "coming", not the one "going".  By way of illustration, if the clock reads 9:30, they would say "it is half-ten".  So, in essence, they view the hour as "filling up" rather than as "draining".  Put another way, they view the 10 o'clock hour as starting at 9:00.01 and filling up from there.  I would contend that most Americans and maybe most native English speaking people, view the 9 o'clock hour as starting at 9:00.00 and filling up from there until it is completed and the 10 o'clock hour begins.  Much as the ancient Romans lacked the zero, thus the time was never "empty", I presume they viewed that as the start, not the end of the 12 o'clock hour.  Interesting.  I suppose it is really a distintion without a difference in today's day and age.  I wonder how many mis-translations there have been where some documented phenomena doesn't make sense, because "halb Zehn" (or half ten) was taken to mean 10:30 and not 9:30 or some such?

And by the way, while I am on the topic, the metric system?  Really?  I mean, how hard it is to remember inches, feet, yards, cubits, rods, furlongs, leagues, miles?  Or ounces, pounds, tons, stone?  Heh.  It really is crazy isn't it?

Re: An interesting topic
05/26/2015 - 22:09

Makes one pause and wonder what we've lost with the thousands of dialects that have disappeared just since the 20th century.  Speaking of simplifying time, Napoleon tried Decimal time based on units of 10 rather than 12 and 60, but they reverted as soon as he was out.  Swatch even tried to revive the concept but I think it was more a stunt as their Meridian went right through Swatch headquarters.

Re: An interesting topic
05/27/2015 - 00:04

When Canada went metric it was a real struggle for a lot of people, but it was the right thing to do. And after a while most people got used to it or to most metric measurements. You still find pounds as a weight in supermarkets but I think most people are happy with kilos.

What really upset me though was going to far in metric!

I studied science and medicine and everything was metric so it was an easy transition for me.

But when the government of the time under Trudeau decided that barometric pressure in mm. of mercury was not metric enough, they devised "kilopascals".Well they can shove their kp's where their haemorrhoids grow! It will always be mm. Hg for me yes

As far as time is concerned I use the 24 hour clock, a leftover from my flying days. It also avoids confusion. And I use knots for wind speed which is still used univesally in aviation and seafaring.

As for obscure Imperial measurements, you can look to the pharmaceutical industry where measurements were in drams, minims etc.

What a world! What a world! wink




Re: Re: An interesting topic
05/27/2015 - 00:31

Music is even more interesting in different languages. Here is a German/Enlgish translation of note names:



And a 'croche' is an eighth note in French. This makes more sense to me since it looks like a shepherd's crook - croche.

Anyway, there are also semidemisemiquavers and demisemidemisemiquavers in english...sigh...

The German system is so much easier.


Re: A New Perspective of Time
05/26/2015 - 14:24

This is an interesting subject.

In the military they don't use midnight because there is no specific date attached to it. They go to 23:59:59 on one date and start again at 00:00:01 on the next date - so there are 2 whole seconds unaccounted for.

Just to add to the confusion: In Sweden 1:30 is halv två, half two. This makes sense if you look at the first hour as being between 12 and 1, the second hour being between 1 and 2, etc. but it causes problems if you go to England where half two is 2:30, so...



Re: A New Perspective of Time
05/30/2015 - 06:18

The author's logic is flawed. The simple ruler example and the 0 clock highlight the flaw. It appears the author believes you can't switch from AM to PM until a full hour has passed or time starts at 1AM. This is incorrect.

Midnight and noon don't actually exist. There are mere concepts. At some infinitesimally small unit of time, you are after noon (or midnight).  If the before and after (ante and post) reference midday, then you are after midday before you realize it is midday. Just because we haven't completed a full hour is irrelevant.

Looking at a ruler, the first 1/8" to the right of 0 is not -1/8" simply because you haven't measured your first full inch. If we think of time the same way, think of putting two rulers next to each other. The first ruler is AM (before the half), the second is PM (after the half). Cross the 12th inch of the first and you are on the second ruler, it doesn't matter that you haven't arrived at the thirteenth inch (1" on the second ruler), you're still on the second ruler.

Thus 12:00:01 PM is the first second after midday (noon).