Telling time in places with the 24-hour system

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finlay
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Post by finlay »

Less prevalent? Do you reckon? IME wall clocks and clocks on towers are always analogue... or almost always, anyway. And as I say, I prefer to have an analogue watch, by far. It does lead to that rather sloppy rounding off to 5 minutes habit, I guess.

Occasionally if I see the time on the two different kinds of clock I might read it off as, eg, quarter to 8 and 19:45 or 07:45 – then I get confused because the second one seems to be an hour earlier. Anyone else get confused by this? :P

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Post by äreo »

finlay wrote:Less prevalent? Do you reckon? IME wall clocks and clocks on towers are always analogue... or almost always, anyway.
I certainly reckon that they're less prevalent generally, in that digital clocks are becoming more widespread. But I'm not denying that analog clocks are still more or less everywhere. They're, however, less prevalent than in the past.

Back on topic, even as an American, phrases like "quarter of 9" are odd to me - they don't even really sound grammatical.

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Post by Viktor77 »

äreo wrote:Back on topic, even as an American, phrases like "quarter of 9" are odd to me - they don't even really sound grammatical.
Yea, I'm not familiar with this either.

And GP: I suck at math haha. I thought there were 7 hours between 9AM and 5PM....
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Post by Travis B. »

Viktor77 wrote:
äreo wrote:Back on topic, even as an American, phrases like "quarter of 9" are odd to me - they don't even really sound grammatical.
Yea, I'm not familiar with this either.
Same here; I am very much not familiar with the form "quarter of hour" at all.

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Post by makvas »

It has always bugged me how in 12-hour time, the am/pm designation resets before the numbers actually do.

At night, it becomes "am" before the numbers actually reset

11:59 is pm
12:00 is am
12:59 is am
1:00 is am

In the day, "pm" also happens before the numbers reset

11:59 is am
12:00 is pm
12:59 is pm
1:00 is pm

I realize the original meaning of "am" was "after midnight" or some latin equivalent, but it really feels like they should reset to 0:00 instead of going on past 12:00. Maybe this is an artifact of a time before knowledge of the number zero? As a programmer, it's almost always better to start counting from zero, not one.

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Post by Grey »

Nortaneous wrote:I use both systems (I prefer 24-hour, so I keep my computers set to it; also, IRC clients almost always use 24-hour), and I remember times in whichever system I hear about them in. In speech, I only use 12-hour, but I'm in America and everyone here uses 12-hour.
Everyone?
You sure?

I know both, but I never use 12hour. I set everything to 24, and even in speech I'll use 24hour.

If someone were to ask me what time I normally eat dinner, I would tell them, anywhere between eighteen hundred, and twenty-one hundred.
Sometimes I get confused looks, but mostly people know what I mean.
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Post by Xonen »

Zoris wrote:I realize the original meaning of "am" was "after midnight" or some latin equivalent
"Before midday", but yeah.
Maybe this is an artifact of a time before knowledge of the number zero?
Kinda.
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Post by äreo »

Elyndian wrote:
Nortaneous wrote: I know both, but I never use 12hour. I set everything to 24, and even in speech I'll use 24hour.

If someone were to ask me what time I normally eat dinner, I would tell them, anywhere between eighteen hundred, and twenty-one hundred.
Sometimes I get confused looks, but mostly people know what I mean.
Cool, I'm not the only one.

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Post by Nortaneous »

Elyndian wrote:
Nortaneous wrote:I use both systems (I prefer 24-hour, so I keep my computers set to it; also, IRC clients almost always use 24-hour), and I remember times in whichever system I hear about them in. In speech, I only use 12-hour, but I'm in America and everyone here uses 12-hour.
Everyone?
You sure?
I've never met anyone who uses 24hour in speech, at least. I think the main reason I still use 12hour is that it's shorter. "Five" takes a lot less time to say than "seventeen hundred".
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Post by vampireshark »

I use the twelve-hour in casual speech in English and usually in communications in an informal setting, also using "midnight" and "noon". If I'm giving flight times, I always use 24-hour clock, and likewise with timetables. Other notation includes "half past" and "quarter past/to".

In French and German, at least for me, it's 24-hour clock all the way. But I normally say 12h30 as « midi et demi », which is somewhat standard for Standard-ish French.

I like analog clocks, but digital watches are handier because they usually allow you to set an alarm.
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Post by Koffiegast »

I use both, but without the AM/PM stuff. Theyre replaced with afternoon ('s middags), evening ('s avonds), etcetera. There is one thing that I really hate about the AM/PM system, and that's when it's midnight, 12.00AM, 12.00PM, 0.00AM etc, I've seen all sorts of makeshift solutions.
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Post by ayyub »

Chibi wrote:Interestingly, for a time like 12:30am, I tend to say "midnight thirty," which I don't think is standard in English. Uh...not that I have the need to say stuff like that often?
Heh, a friend of mine always says "noon thirty". I make fun of her for it all the time.
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Post by Xephyr »

Regarding dial vs digital clocks, my personal experiences with them has supported the marketing guys who insist on pricing something at $49.99 instead of $50.00. By which I mean... when I look at a dial clock, I have a pretty good idea of how much time I have until, say, I gotta leave at the top of the hour. Whereas when I use a digital clock, I tend to only pay attention to the first digit after the colon. So 7:41 and 7:49 are both "Relaax, I got like a quarter of an hour still.", but 7:51 is "HolyshitIgottagetgoing".
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Post by Nortaneous »

Xephyr wrote:Regarding dial vs digital clocks, my personal experiences with them has supported the marketing guys who insist on pricing something at $49.99 instead of $50.00. By which I mean... when I look at a dial clock, I have a pretty good idea of how much time I have until, say, I gotta leave at the top of the hour. Whereas when I use a digital clock, I tend to only pay attention to the first digit after the colon. So 7:41 and 7:49 are both "Relaax, I got like a quarter of an hour still.", but 7:51 is "HolyshitIgottagetgoing".
I prefer digital clocks for a similar reason: ten minutes looks to me like a lot of time on a dial clock.
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Post by finlay »

Koffiegast wrote:I use both, but without the AM/PM stuff. Theyre replaced with afternoon ('s middags), evening ('s avonds), etcetera. There is one thing that I really hate about the AM/PM system, and that's when it's midnight, 12.00AM, 12.00PM, 0.00AM etc, I've seen all sorts of makeshift solutions.
You say that, but 12 midnight is unambiguously am rather than pm. If you use it the other way, you are using it wrong. 0am is also just unusual because if you're going to use 00 you're usually using the 24 hour clock.

What I find odd about Dutch is that you seem to say "5 before half 7" (possibly also "10 before half 7"? I can't remember if I heard this) to mean "25 past 6" – that just exacerbates the problem I mentioned earlier that it seems like a different hour if you use that nomenclature and then see 18:25 on a digital clock, making it seem earlier. It's like how the Romans counted time as days before the Kalends, meaning that IV Kalends Aprilis (or however it was written) is actually the 29th of March.

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Post by din »

Yeah, Dutch is pretty interesting when it comes to saying the time.

As an example, between 1 and 2 o'clock it goes like this (with literal translations in brackets):
13:00 één uur; (one hour)
13:05 vijf over één (five over one)
13:10 tien over één (ten over one)
13:15 kwart over één (quarter over one)
13:20 twintig over één (twenty over one)
13:25 vijf voor half twee (five before half two)
13:30 half twee (half two)
13:35 vijf over half twee (five over half two)
13:40 twintig voor twee (twenty before two)
13:45 kwart voor twee (quarter before two)
13:50 tien voor twee (ten before two)
13:55 vijf voor twee (five before two)
14:00 twee uur


Of course, being Dutch, we like to make fun of ourselves and occasionally use things like 'vijf over kwart voor half zeven' (five past a quarter till half past six, so twenty past six...). Some people sometimes mistakenly produce monsters like that without realising.
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Post by Skomakar'n »

dinnae wrote:Yeah, Dutch is pretty interesting when it comes to saying the time.

As an example, between 1 and 2 o'clock it goes like this (with literal translations in brackets):
13:00 één uur; (one hour)
13:05 vijf over één (five over one)
13:10 tien over één (ten over one)
13:15 kwart over één (quarter over one)
13:20 twintig over één (twenty over one)
13:25 vijf voor half twee (five before half two)
13:30 half twee (half two)
13:35 vijf over half twee (five over half two)
13:40 twintig voor twee (twenty before two)
13:45 kwart voor twee (quarter before two)
13:50 tien voor twee (ten before two)
13:55 vijf voor twee (five before two)
14:00 twee uur


Of course, being Dutch, we like to make fun of ourselves and occasionally use things like 'vijf over kwart voor half zeven' (five past a quarter till half past six, so twenty past six...). Some people sometimes mistakenly produce monsters like that without realising.
... I'm so going to say fem över kvart i halv sju from now on (the same thing, except that it's literally quarter in, rather than quarter before). I didn't know we told time in the same way in Sweden as in The Netherlands! Awesome!

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Post by Cedh »

finlay wrote:
eodrakken wrote:
Viktor77 wrote:One strange thing that a lot Americans say which I never say are markers such as quarter to, ten after, etc. I've began to become a fair bit more acquainted with terms like quarter to, quarter after, but I still find myself saying five fifty-five or four forty-five since it's easier to comprehend more quickly for me.
Me too. Also, for a while I didn't know what "quarter of" meant -- wasn't sure if "quarter of nine" was 8:45 or 9:15. I don't know if it's regional, but it does seem like I hear that style of time-telling more often on the east coast.
I've found that American English is very inconsistent with its choice of words for this – quarter of and all that. In British English I've literally never heard anything but "quarter past" and "quarter to". Also, we tend to drop "past" in "half past", leading to "half 2" being 2:30 (or, indeed, 14:30), which of course is opposite to the way that German and Dutch (presumably others too) do it – "half 2" is "half to 2", or 13:30, there.
There's an interesting regional division in Germany with regards to "quarter". In standard colloquial German you say viertel vor ("quarter to") and viertel nach ("quarter past"). Both of these refer to the nearest full hour, so viertel vor zwei is 13:45 and viertel nach zwei is 14:15. However, in large parts of eastern Germany it is common to use viertel (without the preposition) to mean a quarter of the hour that has just started, and dreiviertel ("three quarters") to mean fifteen minutes before the full hour. In this system viertel zwei is actually 13:15!
Last edited by Cedh on Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Skomakar'n »

cedh audmanh wrote:
finlay wrote:
eodrakken wrote:
Viktor77 wrote:One strange thing that a lot Americans say which I never say are markers such as quarter to, ten after, etc. I've began to become a fair bit more acquainted with terms like quarter to, quarter after, but I still find myself saying five fifty-five or four forty-five since it's easier to comprehend more quickly for me.
Me too. Also, for a while I didn't know what "quarter of" meant -- wasn't sure if "quarter of nine" was 8:45 or 9:15. I don't know if it's regional, but it does seem like I hear that style of time-telling more often on the east coast.
I've found that American English is very inconsistent with its choice of words for this – quarter of and all that. In British English I've literally never heard anything but "quarter past" and "quarter to". Also, we tend to drop "past" in "half past", leading to "half 2" being 2:30 (or, indeed, 14:30), which of course is opposite to the way that German and Dutch (presumably others too) do it – "half 2" is "half to 2", or 13:30, there.
There's an interesting regional division in Germany with regards to "quarter". In standard colloquial German you say viertel vor ("quarter to") and viertel nach ("quarter past"). Both of these refer to the nearest full hour, so viertel vor zwei is 13:45 and viertel nach zwei is 14:15. However, in large parts of eastern Germany it is common to use viertel (without the preposition) to mean a quarter of the hour that has just started, and dreiviertel ("three quarters") to mean fifteen minutes before the full hour. In this system viertel zwei (lit. "a quarter of two") is actually 13:15!
Tre kvart (three quarter [it's in singular, for some reason]) is a very common way to say 45 minutes in Swedish.

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Post by finlay »

Three quarters of an hour.... sooo unwieldy! :(

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Post by Shm Jay »

What's the taboo in Dutch about saying twenty-five? And if someone did say "twenty-five before/after", how would it sound?

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Post by Io »

I absolutely hated learning to tell the time in English and later in German.

Oh... My... God... at Dutch, bleurgh.
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Post by Skomakar'n »

Shm Jay wrote:What's the taboo in Dutch about saying twenty-five? And if someone did say "twenty-five before/after", how would it sound?
In Swedish, we'd say, for example, 08:25, if said in the "analogue" fashion, as fem i halv nio ("five in half nine"). 08:35 would be fem över halv nio ("five over half nine").

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Post by finlay »

Skomakar'n wrote:
dinnae wrote:Yeah, Dutch is pretty interesting when it comes to saying the time.

As an example, between 1 and 2 o'clock it goes like this (with literal translations in brackets):
13:00 één uur; (one hour)
13:05 vijf over één (five over one)
13:10 tien over één (ten over one)
13:15 kwart over één (quarter over one)
13:20 twintig over één (twenty over one)
13:25 vijf voor half twee (five before half two)
13:30 half twee (half two)
13:35 vijf over half twee (five over half two)
13:40 twintig voor twee (twenty before two)
13:45 kwart voor twee (quarter before two)
13:50 tien voor twee (ten before two)
13:55 vijf voor twee (five before two)
14:00 twee uur


Of course, being Dutch, we like to make fun of ourselves and occasionally use things like 'vijf over kwart voor half zeven' (five past a quarter till half past six, so twenty past six...). Some people sometimes mistakenly produce monsters like that without realising.
... I'm so going to say fem över kvart i halv sju from now on (the same thing, except that it's literally quarter in, rather than quarter before). I didn't know we told time in the same way in Sweden as in The Netherlands! Awesome!
You lot are mad. :P

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Post by Ċeaddawīc »

Y'all're crazy people!

IME I've never heard a single person use a system other than the 12-hour one.

In case anyone's interested, I almost never say "noon" or "midnight," neither do I say "quarter to..." or "half past..." I mostly just say the numbers. I say time to the nearest five if I have to be more accurate.

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