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  1. #1
    jctgf is offline Key Member
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    Default "a.m." vs "p.m."

    hi,

    1) what does these initials placed after the time mean?

    "it's 10:45 p.m."

    2) 12 o'clock in the lunch time is 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.?

    3) at midnight, how do you say? "12:30 ?.m." or "00:30 ?.m"?


    thanks

    jc

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    It's from the Latin:
    am = ante meridian (before midday/ noon)
    pm = post meridian (after midday / noon)

    So 12 o'clock lunch time is pm and 12 o'clock at night is am.

  3. #3
    beascarpetta's Avatar
    beascarpetta is offline Key Member
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    Thumbs up Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    1) what does these initials placed after the time mean?

    "it's 10:45 p.m." originally derived from post meridiem (Latin) meaning "afternoon / midday" which makes it 10.45 at night

    2) 12 o'clock in the lunch time is 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.?
    it's 12 am

    3) at midnight, how do you say? "12:30 ?.m." or "00:30 ?.m"?
    this would be 12.30 am then, am coming from the Latin ante meridiem meaning before noon/midday

    hope this helps.

  4. #4
    jctgf is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    Quote Originally Posted by beascarpetta View Post
    1) what does these initials placed after the time mean?

    "it's 10:45 p.m." originally derived from post meridiem (Latin) meaning "afternoon / midday" which makes it 10.45 at night

    2) 12 o'clock in the lunch time is 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.?
    it's 12 am

    3) at midnight, how do you say? "12:30 ?.m." or "00:30 ?.m"?
    this would be 12.30 am then, am coming from the Latin ante meridiem meaning before noon/midday

    hope this helps.

    hi,

    just to make clear:

    1) 12 o'clock at lunch time is 12:00 Am and 12 o'clock at midnight is 12:00 Pm? or is it the other way around?

    2) "meridiem": you didn't mean "meridian", right?

    thanks again!
    jc

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    just to make clear:

    ...
    2) "meridiem": you didn't mean "meridian", right?

    thanks again!
    jc
    No. The Latin is meridiem - meaning 'the middle of the day'. A meridian is an imaginary line that joins places where the sun is directly overhead at that time.

    As to Q1, I always forget and always check with an online calendar of some sort!

    b

  6. #6
    beascarpetta's Avatar
    beascarpetta is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    as to Q1

    The use of AM and PM to designate either noon or midnight can cause ambiguity. To designate noon, either the word noon or 1200 or 12 M should be used.(EB)

    but one does get confused.

  7. #7
    jctgf is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    thanks a lot, jc

  8. #8
    2006 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    Quote Originally Posted by beascarpetta View Post
    as to Q1

    The use of AM and PM to designate either noon or midnight can cause ambiguity. To designate noon, either the word noon or 1200 or 12 M should be used.(EB)

    but one does get confused.
    There is absolutely no ambiguity about the am/pm issue if one thinks about it logically.
    The key thing to remember is that the am/pm change can only occur at exactly 12 noon and at exactly 12 midnight. So if you know that 11:59 in the late morning is 11:59 am, there can be no doubt that 12 noon is 12 pm.

    Another way of knowing that 12 noon can not be 12:00 am is that 12:00 am can not be followed one minute later by 12:01 pm. (see the above underlined)

  9. #9
    beascarpetta's Avatar
    beascarpetta is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    I would like to point out that I was merely quoting from Britannica Online Encyclopedia (although apparently the quotation marks somehow got lost on the way)
    so maybe this would be the place any suggestions for linguistic improvement should go to.
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 08-Dec-2007 at 21:39.

  10. #10
    jctgf is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a.m." vs "p.m."

    thanks a lot all of you,
    to me it's always easy to understand when there's some logic reason involved. in this case, i will always remember the meaning of am/pm simply by translating it to Latin, once that my native language is a Latin one.
    thanks again,
    jc

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