Noon = 12am or pm?

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mike morgan:
Hello, for some time now I've been trying to determine once and for good whether noon as opposed to midnight can be referred to as 12 am or 12 pm. According to me it's 12 pm but am I right?... - many of native English speakers whom i'd asked had different opinions on that. Please confirm me or correct me.
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Einde O'Callaghan:
[nq:1]Hello, for some time now I've been trying to determine once and for good whether noon as opposed to midnight ... seems to me to be particularly appropriate for 12 noon. ;-) This may be why you get such different opinions.[/nq]
Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
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Hanover Fist:
Most people - all the ones I know, anyway - see noon as 12 PM, and midnight as 12 AM. In truth, however, neither is correct for either time.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a US federal agency operating through the Department of Commerce, addresses the issue by saying: "This is a tricky question. The answer is that the terms 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. are wrong and should not be used. To illustrate this, consider that "a.m" and "p.m." are abbreviations for "ante meridiem" and "post meridiem." They mean "before noon" and "after noon," respectively. Noon is neither before or after noon; it is simply noon. Therefore, neither the "a.m." nor "p.m." designation is correct. On the other hand, midnight is both 12 hours before noon and 12 hours after noon. Therefore, either 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. could work as a designation for midnight, but both would be ambiguous as to the date intended."

http://www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/general/misc.htm#Anchor-57026
[nq:1]Hello, for some time now I've been trying to determine once and for good whether noon as opposed to midnight ... - many of native English speakers whom i'd asked had different opinions on that. Please confirm me or correct me.[/nq]
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Mike Slough:
I am interested in this also. Given that both uses are wrong, which would (incorrectly) be most commonly accepted as right? Example: A US government employee must fill out a timecard for payroll, and must enter digits only in one field (12:00 but not NOON) and then must circle the AM/PM. The employee works from noon to 1AM. To correctly report thirteen work-hours instead of only one, surely some government agency (Commerce, Labor, IRS) has defined noon as either AM or PM, especially for data-entry procedures. (Assuming a non-24-hour non-military clock).
[nq:1]Most people - all the ones I know, anyway - see noon as 12 PM, and midnight as 12 AM. ... tricky question. The answer is that the terms 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. are wrong and should not be used.[/nq]
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Woody Wordpecker:
On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 06:17:19 -0800, "Mike Slough" (Email Removed) said:
[nq:2]Most people - all the ones I know, anyway - ... and 12 p.m. are wrong and should not be used.[/nq]
[nq:1]I am interested in this also. Given that both uses are wrong, which would (incorrectly) be most commonly accepted as ... (Commerce, Labor, IRS) has defined noon as either AM or PM, especially for data-entry procedures. (Assuming a non-24-hour non-military clock).[/nq]
A use that will affect more people's lives than that will arises when programming a VCR. On VCRs that I've seen, to stop recording a program at noon I've had to enter "12" then enter "1" or "2" for a.m. or p.m. One way to solve that problem is to stop the recording at 12:01 p.m.

Another way to solve it is to use VCR Plus and let the machine decide whether noon is a.m. or p.m.

For the Japanese soldier who doesn't know World War II is over and has been hiding in a cave on Okinawa for the past fifty-odd years: VCR Plus lets you use a number, like "537671", from the TV listings. You enter that number and the VCR knows what program you want and the date and time it will air.
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Tomasz Dryjanski:
[nq:1]Most people - all the ones I know, anyway - see noon as 12 PM, and midnight as 12 AM. ... or 12 p.m. could work as a designation for midnight, but both would be ambiguous as to the date intended."[/nq]
Right. But e.g. 12:30 p.m. is obviously /post/ meridem. That's why 12:00 PM equals to 12:00, while 12:00 AM equals to 0:00. This is also the way how computer operating systems understand it.

T. D.

PS. Apologizes for possible mistakes in my english. As usual. Emotion: smile
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Wes Groleau:
[nq:2]Most people - all the ones I know, anyway - ... 12 AM. In truth, however, neither is correct for either>>(snip)[/nq]
[nq:1](snip) Right. But e.g. 12:30 p.m. is obviously /post/ meridem. That's why[/nq]
To expand on that: One millisecond after "high noon," the time is 12:00:00.001 PM.

So if you are watching the clock the instant it becomes neither AM nor PM, it is PM before your brain processes the info.

:-)

-- Wes Groleau -- Daily Hoax: http://www.snopes2.com/cgi-bin/random/random.asp
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Huw:
[nq:1]Hello, for some time now I've been trying to determine once and for good whether noon as opposed to midnight ... - many of native English speakers whom i'd asked had different opinions on that. Please confirm me or correct me.[/nq]
Insofar as the 12 when the sun is up is the morning, and 12 when the sun isn't up is at night, intuitively, the majority of people I know say "12am" for midday and 12pm for midnight.

The 12pm one, though, out of the context of the position of the sun in the sky, might look like 12 in the afternoon. Hence the confusion that I too share.

Zero hours might be more appropriate for 12 midnight, and 12 on it's own for the one when the sun is up sans suffix "am/pm", since, as many have pointed out already, 12 daytime is neither before or after the meridian.

If someone is arranging a meeting with you for "12pm" then it's probably a safe bet that that is actually midday unless you're pretty intimate.

- Huw.
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Wes Groleau:
[nq:1]sun isn't up is at night, intuitively, the majority of people I know say "12am" for midday and 12pm for midnight.[/nq]
The majority of people, clocks, and computer software I know are the opposite.

-- Wes Groleau -- "The reason most women would rather have beauty than brains is they know that most men can see better than they can think." -- James Dobson
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