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Grammar Tips & Tidbits

 

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Daylight Saving Time

Before we begin today's topic, here's a friendly reminder to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night!

I always find it a little sad when daylight saving time ends, don't you? Returning to standard time is a grim reminder that winter is right around the corner. However, when the sun starts setting earlier, the evenings actually seem to last longer. I guess there's a "bright side" to the darkness, after all!

Here's a bit of grammar trivia for you: Did you know that the word saving in daylight saving time should be singular? According to The Gregg Reference Manual, it is incorrect to say daylight savings time. It's funny though—I can't say I've ever heard anyone pronounce it that way! Maybe this is one of those cases when the real-world pronunciation should rule.

There's another related matter we should discuss. Have you noticed that people often use abbreviations like EST (Eastern standard time) all year long, even when standard time isn't in effect? Instead, those in the Eastern time zone should use EDT (Eastern daylight time) during the months we follow daylight saving time. (The same goes for whatever time zone you're in.) It's also acceptable to use DST to indicate daylight saving time.

On occasion, you may need to prepare a document (like a business card or a brochure) that includes your time zone. If you think about it, business documents like this are typically available throughout the year, so it would be inaccurate to use either EST or EDT since each is only in effect for half the year. Fortunately, there's an easy solution: Eliminate references to standard and daylight altogether by writing ET (Eastern time).
 

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Source:

1. Sabin, William A. The Gregg Reference Manual. Tenth Edition.
         New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2005, pp. 160.