Useful Tips

12 hour time format


Hello, dear readers of the blog It seems to be a trivial (what is this?) Question, but how often does it arise. For example, it is always difficult for me to immediately remember when working with English-language services, and how much is 10.00 PM in terms of our time, the feeling (is this morning meant or evening?). Anyway, where did these AM and PM come fromwho needs them and why not use only the 24-hour format?

Well, here the question is probably from the same area as the use of right-hand traffic in some countries - it just happened and you can’t do anything here. You just need to deal with these a.m. once and for all. and p.m. (to forget about the relationship with the 24-hour ruler), or, at worst, write yourself a cheat sheet (if I don’t have too much time in my head). Where to write? Yes, right here, i.e. on the pages of your blog. I will do so.

Are we far from the 12 hour time format?

The time format using AM and PM is not only common in the bourgeois, sometimes its echoes can be observed on the runet space (mainly in localized bourgeois projects). For example, the Fidberner service, known to many bloggers, suggests choosing the time for sending letters to subscribers based on the 12-hour format rather than the 24-hour one:

It seems that the time zone also says that a.m. and p.m. they don’t understand, and the interface is translated into Russian. But no, habit is second nature. And how do I understand 11:00 am - 1:00 pm? Is it from eleven in the morning to one in the afternoon or from eleven in the evening to one in the morning? You need to google, and so every time, to know for sure.

Although, I, probably, in vain so attacked the bourgeois with their AM and PM. If you think about it, then we are also half living in a 12-hour world. For example, when they ask you time, you don’t answer that it’s now at fifteen to eighteen, but say that at fifteen to six, and in the evenings or in the morning, the person himself can determine. In this regard, we are the same.

At the same time, in Russian texts in most cases (yes always), a 24-hour time scale is used. But here we have a dial clock again in a 12-hour format. Probably, 24 hours would be difficult to fit there and it would look overloaded.

But the digital clock here is again 24-hour, and for the Americans, judging by the films, it’s 12-hour with a.m. and p.m.

Oh, how everything in life got messed up if you think about it.

Decoding and nuances of using A.M. and P.M.

But this is all verbiage, and what does this mean most AM and PM (how these abbreviations are deciphered). It turns out that these Latin abbreviations literally mean the following:

  1. AM - noon
  2. PM - in the afternoon (this, by the way, is easier to remember, because the first letters in the Russian and Latin names coincide)

This can be quite well illustrated by the following two hand chronometers:

If you exaggerate, then PM is evening, and AM is morning. Everything seems to be simple, but there is a small problem. All is well until it comes to before noon or midnight, i.e. places rendezvous cycles a.m. and p.m.

In general, it turns out that in different countries that accept a 12-hour cycle, these moments can be marked in different ways (and 12 p.m. and 12 a.m.) Thus, there are discrepancies (like, "the glass is half full or it is half empty"). For me, it would be more logical to use not 12 p.m., but 0 p.m., which would be much more logical, but the bourgeois know better. The result is such an absurdity, in my opinion:

After 12a.m. coming 01a.m. etc. And after 12p.m. coming 01p.m. It’s hard for me personally to get used to (how can a unit follow after 12?). In general, Americans mark midnight as 11:59 p.m. in documents and noon as 12:01 a.m. so that there are no legal incidents and discrepancies. They are strange.

Problems in the designations of noon and midnight

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Despite the presence of the international standard ISO 8601, 12 o’clock in the morning and 12 o’clock in the afternoon are designated differently in different countries. This is due to the fact that in Latin phrases lat. ante meridiem and lat. post meridiem word meridiem literally means “midday” or “noon”, and there is no ambiguity between designating midday as “12 am” (“12 ante meridiem”, or “12 hours before midday”) or as “12 pm” (“12 post meridiem” , or “12 hours after the middle of the day”).

On the other hand, midnight can also be logically called “12 p.m.” (12 post meridiem, 12 hours after the previous mid day) or “12 a.m.” (12 ante meridiem, 12 hours until the next mid day).

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich recommends designating these time points as “12 days” and “12 nights”. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language [en] also recommends the same. Many US style guides suggest replacing “midnight” with “11:59 p.m.” if we want to mark the end of the day, and “12:01 a.m.” if we want to mark the beginning of the next day. This practice is widely used in the USA for legal contracts, bus and train schedules, although there are exceptions to this rule.

For example, a 24-hour calculation method exists in the USA. It is called "War Time", as it is used by the American Army both for easier cooperation with other armies of the world, and as a sign of respect for their way of breaking the clock. The U.S. Army adopted the 24-hour format during World War II. The 12-hour method is considered too inconvenient, cumbersome, and due to the likelihood of errors dangerous in some areas (army, aviation, meteorology, hospitals, rescue services), they use the 24-hour format.