Monday, November 05, 2018

daylight savings

France made the switch about a week earlier, but the US, on November 4, "fell back" an hour for Daylight Savings. I've heard rumblings that, for Europe, this will be the final time that such a switch is ever made, but that there's still some debate as to whether the continent ought to continue in "spring forward" mode or in "fall back" mode. As far as I know, the US will continue to bumble onward with back-and-forth flipping between savings and standard time; the rest of the world, meanwhile, is waking up to the fact that that is no longer a necessary convention.* South Korea wisely refuses to engage in this silly practice, thus saving us residents the need to hear and read constant reminders and public announcements about how we have to switch our clocks this way or that way.

So France has gone from being 7 hours behind Seoul to being 8 hours behind, and the US east coast has gone from being 13 hours behind Seoul to being 14 hours behind. Trivia: in French, a "time zone" is un fuseau horaire, the word fuseau referring to something leaf-shaped or spindle-shaped (see here for the type of spindle I'm thinking of; spindles actually come in a wide variety of shapes), i.e., something tapered at both ends and bulging in the middle, which is roughly the shape of a time zone seen on a globe-shaped map of the world: tapered at the poles and bulging at the equator. A "time difference" in French is a d├ęcalage horaire, where d├ęcalage refers to a staggering, a shift, or an interval.

*Wikipedia notes that Arizona doesn't follow the standard convention—neither do many US territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Wikipedia also notes that the notion of "daylight savings" may have started with something Benjamin Franklin had proposed, probably in jest. In 1916, it was Germany that first made a serious move toward a standardized change. The US followed two years later, but didn't establish a truly standardized, federal system until the mid-to-late 1960s. Silly Germans. Silly Yanks.

1 comment:

John Mac said...

Yeah, just got to experience it again for the first time in a few years. Still sucks.