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Pacific time

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (1 of 17), Read 221 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 08:41 AM

Steven Chostler, of Denver, Colo., writes: "As a pacifist, I am looking for an easily remembered alternative to the term 'military time' for any 24-hour clock. 'Vigesimoquartal' is a bookbinder's term having to do with '24-mo' paper (that is, a printing form that will become 24 pages), and it could handily be shortened to 'v.q. time' or even 'vi-tal time.' Comments or recommendations?"

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (2 of 17), Read 201 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 10:32 AM

The use of the 24 hour clock by the military is related to the fact that most of the world sees it that way. It was not an invention of the military, and needn't be thought of as "military time."

Live military operations are typically conducted in countries other than the US, and often in cooperation with troops from other countries. The use of the 24 hour time system by the US military goes back to at least WWII, but maybe farther for all I know. In WWII, US troops fought with allies from other countries and the whole organization needed to operate on the same time system.

It doesn't actually need a special designation because each day actually has approximately 24 hours, and 10 o'clock is not the same as 22 o'clock.

I've gotten away with calling it the European Time System, but I don't actually know what Asians and others use.

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (3 of 17), Read 191 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Mark Williams (sugarwolfe@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 04:05 AM

In western culture it is interesting to note that the church, not the military, was behind the development of the clock and that the 24-hour clock actually preceded its 12-hour cousin. In addition to displaying the time, these early devices also displayed the phase of the moon and the positions of the sun and the five known planets of the time. However, by making the 12-hour variety, it simplified the mechanism and mercifully reduced the number of times the bells would ring when announcing the hour.

In my travels, the 24-hour clock has been referred to as International Time or Universal Time. In major international airports the 24-hour clock is quite common but is usually paired up with a clock displaying the local time as well.

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (4 of 17), Read 194 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 04:11 AM

But the Church really didn't like that celestial symbols did they?

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (5 of 17), Read 184 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Aaron Reneker (zanazarius@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 11:02 PM

Roger,

Good point, but to clarify for those readers who might not know much about medieval history and such--the Catholic Church did indeed streamline time, as it were, and no, they were not particularly fond of the idea of using celestial events to determine dates. However, as with many religious eras, the Catholic Church (the Spanish Inquisition aside) oftentimes brought into their belief systems various aspects of pagan beliefs in order to better acclimate the Church to their missionary work, which often involved preaching to people who really weren't all that interested in changing their long-held rites and practices. To quote my grandfather, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, then beat them later."
As an example of the pagan influence on the Church calendar, realize that all the days of the week except Sunday (which is just a bastardization of Sun's [or Sol's] Day) were named for pagan gods--Wednesday was Woden's Day, etc. To some extent, the Catholic idea of praying to the holy saints of the Church have some background in the pagan religions, where representations of local gods and goddesses were carved into stone and set on altars or in holy structures for their followers to worship them. While Catholics do not (necessarily) worship the saints, the tradition of their representation in statue-work can be traced back to the pagans.
I read an article recently that stated that our calendar is actually a bit of a problem, in that it is neither accurate according to "galactic time," nor does it make a whole lot of sense the way it is laid out. However, right now, it's all we've got. Until some bright soul comes up with a better way to deal with time and all its representations, we humans are stuck with a faulty system. This is not the Church's fault--they just worked with what they had, too.

Oh, well, tempus fugit....

Aaron Reneker

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (6 of 17), Read 144 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Vanessa Moore (vanessalyn@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, July 08, 1999 12:09 AM

Aaron, I think I'd like your grandfather! "To quote my grandfather, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, then beat them later."
---------------------------------------------
Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility. --James Thurber

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (7 of 17), Read 180 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Mark Williams (sugarwolfe@yahoo.com)
Date: Saturday, June 26, 1999 04:11 PM

Roger,

The church has been at odds with astronomy and astrology at times, and a supporter at other times. It has really been a matter of whether they were hearing what they wanted or felt threatened.

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (8 of 17), Read 115 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Diane Carr (dnwcarr@ibm.net)
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 1999 11:43 PM

I first learned of 24 time from a committed Pacifist. He referred to it as International Time.

(2 votes for IT)

Diane

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (9 of 17), Read 182 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, June 26, 1999 11:14 AM

Universal Time is actually the name for a 24-hour or solar day standard. There are a couple of variations, one being UT0 (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time) and the other being UT1, which is tied to the earth's rotation. Then there is UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) which is what the time broadcast services provide and which is adjusted to atomic clocks (Ephemeris Time) by leap seconds once or twice a year. (atomic time and earth's rotation time are now seemingly unrelated other than being measured in seconds!)

this is all confusing enough without overloading UT with the generic 24-hour clock burden.

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (10 of 17), Read 181 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Saturday, June 26, 1999 04:26 PM

This was, to me, a new twist on the 24-hour clock situation: that the '24-hour clock' is synonymous with 'military time'. Perhaps only by association? As a teacher of (Business) English as a Second Language, this is not an unimportant subject to my students doing business in the international arena and is considered worthy of (long) discussions. "When do we start to use p.m.?" or, my question to the class, what's the time being shown on your faxes and computer printouts? Need I say the silence is deafening? Consider the implications re contracts (legally binding) and airline schedules (only sometimes binding). But I do connect up the 24-hour clock with the military: although the 24-hour clock is not used in the US, most men- yes, men- know what 2200 hours is: I guess because of the military? The word I have always used, in answer to the word fugitive question is simply 'the 24-hour clock' and simply by-passed any other formal name. Regards from Sweden on Midsummer Day where the clock is indeed a 24-hour one. :-)

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (11 of 17), Read 163 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Steven Chostler (pepperpack@webtv.net)
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 12:54 PM

Thank you to all who have offered insights and information.  Time is such a delightfully baffling concept  for a system that was originally supposed to make our days more predictable!  Aaron's "time flies" keep getting into everything, spreading entropy…
   Michael's observations about UTO, UT1 and UTC bring to mind the "Alaskan paradox" we have artificially engineered, viz., that if we assign Greenwich Observatory as our "prime meridian" demarcator, then Alaska is not only the northernmost and westernmost of the United States, but it is also the easternmost.  This is because the 180th meridian lies between the Aleutian islands of Amatignak, at 179° 10" WEST, and Semisopochnoi, at 179° 40" EAST longitude (the politically meandering International Date Line is irrelevant).
   So, reserve passage on your boat now for AD 2000: or is it AD 2001?   

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (12 of 17), Read 111 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, July 23, 1999 09:59 AM

here's a late entry for the 24-hour clock sweekpstakes: nychthemeral

this is a relational word which stems from nychthemeron, a 24-hour period. (I discovered this during my diurnal word browsings.)

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (13 of 17), Read 106 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Saturday, July 24, 1999 04:57 PM

Nice word, Michael. I was so intrigued that I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary. The noun does indeed mean a twenty-four hour period -- consisting of a day and a night, the OED specifies. The entry for the adjective has a somewhat different emphasis from the one we want, though; this would be an extension of the word's current meaning. The entry reads:

nychthemeral /nIkqimrl/, a. Also nycthemeral. [f. NYCHTHEMER(ON + -AL.]
Occurring with a variation that matches that of night and day.
1907 Nature 17 Jan. 287/2 The regulation of the nychthemeral cycle of temperature and its inversion in the aged. 1967
Oceanogr. & Marine Biol. V. 495 These nycthemeral changes of the gas tension in the different levels of water. 1974 Nature 13
Sept. 143/2 These animals have a nychthemeral variation of less than 2° C.


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Topic: 4) Pacific time (14 of 17), Read 96 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 04:28 PM

Perhaps a thought to round off.... A Swedish author, Lennart Lundmark, in his 1993 book about the history of time and our fascination with it, makes the following observation: There is no such thing as Time, only clocks and watches.

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (15 of 17), Read 60 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: William Richards (richards@sfu.ca)
Date: Monday, August 16, 1999 02:13 AM

On 7/24/99 4:57:12 PM, Barbara Wallraff wrote:
>Nice word, Michael. I was so intrigued that
>I looked it up in the Oxford English
>Dictionary. The noun does indeed mean a
>twenty-four hour period -- consisting of
>a day and a night, the OED specifies.

Can the people who live in the far north
use this word when the sun doesn't set in
the course of the 24-hour days they
experience in the summer? Do they call the
period of time between, say, midnight and
5 AM "night," even though the sun is well
above the horizon then?

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (16 of 17), Read 48 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Gerson Ferracini (ferrax@cgr.zaz.com.br)
Date: Saturday, August 21, 1999 12:37 AM

I wonder why you need a name for it at all. Isn't "twenty-four-hour clock" good enough?
In Portuguese (I live in Brazil) it is called "relógio de vinte e quatro horas", which is the same, literally, and we have never felt the need of another name for it.
By the way: the twenty-four-hour clock is extensively used all over the world, with the possible only exception of the US (and Canada?). My 8-year-old son knows how to convert, say, 3 in the afternoon to "15 o'clock" (and vice versa) without any difficulty, and that is not untypical of his age.
Well, getting back to the point: do you need a name? What about "clock around the clock"?

Gerson

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (17 of 17), Read 41 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Monday, August 23, 1999 09:07 AM

Good question, William Richards. I have been trying out phrases: how do I refer to the time of day when the sun is shining at 10 p.m. (2200 hours)? I have been saying them out loud in both English and Swedish. Curiously enough, I hadn't even thought about how this phenomenon is expressed. This is what I came up with: "Gee, look how light it still is and it's 10 p.m.!" or "Wow, it's 11.30 p.m. and still like day." Or "still daylight"- that's a tricky translation set-up. But if someone called me from the states, let's say, and asked what time it was here, I'd answer "It's 11.30 at night (but it's still light...)." I hope this answers your question because it made me, at least, think of the answers. Regards from the Stockholm area where now at 2200 hours it is dark, Dorothy ;-)

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Topic: 24-Hour Cycle (1 of 4), Read 77 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ali Razmara (arazmara@uci.edu)
Date: Thursday, July 08, 1999 06:32 PM

Hello there!

I would like to present an interesting observation regarding the 24-Hour Cycle. Let's look at it from a physiological perspective. Whenever I come across cycles like this, I think about daily circadian rhythms ("circa" means "around," "dia" means "day"). Among all mammals, including ourselves, the organization of many behaviors is very much dependent on variations in physiological functions occurring on a daily basis. Namely, one such prominent behavior that is familiar to all of us if sleep. The circadian periodicity of human sleep stems from the inner works of our biological clocks, that lie in the hypothalamous of the brain. Let's not get too detailed about the finer points of these fascinating functions of the human marvel, the brain, but I would like to make some points regarding sleep and wakefulness. From the works of many scientists, some rather remarkable, unexpected observations have been remarked.

Most importantly, what would happen if we were prevented from sensing the cues that normally let us know about night and day?

Well, in fact, as I have learned in my biology classes at UCI, we would still continue to maintain the normal circadian rhythm, but the relation to actual time would be lost. The physiological function, such as sleep, would still be present, but the rhythm would be offset somewhat. Thus, it is clear that we all have an internal 24-hour cycle deep within us, buried in the marvel known as the brain.

Ali Razmara
P.S.- I just subscribed to the Atlantic Monthly today!!!

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Topic: 24-Hour Cycle (2 of 4), Read 74 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, July 09, 1999 05:13 AM

Actually, statistically, humans would slip off the 24 hour cycle to their natural cycle which is something like 24.3 hours long. If the world were adapted to human life, we'd all get to sleep in an extra 20 minutes.

BTW: This particular thread, "Word Fugitives with Barbara Wallraff," has been reserved by Atlantic's Ms. Grammar for postings related to her column. She posts the questions and we get to take a shot at finding the "word fugitives."

Was your post supposed to have been a response to something?

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Topic: 24-Hour Cycle (3 of 4), Read 74 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, July 09, 1999 07:17 AM

> If the world were adapted to human life,
> we'd all get to sleep in an extra 20
> minutes.

more likely, the work day would be 8h, 7m;
and everyone would be on time for meetings.
:-)

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 24-Hour Cycle (4 of 4), Read 44 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ali Razmara (arazmara@uci.edu)
Date: Sunday, July 25, 1999 05:11 PM

Hello Roger. I meant to reply to the pacific time word fugitive that was posted, thus that is why it seemed as if my message was just an original. It was meant to be a reply. Anyway, I'm still fascinated how we can still maintain this circadian rhythm even without cues about night and day.

Ali

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Topic: 4) Pacific time (1 of 1), Read 28 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Paul Hendrick (phendrick@acmail.blinncol.edu)
Date: Thursday, August 19, 1999 04:39 PM

Concerning 24-hour time, or "military" time: When I was in the military (Air Force) in the 70's, we referred to it as "Zulu" time, stemming from the use of the alphabet to designate the various time zones, based in sequence on the meridians. For instance, when I was stationed in Texas, that local time was designated as the "S" time zone, or, phonetically, "Sierra". The east coast was "T", or "Tango". Of course, Greenwich was in the "Z" zone, hence "Zulu". (This is (was?) the ICAO system of phonetics.) It was an easy system for giving local time, yet persons in other zones could easily discern their relative time.
Now, out of the military for 20 years, I still think of Greenwich time as "Zulu" time, but I personally have no military association with the nomenclature.
So I nominate the term "Zulu time", based on the alphabet that civilians claim as their own, to be the non-"military" terminology. (Although I'm sure that some people will still associate militarism with Zulus!)
Also, I'm sure that a lot of people have noticed Zulu time given on the television show "JAG", so may be somewhat familiar with the idea. (Again, my apologies to the pacifists for a military reference.)


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