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12 am = midnight or noon?

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12 am = midnight or noon?

Unread postby 3Rs » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:04 am

Here's my first post to this forum, and I have a rather silly question. I always believed 12 am was midnight, but in the new coursebook we use they claim 12 am is noon. Dear native speakers, what's correct?
Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.
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Unread postby Dixie » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:49 pm

You're right, 12am is midnight, while 12pm is midday.
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Unread postby Josef » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:33 am

Since am means before noon and pm means after noon, neither 12am nor 12pm exists.
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Unread postby marchwind » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:52 am

Hi moderator
Very well, neither 12 am nor 12 pm exists, but please furnish the correct form. 12 in the morning, 12 at night, noon, midnight? Or course it doesn't exist formally, but there has to be a distiction.
I would opt for noon and midnight, but how do you write it numerically?
Thanks
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Unread postby Josef » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:42 pm

12 midday or 12 noon and 12 midnight, or, since the 12 is superfluous, midday or noon and midnight. Attempts to write these times numerically reveal the deficiencies of the 12-hour clock.

Please see:
http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/t ... -night.htm
and especially for this topic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-hour_clock

Displays that use the 12-hour system usually show noon as 12:00 pm and midnight as 12:00 am — a convention which is ambiguous and therefore confuses many people. The workaround of writing "12 noon" or "12 midnight" requires more space, makes the notation language dependent, and still fails to distinguish between midnight at the start and at the end of a day.

The notation 24:00 is used, for example, in many railway timetables, to indicate the end of the day. Thus a train due to arrive at a station during the last minute of any particular day may be shown as doing so at 24:00; trains due to depart during the first minute of the day are shown as leaving at 00:00. It is also practiced for opening hours till midnight, e.g. "00:00–24:00", "07:00–24:00".
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AM or PM for midnight and midnight...

Unread postby eric_p_m » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:01 am

To whom it may concern:

I will defend that noon is 12:00 PM and midnight is 12:00 AM. I believe that there is an educational problem due to a misinterpretation of the Latin terms and thus, a geographical misconception results. The vast majority of cultures outside of Asia honor solar versus lunar systems and English culture recognizes the sun due to religious symbolism. When the moon rises or sets fails to matter since we are more focused with solar time, as human beings are generally diurnal in nature.

In English, a.m. means "before midday", which comes from the Latin "ante meridiem" and viceversa, p.m. would mean "after midday" with the Latin being "post meridiem".

A certain solar and lunar phenomenon reflects this idea: in the diagram found at the following URL:

http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/t ... -night.htm

, noon and midnight are represented by a vertical line running down the y-axis while sunrise and sunset would be represented by a horizontal line running across the x-axis: solar time. According to the seasonal time of the year, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West around the globe. In the Northern Hemisphere, at noon, the sun indicates due South while at midnight, the moon also points out due South. In the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite would be true with the sun and moon pointing towards North.

Logic would argue that the sun rises before the sun passes the merdian overhead and that the sun sets after the sun passes the same zenith. I point out that the aforementioned diagram also mistakenly reflects that a person would encounter more than one meridian since the moon would pass the same zenith overhead in the sky.

Linguistically, I would argue that this question is just confusion, generated from a poorly constructed diagram, between the semantics of "before" and "after". Midnight, the start of a new day, and noon are definitely occur before the sun passes the meridian: one milisecond after noon would be after the sun passes the zenith while one nanosecond after midnight would still be before the sun passes the same imaginary zenith. To end this debate, I would like to point out that the etymology of the word "noon" comes from the Latin ordinal number "nona" for the ninth hour after sunrise: hence PM.

At the time of English cultural development, religious dualism with binary forces greatly affected the development of the English language:

a.m.. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved August 24, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=a.m.&x=0&y=0

noon. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved August 24, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=noon&x=0&y=0

Sincerely,

Eric Paul Monroe

http://www.eric-tesol.com/
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Re: 12 am = midnight or noon?

Unread postby mathmaven » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:21 pm

Midnight is 12:00 pm. It is also 00:00 am. This is because it represents both the beginning and the ending of a set of numbers that runs from 00:00 to 12:00. It then changes to 00:00 instantaneously and begins again.

Noon is 12:00 am. It is also 00:00 pm. For the same reasons.

To be safe, just use "12 noon" and "12 midnight."
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