Re: midnight Friday

Subject: Re: midnight Friday
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 1994 10:36:52 -0500

I wrote:

> > New twist: If someone advertises that they're open 8 am Monday to
> > midnight Friday, are they open on Friday or not?

Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL> replied:

> This is strictly personal opinion, but I don't see a problem
> with interpreting midnight Friday at all. If today were Friday
> (and it is!) and I said midnight today or midnight tonight,
> would there be any question?

Of course there'd be a question. Let's presume, like most (all?) VCR
manufacturers, that midnight is the *first* moment of a day. For the
examples above, then, "midnight today" has already passed. It
occurred about 10.5 hours ago. "Midnight tonight" sounds a bit
oxymoronic -- like "2 a.m. tonight" -- but I'd take it to mean
"midnight tomorrow."

Now, if you said "Friday night at midnight," I'd probably interpret it
as you intended. ;-)

> I actually found a reference for this. The UPI Stylebook says
> that midnight "is part of the day that is ending, not the one
> that is beginning."

Does the 24-hour clock designate midnight as 00:00 or 24:00? What
does the UPI Stylebook say about this, anything?

Despite what any stylebook says on this particular issue, I avoid
using "midnight," simply because I don't know which interpretation the
reader will use. As such, it doesn't matter which definition is



Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

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