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Pedants' corner

AM & PM - midnight and midday

(11 Posts)
Fennel Fri 18-Oct-19 11:23:08

I check with this weather forum most days:,-1.61
Tomorrow they say showers at 12pm. (scroll the cursor along.)
I think it should be 12 am.
All the hours before 12 are am, why change for midday?
Same at night all hours to 11 are pm, so why 12 am for midnight and not 12 pm?
Hoping someone can understand my question, not very clear.

Oopsminty Fri 18-Oct-19 11:32:22

I know exactly what you mean!

When I was a child I was told that 12 was either referred to as noon or midnight.

Jane57 Fri 18-Oct-19 11:34:22

I always get the 2 confused! Although isn't it 00:00 for midnight?

paddyann Fri 18-Oct-19 11:59:29

most people use the 24 hour clock system now ,so midnight is 00.00

SirChenjin Fri 18-Oct-19 13:55:10

12 am is going into the am/morning, 12 pm is going into the pm/afternoon

Or 11.59pm is the last time in the pm, 12 is the first time in the am

Alexa Fri 18-Oct-19 14:10:34

it's good case for "twelve o'clock midnight" or "twelve o'clock midday". Clarity is all.

welbeck Fri 18-Oct-19 15:44:32

12 noon. or just noon. and midnight.. best to avoid 12 altogether.
there are arguments to shew that both am and pm are incorrect with 12, whatever the time of day. best avoid.
the person that said most people use 24 hour clock now, do they, where do you live, nobody I know does, except for technical/ job situations, eg bus/ train timetables, nurses.
I don't think most people choose the 24 hr clock for their personal life. maybe some people born outside UK do.

Fennel Fri 18-Oct-19 15:54:38

Reminds me, in France they use the 12 hour clock. So many of us Anglais were floored by this.
eg Votre rendevous avec le Docteur ....... est a 17 heures moins cinq.
ie a quarter to 5 pm.

Fennel Fri 18-Oct-19 15:55:37

Sorry, 5 to 5 pm

MamaCaz Fri 18-Oct-19 17:08:31

And in Spain, mediodía (midday) generally means the middle of the working day, so two or three o'clock in the afternoon - at least it does in the regions where I have lived and worked. grin
That, plus the fact that doce (twelve) and dos (two) can sound very similar in some regional accents, can easily give rise to misunderstandings when arranging meetings or appointments!

BlueBelle Fri 18-Oct-19 17:16:24

I always think of midnight as the start of the new morning so am and midday the start of the afternoon pm so in the words of the meerkats ‘simples’