It appear some of us did not study our Latin, or possibly just dozed off during the duller parts of How To Tell Time class.
Ante Meridian (or Meridiem). Post Meridiem (or -- well, you get it).
These handy little Roman holdovers (though we use them differently*) mark whether a time in twelve-hour notation happened before or after noon.
When a squeaky-clean, nicely-dressed, well-spoken individual inside my TV set smiles out at me and tells me an event is to happen at "Nine a.m. this morning," or "Seven p.m. this evening," it just grates. Hey, here's a thought; since Latin and logic are toooo harrrrd, whyn't'cha just drop the a.m./p.m. stuff, and leave it at "this morning," "last night" and so on when referring to time of day?
That is all.
* Julius Caesar thought "3 a.m." meant three hours before noon. While there were twelve hours in his day, they always filled dawn to dusk, stretching and shrinking to fit as the seasons wheeled by. His nights were divided not into more hours but four watches. Small wonder, then, that he sat in the Senate, yelling "Kill me! Kill me now!" even as they voted him godhood. Or that he never wore a wristwatch.
P.S.: I have had to edit this about six times for repeated words, typos and just plain "not the word I intended to type" errors. Log-in-eye syndrome, once again.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago