phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

12 a.m./p.m.

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 31, 2004

In Reply to: 12 a.m./p.m. posted by Smokey Stover on March 31, 2004

: : The club opens until 12 a.m..

: : What does this mean? 12:00 at night or in the morning?

: : What about 12 p.m.?
: : Thanks!

: The rule, which not everyone follows or understands, is that A.M. (ante meridionem, or before noon) begins at midnight and ends right at noon. Thus 12 a.m. is noon. But the time a minute later is 12:01 p.m. (post meridionem, after noon). Midnight is 12 p.m., but a minute later is 12:01 a.m. The people who need to measure things in milliseconds don't normally have to concern themselves with a.m. or p.m. But wait, the sentence makes no sense whatever the time. A club cannot "open until 12 a.m." It can "remain open until" or it can "open at." So which is it? A club that opens at midnight? Or a club that stays open until noon? Or maybe one that opens at noon. Or stays open until midnight. Not at all a satisfacatory sentence. SS

Did I say "ante meridionem"? Holy cow, what a gaffe! THe correct phrases are "ante meridiem" and "post meridiem." What was I thinking? SS