a.m.

We had the heater on for a while yesterday afternoon, so now my throat feels a little sore.

I’m chanting this hypothetical cause and effect because my son is sick and I don’t want to be getting it too.

Heater on.  Throat sore.  Not sick.  Heater on.  Throat sore.  Not sick.  Not sick!

I feel like a big useless slug.  Yeah, probably not the heater.  Sick?

My son is home from school again and I feel a little guilty that I don’t have the energy required to make up for his two days of missed education.

I called to cancel his therapy session too.  Not driving all the way there today!

So, what to do?

My friend’s daughter also stayed home sick this morning, so that means I don’t have my daily dog walking responsibility either.

No exercise on the schedule.  Danger, danger.  Slug alert.

Sigh.  Not much of a post, is it?  Rhetorical question.  It isn’t.

Okay, new direction…

My husband got me hooked on the show 24 a few years ago.

Oh, wait a minute, maybe Kiefer Sutherland did that.

I long ago realized there wouldn’t be a shred of plausible plot line or a single realistic character on any episode, but I watch it anyway.

Gotta love me some Jack Bauer.  🙂

The scenes for next week’s show seem to threaten another big dose of unnecessary torture.  I’ll have to leave the room for that.

Not sure why they include stuff that makes you leave the room.  Why do the sponsors stay around if the audience ducks out?  Puzzling.

Anyhoo, there is something else about the show that I really detest.  Or at least, there is one thing I will complain about.  (Go here for some real discussions of the evil that is 24.  I agree with a lot of it, but my complaint today is fluffier.)

Every episode starts with an announcement of the hour.  “The following takes place between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.”  Or whatever.

This week’s completely ridiculous scenes occurred between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Okay, no problem, but that means that next week’s episode happens between 11:00 p.m. and 12 midnight.

Unfortunately, when Jack Bauer announces the hour, he won’t say that.  He will say “The following takes place between 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.”

And my eye will twitch, because there’s no such thing as “12:00 a.m.”

The “a”  in “a.m.” stands for the Latin word “ante”, meaning “before.”  The “m” stands for the Latin word “meridiem,” meaning “midday” or “noon.”

Saying “12:00 a.m.” is akin to saying “12:00 before noon” and I think we can all agree, that makes no sense.

The “p” in p.m. stands for “post”, meaning “after.”

Are you confused?

It is correct to say “12 noon” or “12 midnight.”  It is not correct to follow 12 with an a.m. or p.m. designation.

12 noon is the meridiem.  It is neither before nor after the meridiem.  12 noon is 12 noon.

Everything before noon, or ante meridiem, gets the a.m. designation and everything after noon, or post meridiem, gets the p.m. designation.

Got it?

12 midnight is 12 midnight.  It is actually before and after the meridiem, a.m. and p.m.  So just say “12 midnight”, okay?

If you really want to avoid confusion, you can side with the military and use a 24 hour clock.

Whatever you choose, I wish you would convince Jack Bauer to do the same.

He would be perfect if he would only correct this one little error.

Well, that, and stop torturing people and shooting stuff.

Sigh.

♥♥

3 thoughts on “a.m.

  1. Oh my god, you are the sister of my honey! Did he ever tell you about the time he took his teacher to task for referring to “xmas” as an inappropriate abbreviation for Christmas? I’ll bet the dictionary got a lot of use in your household growing up. Or should I say, “dictionaries?” Well, perhaps these sensitivities are what made you both such good writers.

    • Never heard that story! How funny. The brother is much better at all the grammar stuff than I am! And yes, definitely more than one dictionary in our childhood home! I think I only have about five now. 🙂

  2. Oh funny girl. 24 is 24. You have to take it all the way it is presented. I stopped watching several years ago because all seasons were the same. I do love me some Jack Bauer as well though. We used to rent an entire season and lock the doors for a weekend. Talk about an andrenline rush! It was exhausting!!! As for the clock/time. I agree, go military!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s